Inevitably, a certain amount of time after The Sims 4 launched, the question everyone started whispering among themselves was, “When will we hear about The Sims 5?” Well, Maxis has just unveiled what appears to be the next generation of The Sims, but calling it “The Sims 5” may not be fully accurate.
The working title, for now, is “Project Rene,” and it was first shown off during today’s Behind the Sims Summit. The name Rene was chosen for its referances to words like renewal, renaissance, and rebirth, “to represent the developer’s renewed commitment for The Sims’ bright future,” according to a press release.
Is it Sims 5? We don’t know yet
Project Rene is in very, very early stages, and likely won’t be available for several years. As such, we don’t have a whole lot in the way of details as to what it will actually entail, but we do know that it’s fundamentally still The Sims.
During the stream we got a look at some furniture customization on a level of detail previously impossible in Sims games. This included a demonstration of editing a bed furniture piece-by-piece, adjusting elements such as the bedspread color and pattern, and the design and shape of the footboard. We saw a similar level of detailed editing on a sofa, including changing color and design of individual cushions and the overall shape of different elements across the single piece.
Additionally, we saw the same game file copied on both a PC and a mobile device, with Maxis revealing that Project Rene will be playable across multiple supported devices. It will also function both as a solo experience as well as in collaboration with others.
“From the start, The Sims defined life simulation games and has continued to grow into an incredible platform for creativity and self expression,” said Lyndsay Pearson, Vice President of Franchise Creative for The Sims.
“Today marks the start of our journey over the next few years as we work on this next game and creative platform, currently titled Project Rene. We are building on the same foundation that has made The Sims compelling for generations of players and pushing the boundaries to create new experiences. We’ll have much more to share as we continue to progress on the game’s development and milestones along the way.”
The Sims 4 High School Years Screens
The future of Sims 4
Maxis has promised it will continue to update the community over the next few years, and early access will be offered to small groups over time.
In addition to the reveal of Project Rene, other interesting tidbits from the presentation include a partnership with Overwolf for a new CurseForge mod manager and discovery platform for user-generated content; a promise of monthly updates to The Sims 4 now that the game has gone free-to-play, and a few brief visual teases of two future Sims expansion packs. We also got a tease of infants, wihch are coming to The Sims 4 at last (and no longer just stuck in cribs) in 2023.
Our review of The Sims 4 at launch said it succeeded “in being a deep and complex game when it comes to Sim interactions, with lots of entertaining emotional potential,” but at the time didn’t feel it was living up to its full potential. That was back in 2014, and a bevy of paid expansion packs and free updates have since filled out much of what was initially missing. Earlier this year, Maxis added sexual orientation as a feature after years of community requests, and plans to continue honing how it works over time to be ever more inclusive to more orientations and genders.
Project Rene does not yet have a release date.
Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.