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Upcoming The Sims game Project Rene will be free-to-play

EA explains DLC-centric business model, says The Sims 4 will continue to receive new content

The next entry in The Sims series, codenamed Project Rene, will be available to play without a core game purchase or subscription at launch.

During a Behind The Sims Community update, VP of franchise creative Lyndsay Pearson said the game will add "new experiences and content" for users over time, using a slightly different model compared to the current types of DLC in The Sims 4.

If the base game were to have weather, for example, players would pay for optional extras related to seasonal activities. "Building this way means that down the line, we could use wind, rain, or clouds for other pack themes as well," Pearson said.

She added: "It's a little early to know exactly where we'll draw the lines, but it's important for us to lower those barriers to play and give everyone the broadest shared systems because that feels like the best foundation to grow from."

Pearson clarified that Project Rene and The Sims 4 will "continue to exist side by side," with more content coming to The Sims 4 "for the foreseeable future."

Project Rene will also feature "a lot of phases of development," including closed invites, small public tests, and large-scale early access.

Last October, The Sims 4 became free-to-play eight years after launching in 2014. While the base game is free, purchasing all available DLC costs over $1000.

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Sophie McEvoy avatar

Sophie McEvoy

Staff Writer

Sophie McEvoy is a Staff Writer at GamesIndustry.biz. She is based in Hampshire and has been a gaming & entertainment journalist since 2018.