- The Sims 5 developers are interested in adding multiplayer features to the game, but they want to create small-scale, optional interactions between friends, rather than a big, scary multiplayer experience with strangers.
- The idea of inviting other players to visit custom worlds, similar to Animal Crossing: New Horizons, is a possible approach for multiplayer in The Sims 5, but the exact form of these features has not been decided yet.
- The possibility of multiplayer in The Sims 5 may be exciting for some fans, but it is also a point of contention within the Sims community, as some worry that it could diminish the quality of the traditional single-player experience.
One of the creative leads working on The Sims 5 has confirmed in an interview that the developers are interested in adding multiplayer features to the game, which is still in the early stages of development. Fans of the Sims franchise have been eagerly awaiting a new entry in the series for many years, with the last major release being The Sims 4 back in 2014.
The history of multiplayer functionality in the Sims franchise extends back to the ill-fated experiment of The Sims Online, released in 2002 and quietly shut down due to a lack of players in 2008. In the nearly two decades since, Maxis has developed The Sims as a solely single-player franchise, although some ambitious fans have attempted to add multiplayer functionality to the games via mods. Multiplayer mods for The Sims 3 and The Sims 4 have generally been popular, but the Sims community remains divided on whether multiplayer features should be a core part of the series.
In a recent interview with Radio Times, the Creative Vice President for the Sims franchise, Lyndsay Pearson, said that she and her team “definitely want to include multiplayer” in The Sims 5. Pearson was quick to clarify that the team was not interested in “multiplayer in the big, scary ‘jump in a world full of strangers’ kind of way,” but instead more small-scale, optional interactions between friends. She cited the incredible fan creations in Animal Crossing: New Horizons as a major source of inspiration, calling the game “a good example of my little space, my little island, but I can invite you over.”
Pearson went on to describe many more possible sources of inspiration for the planned multiplayer features in The Sims 5, emphasizing that the team has not yet decided what exact form these features and systems might ultimately take. The possibility of inviting other players to visit one’s custom world New Horizon-style is a likely approach, but Pearson said that her team was also considering some sort of social deduction gameplay inspired by the complex social dynamics in Among Us and games like it.
“We definitely want to introduce multiplayer, and not multiplayer in the big, scary ‘jump in a world full of strangers’ kind of way. But literally, hey, do you and your friends want to play together?”
The confirmation that The Sims 5 will include some degree of multiplayer functionality will be welcome news for many in the Sims community, but it may be a cause for concern among others. Multiplayer is one of many points of contention dividing the community, as is the rumor that The Sims 5 will be free to play at launch. Many fans are worried that an emphasis on multiplayer could diminish the quality of the single-player experience that has always formed the core of the franchise.
The Sims 4 is the latest offering from Maxis and The Sims Studio, serving as a sequel to The Sims 3. Although it was released back in 2014, the game is still going strong today thanks to an array of DLC add-on packs that give players access to more unlockable items and events.
- The Sims
- PS4, Xbox One, PC
- September 2, 2014