Written by 5:10 pm Game News, PC Games, Review

Sims 5 release date estimate, Project Rene, gameplay, and wishlist

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When is the Project Rene release date? After years of waiting, EA has officially unveiled the working title for its next-gen Sims game: Project Rene. Details surrounding ‘The Sims 5’ are emerging from Electronic Arts creator summits and community news, so here’s everything we know so far.

We’ve been playing The Sims 5‘s predecessor for eight years now, and while the life sim is kept fresh by Sims 4 cheats, CC packs and even sex mods, we’re desperate to see a sequel to one of the best PC games to date. Consequently, we’ve got all the latest on the prospective Sims 5 release date following the reveal of Project Rene – which is effectively a super early access version of its next Sims experience.

The Sims 5 release date estimation

Following a developer update in January 2024, claiming that “we’re still years out from the launch of Project Rene”, we wouldn’t expect to see the Sims 5 release date falling before at least 2026.

EA recently completed its first Project Rene playtest, showing the game in its current state to just a few select people. Revealing more in the January update, the Sims team confirms that there is still a long way to go, but the the playtest was a success, exploring PC and mobile compatibility, including cross progression, and new furniture customization.

EA intends for The Sims 5 to reflect a changing market and include players as a part of its development journey, so we’re pretty sure there will be a number of more public alphas and betas over the coming years. A final, packaged release date, however, is still years away.

Still, if you want to get updates on the project, which may include getting to test it early, then EA is urging players to sign up for updates via the game’s official site. We also sat down with EA’s Lyndsay Pearson for a Sims 5 Project Rene interview to get a sense of where the series is heading. There’s even been some rumors of Sims 5 cloud integration following the Project Rene playtest.

The Sims 3 and The Sims 4 were both released in the summer, with all four mainline games in the series so far being released around five years apart. Since we’ve long since left the five-year mark behind, there’s no real way to guess which year we might see a Sims 5 release. Unless EA has one of the best-kept secrets in gaming under their belts, perhaps a Summer 2024 release date at the earliest is the very best we could hope for.

The Sims 5 release date: a top-down view of furniture placement in Project Rene

Sims 5 gameplay

We’ve been offered a small insight into some of the major gameplay changes coming to the next Sims game through the Behind the Sims summit, as well as the Behind the Sims community videos.

The first big change is that furniture – whether that’s big pieces like rugs and sofas, or small things like pillows, throws, and ornaments – can be placed any way you want it to be. At a slant, on their side, tilted, overlapped: you can switch it all up to create your perfect softly furnished snug. Individual pieces of furniture can also be customized far beyond the color and pattern. An example of a bed shows multiple options for the headboard, footer, and duvet.

The other core component of the quick demo was Project Rene’s sharing mechanics. If you spend hours organizing a perfect little lounge setup, painstakingly arranging throws, cushions, lighting, and plants, then you can gather up the whole collection and save it, before sharing it online.

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Sims 5 mobile and multiplayer

In the first episode of the Behind The Sims community series, game director Grant Rodiek confirmed that Project Rene playtests are now underway, and that the life game is set to release on both PC and mobile. While these versions will be compatible with one another, it seems that they aren’t identical. Effectively, the PC version will be designed for deep dives, allowing you to utilize Project Rene’s full suite of customization features, while the mobile version is more lightweight in nature, allowing players to continue that process on the go.

Rodiek also confirmed that Project Rene is introducing multiplayer game elements to The Sims for the first time. While Project Rene is categorically not a new MMO, it will be possible to invite friends to play alongside you – though whether this is possible on both PC and mobile remains to be seen.

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Sims 5 monetization

Lyndsay Pearson confirmed that the Sims 5 would be free to download upon release during a brief interview in the third episode of Behind the Sims. “We’re always looking for ways to bring The Sims to more players,” Pearson said, explaining that keeping the Sims 5 as a free PC game is an open invitation for everyone to play. 

While EA has already lowered the barrier to entry for the series via the free-to-play base game of the Sims 4, this ongoing commitment leaves us to wonder at the Sims 5’s monetization. Pearson confirmed that the Sims 5 would receive regular updates to the core version of the game, but we can also expect additional DLC packs available for purchase as well.

“In the Sims 4, the only way to experience any weather was if you purchase Seasons. In Project Rene we might introduce basic weather to the core game for free,” Pearson clarified. “A pack for purchase might be focused on winter sports.”

Pearson also confirmed that Project Rene and the Sims 4 will exist side-by-side, so you won’t lose access to Sims 4 and all the content you might have purchased over the years.

Sims 5 wishlist

The Sims 5 open world

Return to a full open world

The decision to do away with the seamless open-world design of The Sims 3’s towns for the Sims 4 is one we’re still feeling a little sour about. Having to sit through a loading screen whenever you leave your lot is exhausting, so even though the neighborhoods boast more variety in terms of buildings and things to do, they also feel fragmented and false. Let us pop over to our neighbors for some woohoo, take a stroll in the park, or head out for drinks all in one session, please.

Sims 5 romance options

More relationship options

Relationships are messy, chaotic, organic, and ever-changing things in real life. Whether monogamous, polyamorous, open, long-distance, casual, or asexual, romance is a far more diverse concept than The Sims has historically supported. While The Sims 4 does now have greater options regarding sexual orientation, this was only updated in July 2022, eight years after the game’s initial release and a bit too little too late. The Sims 5 should support as much of this spectrum as possible from the word go, alongside other inclusivity and diversity options. It’d be nice to bring back dating preferences too, let us select the kinds of things that get our Sims in the mood for a bit of woohoo.

The Sims 5 memories

The return of memories

Memories is a great system that helps to make your Sims feel alive. They’re also a little bare-bones in The Sims 4. The Sims 2 felt like it had a far better system in place for this, where any pre-made Sims had their own backstories and motivations. You can make memories in Sims 4 using screenshots, but we’d like to see the full memory system brought back for The Sims 5.

The Sims 5 varied stairs customisation

Better home customization

More specifically, stairs. Stairs come in all shapes and sizes. You know that, we know that, but The Sims 4 doesn’t know that, and it’s incredibly annoying – it’s about time we got some fancy spiral staircases in this game. Imagine how many more options it would open up when designing a home, and how difficult it will make moving furniture between floors. It’s the kind of thing that should really already be there, but we can wait until The Sims 5 comes out.

The Sims 5 more detailed ageing

More granular ageing

The life stages of The Sims 4 aren’t bad; it goes baby, toddler, child, teen, young adult, adult, elder… and, er, deceased. Regardless, this isn’t exactly a comprehensive list of the ages we go through. There’s a lot more nuance to ageing, which is something that you’ve probably been aware of at some point. For example, toddlers come in various forms, like one-and-a-half-year olds, who are like tiny happy drunk people, or two-year-olds, who are conduits of chaos and pain. It’s also a little frustrating that your Sims age instantly, so you can have a young adult one day, and a proper grown-up the next day – where is the horrific transition period?

The Sims 5 improved babies and toddlers

Better babies and toddlers

One way Maxis could easily tell what players want to see in The Sims 5 is by taking a dive into the massive pool of Sims 4 mods, and one mod that remains popular year after year is Better Babies and Toddlers. For such an important milestone in your Sims’ lives, having a baby, and the babies themselves, still don’t seem very well developed, even after all these years. Like we touched upon above, there could be more detail and variation in baby and toddler behaviors, as well as more varied moods for parents.

The Sims 5 zodiac signs

Zodiac signs

Back in The Sims and The Sims 2, sims were given zodiac signs upon creation, which affected their personalities and relationships. While this could have a detrimental impact on the level of customization, some players want to see the zodiac system return, perhaps as an optional mechanic. Turn zodiac signs on if you want them, but off if you want complete control of your Sim’s behavior.

Sims 5 nutrition

Nutrition should matter more

Now, this is a wild concept, but what if you could use a game to inform real life? Wild stuff, but it’s actually a pretty decent way to teach new things. It’s fairly common knowledge that most people don’t really know enough about nutrition. You may or may not know what a macronutrient is, and whether or not you’re getting the right balance of them – well done you – but not everyone does.

The Sims 5 could include a really robust nutrition system, one where if you go without fruit, you develop scurvy, or if you eat too much meat, you could develop high cholesterol. It would make the game more involved during activities that are generally considered chores, but it’s also a good chance to teach people how to eat. Plus, you can create new character types, like the gym bunny.

So there are just a few things we’d like to see in The Sims 5, and we’ll keep dreaming until the release date is announced. We’ve also got some thoughts on the Sims 5 mods and cheats we’d love to make an appearance once it’s finally out in the wild. In the meantime, be sure to check out our best games like Sims on PC, and our guide on the best expansion packs. The Sims 4 was criticized at launch for its lack of content compared to its predecessors, so we recommend picking out the expansion packs that provide you with the best value for your money.