With rumors that EA could be revealing The Sims 5 in the coming weeks, the publisher has gone ahead and announced plans to make The Sims 4 free for everyone in the coming weeks. The latest in EA’s long-running social simulation series will be free-to-play beginning October 18. You’ll be able to download it for free on PC via EA app or Origin, Mac, Steam, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One.
The Sims 4 was released back in 2014. It actually received mixed reviews upon launch as many criticized the game for its lack of features and missing content compared to previous titles in the series. However, through numerous post-launch patches, EA added tons of player-requested content such as pools, toddler Sim life stage, gender customization in Create-a-Sim and much more.
Of course, there was also the release of the usual paid downloadable content packs and expansion packs. These packs typically revolved around a core theme and added new features, objects, and more. Since launch, there have been 12 expansion packs released for The Sims 4. The latest was High School Years, which arrived this past summer and focused on a high school experience for teen Sims.
It’s worth noting that only The Sims 4 base game will be available for free. Players will still have to purchase the expansion and stuff packs if they want all this extra content. While The Sims 4 is enjoyable as a base game experience, especially with all the free patches that have been released, the expansions definitely liven the overall gameplay.
EA Play and EA Play Pro members will have access to member-only bundles of The Sims that actually include some of the expansions. The Sims 4 EA Play Edition will include the Get To Work Expansion Pack, while the EA Play Pro Edition will include that as well as the Toddler Stuff Pack.
As a thank you to those who previously purchased The Sims 4, you’ll get the Desert Luxe Kit as a gift. This is a set of luxurious indoor and outdoor furniture inspired by the natural landscape of the Southwestern desert.
Although rumors of The Sims 5 are ramping up, EA has reiterated its commitment to expanding upon The Sims 4. The developer promised to continue developing new packs, kits and Sims Delivery Express drops. None of this, however, should impact work on The Sims 5, should it be in development right now.
This is honestly a brilliant strategy for EA. Make The Sims 4 free-to-play to boost the player base and generate some extra income by selling cosmetics. This helps buy time for the development of the new game, which is probably still a bit away.