When we think about EA, we’re usually split between a few different major properties: their sports titles, their Star Wars offerings, Battlefield, Apex Legends and everything in BioWare’s catalogue. And yet one popular EA franchise doesn’t come up much at all in recent years, The Sims, other than regular, quiet content drops for current players.
Well, EA is talking about it now. A bit.
EA’s Andrew Wilson was asked about a potential relaunch of something like The Sims Online during their recent earnings call, and he had far more to say about it than I would have predicted, given that there’s nothing official announced about the game.
Here’s the most relevant bit of his answer:
“As Maxis continues to think about The Sims for a new generation – cross-platforms and a cloud of a neighborhood world, you should imagine while we will always stay true to our inspiration, escape, creation, self-improvement, motivations – that this notion of social interactions and competition like the kind of things that were actually present in The Sims Online many many years ago – that they will start to become a part of The Sims experience in the years to come.
We are very excited. This is a game that really doesn’t have any competition in its category for delivering and fulfilling these motivations for players and we think of the tremendous growth opportunities for us for many many years to come.”
There’s a lot of talk about the coming “Metaverse,” a shared online social space that is larger than anything in existence now. Fortnite seems to be making moves in that direction, but hearing Wilson talk about The Sims for a “new generation,” it’s easy to see some similarities there, how offline and online worlds could be married to create something new and larger than we’ve ever seen from the series before, whether that’s The Sims 5, The Sims Online 2 or some combination of them both.
Cross-platform and cloud-based says to me that a future version of The Sims would likely span, PS5, Xbox Series X, PC and even mobile, and maybe something like the Switch if EA ever decides to develop for that. I think Wilson is right that The Sims really does not have a direct competitor in the space it occupies, and I think it needs to capitalize on that before say, Fortnite comes and eats its lunch. The Sims community is much larger than you’d imagine and very loyal to the franchise. I would be surprised if what Wilson is talking about here doesn’t end up being a fairly significant undertaking for EA as we move into next-gen, and that The Sims could end up being bigger than we’ve ever seen it as a result.