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The Sims 5 aka Project Rene: release date, paltforms, gameplay and all we know

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The Sims 4 is approaching its tenth anniversary – incredible staying power for what is, in essence, a live-service game.

Project Rene‘ has been confirmed as the next iteration in the franchise, and while nobody has officially called it The Sims 5, it’s pretty clear that Project Rene is, essentially, The Sims 5.

It was first announced nearly two years ago at the Behind the Sims Summit Stream Event, and Lyndsay Pearson, VP of Franchise Creative for The Sims acknowledged that Maxis had never shared info about a game so far out from release before, stating that there were years between that announcement and release.

Throughout this post we’ve alternated between saying Project Rene and The Sims 5 – they are the same thing – Project Rene refers to The Sims 5.

Why is The Sims 5 called Project Rene?

Pearson referred to Project Rene as a “working title” for the new generation of The Sims. She stated that it brings to mind words and themes like “renewal, renaissance, rebirth, and it represents our renewed commitment to The Sims.”

It remains unclear whether it will be called Project Rene, The Sims 5, or some other third thing on release, but working titles and code names are pretty common in the creative fields, including gaming.

When will The Sims 5 be released?

There isn’t a definitive Project Rene release date – there isn’t even a ballpark.

After its announcement in the Behind the Sims Summit, an accompanying blog post said it was in “very early stages of development,” (emphasis in the original).

We haven’t received any updates on Project Rene since September 2023, so chances are the team at Maxis is deep in development. They are still supporting, updating, and releasing content for The Sims 4 and The Sims Mobile, so don’t expect it soon.

“Over the next couple of years, we’ll continue sharing updates with all of you on Project Rene,” The Sims’ Pearson said. “We’ll share In-Progress Work, Explorations, Sneak Peeks, and Behind The Scenes Content. As well as start to open up Early Access to Project Rene software to small groups over time. I’ll say this one more time before I go: This is super early for us and we’ve never shared information about our games years before they launch to the world.”

Image credit: EA

What platforms will The Sims 5 be on?

In an interesting move, EA has confirmed that Project Rene is being tested initially as being cross-platform between mobile and PC. They demonstrated some pretty slick instant sync behavior between the same game on two devices.

The Behind the Sims blog post said “With Project Rene, you’ll be able to play on a PC, put it down, and pick up right where you left off on a mobile device. The team is still developing ways in which we can tailor the experiences per platform, but we’re so excited about what’s to come.”

But what about console gamers? The Sims 4 is currently available on PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, but there’s no news on whether Project Rene will mirror this. Cross-play between console and computer is possible but it remains to be seen whether EA will ditch console support in favor of the mobile offering it has been testing.

Will Project Rene be free-to-play?

One of the things Pearson stated in the Summit Stream was that The Sims 5 will be free to download and play when it launches. There will be free updates through the game’s lifecycle but plenty of paid content too – it’s a model that has been extremely successful for Maxis with previous Sims games.

“We intend for Project Rene to be free-to-download,” Pearson said. “That means, when it’s ready and fully open to our players, you’ll be able to join, and play, and explore Project Rene without a subscription, without core game purchase, or energy mechanics.” This was also confirmed in a blog post.

Will The Sims 5 be multiplayer?

This was hinted at in the Summit Stream. Pearson said “With Project Rene, we want to make it easier to work together and share. You can choose to play it and create by yourself, or with your close friends. It’s entirely your choice. No matter who you want to play with, we want you to be able to play wherever you want.”

There has never been multiplayer gameplay in a Sims game before – only through the game’s gallery can you interact with others. A player can upload a building or a Sim to the gallery, and others can download them to use in their own game.

Image credit: EA

When discussing one of the first playtests of the game, Production Director Stephanie Callegari said “We also had to figure out ways for players to connect without all the social experience features in place, like party voice chat and find-a-friend,” says Callegari. “We had to make sure players could actually find each other and play together.”

In the Summit blog post, Maxis stated “This playtest also included our first social play experience where players can design an apartment together, opening up new ways to play, tell stories, and build dream creations.

“Project Rene is a place for you to explore life with The Sims and also share a wide variety of experiences with trusted friends, if you want, when you want.

“We fully recognize and embrace the fact that The Sims can be a very private, intimate escape for some people to explore things on their own. It will always be your choice whether to play on your own or with others.”

It seems that Maxis intends to focus on making the game collaborative and social (with elements such as collaborative building/decorating), but in a purely optional fashion.

What will The Sims 5 gameplay be like?

The only detail we have on this so far is on object customization, which was a core part of the snippet shared at the Summit. It is noteworthy that Maxis is building the game with this focus, as it recognizes the focus that some players place on this aspect of the game.

“The playtest focused on furniture customization, which gives players more control over the pattern, colors, materials, parts, shape, and size of the furniture in their apartment,” says the blog post. “We piloted a very early version of buy mode that looked into how people can copy styles quickly from their couch to their chair, or move and rotate an entire living room set at once.”

From what has been said, and the footage in the summit, it looks like there will be significant amounts of customization in the Project Rene build mode.

Image credit: EA

Very little has been said about Create-A-Sim, but they have talked a little about hairstyles in a blog post. “We’re also in the process of figuring out how to model a wide variety of hair styles across a broad range of humanity, and unlock options like flexible coloring. We understand how important it is for you to feel well represented and this is no different for a Sim.”

There has also been a leak of an early neighborhood map, which was data-mined and leaked by a playtester, but Maxis and EA have been very careful to frequently state that everything and anything is subject to change before the game releases, so take it with a pinch of salt.

Featured image credit: EA

The post The Sims 5 aka Project Rene: release date, paltforms, gameplay and all we know appeared first on ReadWrite.

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