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Project Rene: Maxis Shares Early Plans for Sims 5 Content Releases

Project Rene The Sims 5

EA has revealed their content strategy for Project Rene.

The Sims 5 Prototype Scene
Prototype Scene in Project Rene

Exciting things are happening in the world of The Sims lately! Namely, Project Rene, which we are calling The Sims 5 until Project Rene gets an official title. An interview with Mersea and Lyndsay Pearson from the latest Behind The Sims episode went over a lot of exciting details about the next generation Sims game, including an early plan for how future content releases for The Sims 5 will be handled.

Behind The Sims Transcript

We have the full transcript of that interview right here, so you can read exactly what was said word-for-word yourself. Lyndsay shared a lot of very big news about the upcoming Sims game and assured avid lovers of The Sims 4 that Project Rene is not planned to be a replacement for The Sims 4. The two games will co-exist side-by-side and both will receive regular content alongside each other for the foreseeable future.

Also, did we mention the next Sims game will be free to download?! This may not be too surprising, given that The Sims 4 base game is now free to play; however, this information does mark a pretty big shift in the way Maxis and EA are planning to market and sell future releases.


MERSEA: Okay, I’m super excited to have The Sims™ Queen Mother herself, Lyndsay Pearson, back today to chat with me about Project Rene and the future of The Sims™. Sul Sul, Lyndsay.

LYNDSAY: Hey, Mersea. I am very excited to be here today. And Sul Sul to our community. I am thrilled to be back and sharing what we are working on. I think it’s a really good time to be playing The Sims™.

MERSEA: 100%. Maybe it’s just the way I play, but my game really hits different each time. Can you tell us more about how your experience over the years is shaping and setting the stage for Project Rene?

LYNDSAY: Yeah, over the years, you’ve seen us introduce so many versions of Sims experiences, from The Sims™ to The Sims™ Online, The Sims™ Castaway, The Sims™ Medieval, Urbz. We’re always looking for ways to bring The Sims™ to more players and keep that charming character and creation center at the heart of what we make. What must we preserve to make this still a Sims game. And what can we do in this game that we couldn’t do before.

MERSEA: Right. During the last episode of Behind The Sims™, the team shared a look at a whole lot of work in progress with Project Rene. Is that how you’re trying to find that new vibe?

LYNDSAY: Exactly. And with Project Rene, we want to do things from the start that The Sims™ hasn’t ever done and try to do familiar things in a new way. Project Rene will be a new way to play The Sims™. Now, we’ve shared a few of those differences that we’re already exploring, such as the ability to play with friends and across devices, and we can’t wait to show you more of the gameplay itself. And I’m really excited to be building this new and different approach.

Project Rene and The Sims™ 4 are going to continue to exist side by side. We plan to support both at the same time, and we’re going to continue to bring even more exciting content to The Sims™ 4 for the foreseeable future.

MERSEA: Don’t get me wrong. I’m super invested in my Sims 4 storylines, but thinking about the different opportunities we’ve seen in like The Sims™ Castaway and Urbz which, by the way, one of my absolute favorites, it just makes me excited to think about how I’ll pop into Project Rene to play with friends.

LYNDSAY: We want to make it super easy for your friends to come and join you. We’ll actually have more to share about what multiplayer will look like in Project Rene in the year ahead, but I want to talk about one way specifically that we’re going to make it as easy as possible to join.

We intend for Project Rene to be free to download, and that means that when it’s ready and fully open to our players, you’ll be able to join and play and explore Project Rene without a subscription, without core game purchase or energy mechanics. We want it to be easy for you to invite or join with a friend, and that means extending an open invitation for everyone to play.

MERSEA: Really? Bombastic side eye?

LYNDSAY: We’re developing this game in a different way, and we’re bringing everyone along with us, and that means a lot of different phases of development, which can include everything from closed invites and small public tests to large-scale early access options. And yes, when Project Rene is ready, it’ll be available to download for free.

MERSEA: What does that mean for content in the game, like updates?

LYNDSAY: We want to focus on building something strong and cohesive from the start. It definitely won’t start with everything you have in The Sims™ 4, but we’re going to add new experiences and content to Project Rene over time.

MERSEA: Okay, so what might that look like? We talking DLC, packs?

LYNDSAY: Well, beyond regular updates to the core game, we will sell content and packs, but we want to change that mix a little bit. Let me give you a theoretical example. In The Sims™ 4, the only way to experience any weather was if you purchased Seasons. Now, in Project Rene, we might introduce basic weather to the core game for free for everybody. And then a pack for purchase might be focused on winter sports and could include activities like ice dancing or a snowman-building competition.

Building this way means that down the line, we could use wind or rain or clouds for other pack themes as well. Now, 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.

MERSEA: That’s really interesting. I will definitely need to think about this some more and I’ll need to review this all again on The Sims™ Newsroom. Shout out to that team for the recap.

LYNDSAY: As we shared last time, we’re still exploring a lot of different ideas and we haven’t settled on all the details of everything, but it’s important for us to keep sharing. Stay tuned for more updates as we go. But for now, how about a quick summary? Project Rene and other Sims games, including The Sims™ 4, will coexist for the foreseeable future. It means Project Rene is not setting out to replace your current awesome Sims experiences. And because we want everyone to join The Sims™ party when it’s ready, Project Rene will be free to download.

MERSEA: Thank you so much for your time, Queen Mother. I can’t wait to keep learning more about Project Rene, so know that you are always welcomed on our couch.

LYNDSAY: Thank you, Mersea. Pleasure to be here.

Behind The Sims, Episode 3

Current Official Game Description of Project Rene

Project Rene
Early Prototype Scene of Project Rene

Let’s take a look at the current official game description for Project Rene. Of course, it’s still early days of development so the most comprehensive game description currently available is in the form of job postings for the game. However, the job descriptions give a lot of insight into what’s being worked on and planned.

The job listing for a Senior Character Artist is particularly interesting, describing some of the things players will be able to do in Project Rene when it launches. Play across mobile devices and computers, multiplayer, Sim and furniture customisation, and apartment design are all mentioned in the listing.

In this role you will be part of the Project Rene team building out the next generation game and creative platform. Project Rene is a Mobile + HD cross-platform that allows players to play The Sims alone or with friends, without barriers, for the first time ever. Explore the dramatic lives of your Sims in the most accessible, dynamic Simulation to date. Players can create characters, customize furniture, design apartments, and more using accessible tools. We’re excited you’re interested to learn more about how you can join our team and dream big.

EA Job Listing for Senior Character Artist

Project Rene Early Screens

Behind The Sims  PROJECT RENE INFANTS  MORE 7 50 screenshot
Early Development of Project Rene

Earlier in the year, previous Behind The Sims events showed off more early development footage of Project Rene. We got a behind the scenes look at things the team were exploring and ways in which players will be able to customise aspects of this new Sims game in new and intuitive ways.

Of course, all footage of The Sims 5 right now is very early stages of development so expect things to change as the game gets further along in development but being able to get a glimpse of what’s happening with The Sims 5 is a big deal for fans of the series. We’ve rarely gotten such an early look at ongoing projects in The Sims series before and it’s exciting to be able to follow the progress from the stat of the project all the way to the finished product.

However, one risk involved in being so transparent about the next generation Sims game is leaks. The future Sims game has already had its fair share of them, with multiple screens being leaked from the playtest group.

If you want to stay up-to-date on all the news regarding the next generation Sims game, make sure you bookmark our Sims 5 News category!

About the author


A cranky old lady who prefers the company of cats and Sims over people. Occasionally peeks out from her lair long enough to chuck Sims articles at innocent bystanders.

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