The Sims 5—Everything we know about Project Rene so far

Although “The Sims 5” is still years away, Electronic Arts promise to show off features in development.

The Sims 5 has finally been announced, but to our surprise, Electronic Arts have already begun to reveal a few features for the next main “Sims” game.

Shortly after promising to make the base game “Sims 4” free-to-play and continue with gameplay updates and DLC, Maxis also revealed that it is actively developing “Sims 5,” if that is not its final name.

Unlike past Sims game developments, Maxis has promised to release some of the features in development years in advance. So while there are still many unanswered questions about the next installment of “Sims,” the truth is that some guesses have already been answered. Here is everything we know so far about the next installment of “The Sims,” including new (and revived) features, early gameplay footage, and rumors about multiplayer.

So is Project Rene the name of The Sims 5? 

For now, yes, but probably not forever; as Maxis explained, Project Rene is essentially a codename for the next “Sims” game. Typically, these are used internally for games before they are announced, but sometimes developers use these titles publicly. For example, Riot’s Project L. Perhaps the next “Sims” game will not be called “Project Rene” or “The Sims 5,” but will have a completely different name that conveys what Maxis calls the “next generation” or “creative platform” of The Sims.

Does The Sims 5 have a release date? 

Electronic Arts have not yet stated a release date or year for the next Sims game; when it was first announced as Project Rene in October 2022, Maxis said it planned to share inside development “for the next few years,” so at least before 2024, The Sims 5 will not be released. It is safe to assume that it will not be released before 2024.

Another piece of information you should know about The Sims 5 is that Maxis expects it to stay that way for some time, even if The Sims 5 is released. The Sims 4 was released in 2014, and Electronic Arts have said that the “next generation” of The Sims to last at least as long. Previously, Creative VP Lyndsay Pearson said at the time of Project Rene’s unveiling, “We have the privilege of helping take the franchise into the next decade and beyond. Frankly, it was a corporate buzzword statement, but it seems certain that the next installment of “The Sims” will have a longer lifespan.

Check out a peek at some early Sims 5 gameplay 

As Maxis said, the clips shown at the 2022 Behind the Sims Summit were in the early stages of development and probably do not reflect the final gameplay or visual style. However, we did get to see a small glimpse of early gameplay footage in a loose sense.

  • The Create-A-Style tool from Sims 3 is back
  • Cross-platform multiplayer build mode
  • Uploading a custom selection furniture layout to the Gallery
  • Modular furniture editing, including accent pieces
  • Multiple axis rotation, at least for accent pieces

The return of Create-A-Style is definitely a win for Build mode fans, especially with the addition of modular pieces. In the first public showing, we saw that the headboard and footboard of the bed can be swapped out separately, and patterns and colors can be edited. Another improvement over the existing style tool, which was seen in many of Project Rene’s first public videos, is the ability to add pillows, blankets, and other accents to the sofa.

Another topic of discussion in the first release is whether the apartment lot will appear in the next installment of “Sims.” In the first footage we saw, the space being edited looked a bit like one unit connected to another.

Another topic of discussion in the first release is whether the apartment lot will appear in the next installment of "Sims." In the first footage we saw, the space being edited looked a bit like one unit connected to another

Will the Sims 5 have multiplayer? 

While “The Sims 5” will certainly feature some form of multiplayer, Maxis has yet to be specific about the scope of what it has called “collaboration.

“With Project Rene, we want to make it easier to collaborate and share,” said Pearson at the time of Project Rene’s reveal, “so you can choose to play alone or create with your closest friends. This means you can choose how immersed you want to be in online play.

Cross-platform play between PC and cell phones was showcased at the 2022 Sims Summit. Both devices could place furniture so that it looked like the same room was being edited at the same time.

As for live-mode multiplayer, we don’t yet know what Maxis has planned. We are hearing a few comments made by Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson during the 2020 financial conference call.

As Maxis continues to think about a new generation of The Sims, a cross-platform, cloud neighborhood world, we will always stay true to our inspiration, escapism, creativity, self-improvement, and motivation that actually existed years ago in The Sims Online.” I should imagine that the concept of social interaction and competition like that will begin to become a part of The Sims experience in the coming years,” Wilson said.

The interesting part of Wilson’s answer that we don’t yet know more about is the “social interaction and competition” part; the mention of Sims Online’s name makes us wonder if EA and Maxis are trying to develop a true MMO Sims game. It seems unlikely, but it is a safe bet that the next “Sims” game will feature some form of online play.

Will Sims 5 support mods and custom content?

While the answer is not certain, the “Sims” series has a long history of user-generated content throughout the games.

Even today, mods for “Sims 4” are so popular, and “Sims 4” even offers official mod support through the CurseForge hub, that it would be hard to imagine Maxis not taking the same approach with “Sims 5” and opening the door wider to custom content. However, it remains to be seen how this will be done and whether it will happen with the initial release of “Sims 5” or further down the road.

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