The Sims 5 is currently in development, which surely means sooner or later we will hear something official.
Entering its ninth year, The Sims 4 remains a huge hit for EA. Despite a rocky launch in 2014, the game has shown impressive longevity thanks to a stream of new packs, regular free base game updates, and a loyal, passionate fanbase.
In the calendar year of 2021, a total of 1.2 billion hours were played. But an increasing number of fans are wondering when can we expect the next full game in the Sims franchise.
Here’s everything you need to know about The Sims 5.
The Sims 5 potential release date: When is it coming out?
EA hasn’t announced anything yet, but The Sims 5 is still likely a while off. We think we’ll be waiting until at least 2024, unless EA and Maxis are further along in the development process than they are letting on.
Fansite SimsCommunity.info has reported a large number of new job vacancies at Maxis over the last year – suggesting that the developer has been busy expanding – while Maxis executive Catharina Mallet confirmed plans to provide ongoing support and new content for The Sims 4 while “building the future of The Sims franchise” at the same time.
Interviews over the past couple of years have pointed towards this as well. In late 2020, producer Graham Nardone hinted that The Sims 4 could continue for a number of years, stating that “the possibility of space of what we can do” within the game is “just humongous” and that “our players are plenty hungry for more content”.
In April 2021, EA executive Laura Miele confirmed that “the team is hard at work on the next generation of that experience”.
It’s clear that Maxis hasn’t run out of ideas for The Sims 4 yet, which despite its ageing engine isn’t a bad thing. With plenty of content still in the works for the current iteration, one can hope that this means the developer won’t feel rushed on The Sims 5 and will have time to ensure that the next game is in a good place before it’s released – to avoid a repeat of The Sims 4‘s divisive launch.
As for what platforms you will be able to play The Sims 5 on, it seems a safe bet that at the very least the game will be available on PC and Mac via the Origin store (and maybe Steam).
Although the PlayStation and Xbox versions of The Sims 4 launched more than three years after the PC version, the past few years have seen feature parity (excluding mods) between all platforms and packs being released on the same day for everyone, suggesting that the console versions are being taken more seriously than before.
So with that in mind, we would be surprised if console players had to wait for an extra three years for The Sims 5.
A Nintendo Switch version of The Sims 5 would be highly-requested. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee given EA’s comparative lack of support for the console. Even if we were fortunate to hear about something for the Switch, it could be a watered-down version.
In 2019, EA CEO Andrew Wilson addressed The Sims 4‘s absence on the Switch during an earnings call, saying: “I wouldn’t say that The Sims would never go to the Switch, but I think we’re doing really, really well attracting Sims players [to other platforms].”
The Sims 5 multiplayer: Is it confirmed?
One of the big questions about The Sims 5 is will it be multiplayer. It’s quite a contentious issue, to say the least. The franchise is known for being a single-player experience, and original plans for The Sims 4 to be a multiplayer title were not received well by the fanbase before a U-turn happened.
The early signs point to The Sims 5 having multiplayer aspects, but it’s unclear to what extent.
In April 2021, EA executive Laura Miele told VentureBeat that its ambition was “for people to be able to play with life together”, citing 2002’s The Sims Online as being “ahead of our time” 20 years ago and adding: “As we think about the next generation of The Sims, it’s super important for us to have the best tools, the most flexibility, and for players to really expand on their creativity [and] remix items and objects in the world.
“And then to do that together. I think that’s one of our biggest opportunities with The Sims – the social connection component that we need to bring to this brand and this franchise.”
If we were to speculate here, Simmers might be given more tools to collaborate with others when it comes to user-generated content. There might even be a feature that allows Simmers to create and build in a shared world with other players. That’s just a guess, though.
In 2020, EA CEO Andrew Wilson also referenced The Sims Online, and suggested that “social interaction and competition” could play a significant part in the next game while sticking to the roots of the franchise.
He said during an earnings call: “As Maxis continues to think about The Sims for a new generation across platforms and a cloud-enabled world, you should imagine that while we will always stay true to our inspiration, escape, creation, self-improvement motivation, that this notion of social interaction and competition – like the kind of things that were actually present in The Sims Online many years ago – will start to become part of the ongoing The Sims experience in the years to come.”
That’s not to say the storytelling aspects are being neglected for The Sims 5. Last year, SimsCommunity.info spotted that EA was hiring developers specialising in narrative.
The Sims 5 rumours: What else will be in The Sims 5?
The Sims 4 has made significant improvements over its lifespan when it comes to diversity and inclusion, from implementing customisable pronouns and asexual and aromantic Sims to adding a greater variety of darker skin tones, Black hairstyles, and East Asian eye presets.
An increased number of clothes, build items, and foods representing different cultures have been added over time, while the High School Years expansion takes a step in representing neurodiversity with the Socially Awkward trait.
The franchise’s marketing in recent years has honed in on the ‘Play with Life’ branding, so we can expect The Sims 5 to continue in this direction and be more inclusive from the beginning.
As an example, the team has previously been transparent about technical limitations preventing them from having ‘mechanically’ non-binary Sims. This is something that will surely be addressed when building the next game from scratch.
Disability representation is an area that is lacking in The Sims 4. In October 2021, the team responded to a petition by saying that mobility items were “at the top of our minds” and “at the top of our list”. There’s been little talk about them since then, but we hope we’ll see something at some point.
Aside from diversity and inclusion, one common request for The Sims 4 from players is cars. In March 2021, the team acknowledged the request, elaborating in an Inside Maxis stream: “To bring new content into the game, it involves many, many processes. We have to take important steps that are a part of the game development process and often that takes a lot of time.
“Sometimes there’s also foundational technology that we need to work on, and sometimes we have to dig into the designs very deeply to make these things happen.”
It’s unclear what the chances are of cars coming to The Sims 4, but the high demand will have also filtered down those working on The Sims 5. So there’s hope yet.
Some fans have also been calling for open worlds to return to the franchise for The Sims 5, but that’s something that can’t be predicted at this time, as nobody knows whether or not that would fit with the core design of the next game.
The Sims 5 trailer: When can I watch it?
Given that The Sims 5 hasn’t been unveiled yet (the people at EA are still referring to it as the franchise’s “next-generation” game), it’s probably not surprising that there isn’t a trailer or logo yet.
There aren’t many notable gaming events left this year to drop a major announcement, and it doesn’t sound like the developers are ready to show anything anyway for the time being – so we might be looking at 2023 at the earliest for anything official on that front.
When something does drop, we will update this page.
In the meantime, if you’re itching for new Sims 4 content, you can check out the teen-focused High School Years expansion or the terrific Werewolves pack.
The Sims 4 is available on PC, Mac, PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.