The internet is drowning in infinite sadness as EA recently announced that The Sims 4 will be lacking several key features, namely toddlers and pools. The main reason the developers have given for this glaring oversight? New and improved technology: “a new AI system, new animation system, new audio positioning tools, new locomotion logic, new routing intelligence” and more are all cited as examples of why we won’t be able to swim or prevent younglings from bounding into chest-high cupboards. These improvements require development time – time taken away from other, equally desirable features.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for improved engines and more expressive and emotional Sims. But let’s get real here for a minute – don’t think for a second that this stuff isn’t in the works. It’ll definitely come later – you’ll just be paying for it in expansion packs.
Since its inception over a decade ago, The Sims has churned out content pack after content pack. Some of them fairly meaty, adding things like night clubs, pets, or even college life. Others are basically a handful of branded clothes sold at a premium. Each one is sold as an addition to the main experience, enhancing and improving the base game, but all this comes at a cost. This is EA we’re talking about. If they knew how to get blood from a stone, they’d charge it ten bucks for the privilege.
I have little doubt that The Sims 4 will be a fine, fully-featured product worthy of The Sims name. But mark my words: we’ll get our toddlers and pools, but they certainly won’t be free.