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The Sims 4

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The Sims 4
The Sims 4 Box Art.png
Original box art
Developer(s)Maxis[a]
Publisher(s)Electronic Arts
Producer(s)
  • Kevin Gibson
  • Grant Rodiek
  • Ryan Michael Vaughan
Designer(s)
  • Eric Holmberg-Weidler
  • Matt Yang
Artist(s)
  • Magnus Hollmo
  • Samantha Miceli
  • Steven Ross
Writer(s)Danielle von Mayrhauser
Composer(s)Ilan Eshkeri
SeriesThe Sims
Platform(s)
ReleaseMicrosoft Windows
  • NA: September 2, 2014
  • AU: September 4, 2014
  • EU: September 4, 2014
  • UK: September 5, 2014
macOS
  • WW: February 17, 2015
PlayStation 4, Xbox One
  • WW: November 14, 2017
Genre(s)Simulation
Mode(s)Single-player

The Sims 4 is a 2014 life simulation video game developed by the Redwood Shores studio of Maxis and published by Electronic Arts. It is the fourth major title in The Sims series and was originally announced on May 6, 2013. It was released in North America on September 2, 2014, for Microsoft Windows.[1] A Mac-compatible version of the game was released on February 17, 2015.[2] The Sims 4 is the first PC game to top all-format charts in two years.[3] The game has received mixed reviews since its release, with the majority of criticism directed towards its lack of content.[4]

Ten expansion packs have been released. The most recent is Snowy Escape, which was released on November 13, 2020. There have also been seventeen "stuff packs" and nine "game packs" released for this generation, as well as free updates that include major changes such as the addition of a toddler life stage.

Gameplay[edit]

The Sims 4 is a life simulation game, similar to its predecessors. Players create a Sim character and control their life to explore different personalities which change the way the game plays out. Sims can multitask. Sims' moodlets change the gameplay by influencing the Sims' emotional state, introducing new interaction options.[5][6][7]

Similar to previous Sims games, player-created challenges abound. One of the most prevalent is the Legacy Challenge, in which players create a single Sim and try to make its family line last for ten generations.[8]

Create a Sim[edit]

One major change to Create a Sim functionality is that sliders have been replaced by direct mouse manipulation. By clicking, dragging, and pulling with the mouse, players may directly manipulate the facial features of a Sim. Players can directly manipulate any body part including the abdomen, chest, legs, arms and feet. In previous Sims games, only the fitness and fatness can be manipulated on a Sim's body; however, fitness and fatness levels may still be adjusted in The Sims 4 with sliders as in previous games. The base game comes with over 40 hairstyles for both male and female Sims. There are up to 18 hair color options per hairstyle. Selections of premade designs of Sims are available to choose from, and range in body shape and ethnicity.

Seven life stages are available including baby, toddler, child, teenager, young adult, adult and elder. The baby life stage is accessible only through the birth of a Sim and not available in Create a Sim. Toddlers were initially absent from the original game release, but were added in the January 2017 patch.[9][10]

Each Sim has three personality traits and an aspiration containing its own hidden trait.

Compared to previous Sims games where everyday, formal, sleepwear, athletic, party and swimwear outfits were restricted to having their own clothing options, all clothing options are available across all outfits and players are allowed up to 5 outfits per category. There is a filter panel where clothing options can be sorted by color, material, outfit category, fashion choice, style, content and packs.

In a summer 2016 update, gender options were expanded in the game, allowing any gender expression. With this update, haircuts and outfits can be worn by any Sim of any gender, and pregnancy can become a possibility regardless of the gender.[11][12]

Build/Buy mode[edit]

In The Sims 4, build and buy modes have been combined and are treated as a single feature.[13]

A detailed build-and-buy system is included along with neighborhoods and landscaping. Some locked buy mode items may be unlocked through the progression of career levels. Entire buildings and rooms can be moved across a lot. There is a search option to search for build and buy mode options. There are premade rooms that can be placed instantly. Wall heights can be adjusted. There is a pool tool feature with triangular, square and octagonal pool tools. There are build mode cheat codes such as "motherlode", which enables the player to automatically gain §50,000 (Simoleons) added to a Sim's household.[14]

The Gallery[edit]

The Sims 4 includes social features, such as importing Sims, lots, and rooms other players have made from The Gallery. Players may publish their creations into The Gallery for other players to download into their game instantly.[15]

On January 9, 2015, EA released a version of The Gallery for iOS and Android devices.[16]

Worlds[edit]

The Sims 4 originally shipped with two worlds: Willow Creek and Oasis Springs. Both worlds contain five neighborhoods and a total of 21 lots. With the release of Outdoor Retreat and Jungle Adventure, the worlds Granite Falls and Selvadorada, respectively, became available for visiting on outdoor vacations. Newcrest became available with a free update, having three neighborhoods with five empty lots in each, for a total of 15 lots.[17] Magnolia Promenade came with the Get to Work expansion pack, and Windenburg was introduced in the Get Together expansion pack.[18] The City Living expansion pack, released in November 2016, introduced the new city of San Myshuno.[19] The Vampires game pack added the neighborhood Forgotten Hollow.[20] In November 2017, the seaside town of Brindleton Bay was added in the Cats and Dogs expansion pack.[21][22] In November 2018, the town of Del Sol Valley was added with the Get Famous expansion pack.[23][24] In February 2019, the desert town of Strangerville was added with the release of the Strangerville game pack.[25] In June 2019, the Island Living expansion pack introduced a new tropical-island-based world, Sulani. In September 2019, the world of Glimmerbrook and its magic realm counterpart (which is accessed via portal) were included with the release of the Realm of Magic game pack.[26] In November 2019, the college town of Britechester was released with the Discover University expansion pack.[27] In June 2020, the industrial world of Evergreen Harbour was included in the Eco Lifestyle expansion pack.[28] The visitable world of Batuu, based entirely on the Star Wars franchise, and where Sims could vacation indefinitely, was introduced in the Star Wars: Journey to Batuu game pack in September 2020.

Development[edit]

The Sims 4 is a single-player game[29] and does not require a constant Internet connection to play. Players need an Origin account and internet access during the initial installation process for game activation.[30] Ilan Eshkeri serves as the composer for the game's orchestral soundtrack, which was recorded at Abbey Road Studios and performed by the London Metropolitan Orchestra.[31][32]

On April 25, 2013, several screenshots from mock-up flash videos of the user interface were leaked online.[33] On May 3, 2013, Electronic Arts sent out an e-mail to several fansites stating that there would be a big announcement on May 6, 2013, which many speculated would be The Sims 4.[34]

On August 20, 2013, The Sims 4 was revealed via gameplay demo and release trailer at Gamescom. Previews of the building and character creation systems debuted earlier in 2014. Additional game footage and the release date were revealed at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) on June 9, 2014.[1]

Gameplay was unveiled during Gamescom 2013. Unveiled features focused on the improved Create-a-Sim with an all-new click-and-drag feature, omitting the use of sliders, and the addition of emotions for Sims.[35] Select players called Yibsims who mostly manage fan sites and YouTube videos were invited to Sims Camp to see the game before the public and press. Consequently, the game received minimal coverage outside fansites. Maxis stated the game would run better on lower-end computers than The Sims 3, which was plagued with performance issues.[36]

It was suspected that The Sims 4 was scheduled to be released in early 2014, but it was later revealed to be released September 2, 2014.[1][37]

On May 14, 2014, producer Ryan Vaughan unveiled another Create-a-Sim trailer on The Sims YouTube channel. This included a preview of what the pre-made Sims Bella Goth and Mortimer Goth would look like in The Sims 4.[38] The development team unveiled another trailer on May 28, 2014 that showcased the new Build Mode features. Players can choose between three different wall heights and adjust the location of a window on a wall, as well as be able to move an entire room from one position to another.[39]

EA unveiled another gameplay trailer including more gameplay footage and announced the release date of the game, September 2, 2014, during a press conference at the Electronic Entertainment Expo on June 9, 2014. The Sims 4 was released on September 2 in North America and September 4 in the European Union, Australia and Brazil.[1]

On June 28, 2014, a video was released showing the "originality" of each Sim and their emotions.[40]

In January 2015, Maxis announced Outdoor Retreat, the first paid downloadable content (DLC) for The Sims 4.[41] The DLC focuses on outdoor activities in the national park.

Until mid-2017, there were no plans for a console release; versions of the game for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One were confirmed for release on November 17, 2017.[42][43][44]

In June 2018, it was announced that The Sims 4 will continue to produce new content through 2021.[45]

On September 26, 2018, plans were announced to add mouse and keyboard support to the console versions of the game.[46]

In October 2018, a live stream was held by Maxis Monthly, announcing new features such as terrain manipulation and the Style Influencer career. It was announced that The Sims 4 will be upgraded from Python 3.3.5 to 3.7.0, which will result in script mods that were made before that patch no longer working. Script mods that were made before that patch have to be updated accordingly.[47]

Mac development[edit]

Upon the first announcement, EA stated that The Sims 4 was in development for both Mac and Microsoft Windows, both to be released in 2014; however, closer to the release date, the company stated that they were "focused [on] Windows"[48] and had "no updates on the Mac at this time".[49][50] In October 2014 further information was disclosed suggesting the future release of a Mac version. Vaughn told International Business Times that the team was "working on a Mac version right now."[51] On January 13, 2015, EA confirmed the release of the Mac version to be February 2015.[52] On February 2, they announced via The Sims Twitter feed that the Mac version of The Sims 4 would be released on February 17, 2015.[53][54]

Controversies[edit]

Earlier in the development process, a fan-site interview with a producer had revealed Create-a-Style, a customization feature introduced in the previous The Sims game, would not be added to The Sims 4 in lieu of other features.[55] The developers announced through a series of tweets that the game would ship with a "stripped-down" version of story-progression (a gameplay mechanic controlling neighborhood autonomy), and that basements, grocery stores, and school and work locations would not be featured in the game. While careers and schools would still be featured, they would be represented differently from The Sims 3, more akin to the way they were featured in The Sims 2.[56][57][58]

These announcements sparked criticism among many fans who speculated that the exclusion of arguably core features were intended by the developers or parent company to be left out for later paid content, or in order to make rushed deadlines.[59][60] A petition was launched by some fans to have the features restored for the initial release, even if the release date were to be pushed back.[61]

Maxis contended that it was not possible to include every feature in the new game that had been added over time in the six years The Sims 3 was in development, and that these could always be added at a later date, although they did not confirm exactly how this would be done, or whether it would be free or at a cost.[60] Some speculated that many new features would be released through paid expansion packs, but others speculated that some of the more "basic, core" content (i.e. pools, toddlers) would be released as free patch updates, similar to how some new features were patched free into The Sims 3, such as basement features.[62]

Questioned as to why some features, such as a cupcake machine, were implemented over what many viewed as key gameplay, Maxis and The Sims producer Graham Nardone attributed the sacrifice to time constraints, the workload and distribution of developers (and the comparative lack of available developers to some areas of production to other areas), as well as risk factors.[63]

Maxis and The Sims producer Rachel Rubin Franklin later elaborated in an official blog post, acknowledging the concerns of fans, and explained the issue on the developer's focus on The Sims 4's new core game engine technologies, and that the sacrifices the team had to make were a "hard pill to swallow". Franklin stated new features such as Sim emotions, advanced Sim animation, interaction and behaviors, as well as the new Create-a-Sim and build mode tools as a large part of the reason that detracted focus from features such as swimming pools and the toddler life stage.[64]

On October 1, 2014, Maxis confirmed that one of its missing features (swimming pools), along with other new updates and features, would be added into the game for free in November, and this happened in the form of a game patch.[65][66][67] Other features like basements have later been added in subsequent patches, and the missing "toddler" life stage was eventually added for free in a patch released on January 12, 2017.[9][10]

Since the game's original release date, players have complained about the lack of realistic skin tones for the game, especially relating to darker-skinned Sims. One player named xMiraMira, who was very critical of the issue, took to creating a custom skin tone pack, named the Melanin Pack, to provide a more realistic representation of skin tones. Following Mira's appearance on the reality TV series The Sims Spark'd, which aired from July to August 2020 on TBS, her pack and the lack of realistic skin tones in the game received significant media attention. Following this, Lyndsay Pearson, executive producer and general manager of the game, posted a video on Twitter on August 12, 2020, stating that the development team would fix the visual artifacts of the current skin tones and bring new skin tones into the game in the fall, as well as acknowledging that there would still be more work to be done on this issue.[68]

Controversy also erupted during the announcement of the Star Wars: Journey to Batuu game pack on August 27, 2020. The pack was received very negatively by many players who felt it undermined many features they felt were still missing from the game including cars, bunk beds and spiral staircases, and threatened to boycott the sale of the pack. Some players pointed out that this game pack release was part of EA's roadmap for the game in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic and that EA had worked on it for months, and some stated that it was a contractual obligation given EA's ownership of the Star Wars video game franchise.[69] Pearson addressed the criticism in a series of tweets on September 1, taking responsibility for approving of the Star Wars pack. She also stated that the development team were continuing to work on different projects for the game at the same time and assured players that they were not ignoring their feedback.[70] Pearson further reiterated these sentiments in a blog post on The Sims official website on September 3, stating that the development team were carefully considering how and when to develop and implement the missing features and skintones into the game, and that news on the upcoming tenth expansion pack which they had been working on since 2019 would soon be revealed.[71] On September 23, the development team stated in a blog post on The Sims website that the updates to the existing skin tones would gradually be introduced, beginning from October 6 for higher-end systems, and that at least 100 new skin tone swatches in cool, neutral and warm tones with emphasis darker skin tones as well as sliders for adjusting brightness of skin tones and opacity for make-up would be introduced in December.[72]

Significant patch features[edit]

Significant features added via free game patches
Patch release date Significant features added[73][74]
October 1, 2014 Ghost, a new type of Sim that is an optional addition to the game; Deathflower plant.
November 4, 2014 Swimming pools; various swimwear.
December 16, 2014 Two new active careers: Business and Athletic; paid time off and family leave options.
March 26, 2015 Basements, down to two levels down, and an additional above ground floor, bringing the total floors available to six; notebook feature on the phone, which catalogs a Sim's gardening or fishing discoveries; paint by reference option on the easel.
June 11, 2015 Newcrest, a new world containing fifteen empty lots within three new neighborhoods; Welcome wagon from new neighbors; custom room tool.
July 9, 2015 Half walls; Locked doors; King's and Queen's Door, which allow only just the men or women to pass through it, respectively.
August 6, 2015 A dishwasher is added to the appliances, which needs to be slotted into an existing non-island counter.
September 24, 2015 New trait: Jealous; claiming beds; underground saunas; Resizeable rugs.
November 3, 2015 Returning NPC: Repairman.
December 4, 2015 64-bit executable; new venue type: pool and new option to water color; fire and death reaction systems and new NPC interaction; world maps update.
February 4, 2016 Returning NPC: Gardener; new trait: Kleptomaniac; new aspiration; new build mode content.
April 21, 2016 Returning NPC: Tragic Clown.
June 3, 2016 All Create-a-Sim content is available to both sexes, as well as gender customization.[75]
July 14, 2016 Returning NPC: Nannies; ability to adjust all lights in a room in one go.
September 27, 2016 Mexican Day of the Dead CAS items; a Mexican dish.
October 27, 2016 Copy-and-paste function for build mode; new lot traits.[76]
January 12, 2017 Toddler age group, along with unique toddler traits, skills, outfits, objects and the ability to customize your Sims' teeth (includes the other life stages).[10]
November 11, 2017 Maximum sim count option in gameplay options; Photography available to all players; new roof customization options; objects can be shrunk using the size down cheat.
February 6, 2018 New skin tones.[77]
June 19, 2018 Glass roofs; cold- and hot-weather outfit categories and Swimwear category for toddlers to CAS in preparation for the Seasons Expansion Pack; Revamped gardening skill.[78]
August 16, 2018 Caribbean-inspired content; ceiling fan and sliding doors.
November 13, 2018 New careers: Style Influencer and Self-Employment; first-person camera; terrain tools.[79]
April 16, 2019 New career: Freelancer.
June 18, 2019 Fishing update; part-time jobs for adult; stilt foundations; 350 door color swatches.
July 16, 2019 Updated Create a Sim interface with Create a Sim story mode now available for the creation of new characters.
September 5, 2019 Configurable stairs allowing for them to turn in different directions.
November 12, 2019 Multi-story columns; 4K user interface scaling.
November 25, 2019 Legacy Edition introduced, retaining support for 32-bit versions of Windows as well as Mac OS X Lion.
January 16, 2020 Support for Simplified Chinese.
June 3, 2020 Returning NPCs: Firefighter and Repo Person added from Discover University expansion pack; ladders; free placement of doors and windows; improved inventory and bills.
July 23, 2020 Ability to rename cowplants.
September 3, 2020 Ability to stack windows in the same tile; ability to get married/eloped in Selvadorada and Granite Falls.
October 6, 2020 New Hispanic-themed items and clothing; updates to existing skin tones (uncompressed textures only).
November 10, 2020 Platform tool allowing split-level building; more half walls; sentiments and Sim profiles.
December 7, 2020 100+ new skin tones; new sliders for adjusting make-up and skin colors; new main menu interface.

Marketing and release[edit]

SteelSeries and Electronic Arts announced a series of themed peripherals to promote The Sims 4, including a pair of headphones, a computer mouse that lights up in accordance with Sims' in-game emotional states, and a mousepad featuring a render of various Sim groups.[80]

A demo was released to the public displaying the new Create a Sim partition of the game in which is supplied, free of charge to anyone.[38][81][82][83] TV spots were also produced narrated by actor Charlie Day.

The game was first released on September 2, 2014, in five editions: the standard edition, the Limited Edition, the Digital Deluxe Edition on Origin, the Premium Edition and the Collector's Edition. The Limited Edition adds the Life of the Party additional downloadable content, while the Digital Deluxe Edition also adds the Awesome Animal Hats and Up All Night DLC packs and a digital release of the game's soundtrack. The Premium Edition is a physical release of the Digital Deluxe Edition with a creator's guide book, while the Collector's Edition also contains a USB color-changing PlumbBob by SteelSeries, which changes color depending on the playable Sim's mood. Various bundles combining one expansion pack with two game packs and/or stuff packs or in some cases bundling the core game with an expansion pack have since been occasionally released every few months. On July 30, 2018, EA released a Premier Edition of the game on Origin, which combines the Digital Deluxe Edition with the Dine Out and Kids Room Stuff packs; however, it is exclusive to players who have an Origin Access Premier membership.[84]

In April 2019, EA announced a collaboration between the game and Italian designer Moschino. The collaboration will include a capsule collection featuring pixelated clothing inspired by the game.[85]

From May 21 until May 28, 2019, the game was given away to Origin users for free on PC and Mac.[86]

Ratings[edit]

On May 9, 2014, it was reported that The Sims 4 has been rated "18+ (prohibited for children)" by Russia. This decision was based on the game's portrayal of same-sex relationships contravening the Russian LGBT propaganda law that prohibits portrayal "of non-traditional sexual relationships" to children (see also LGBT rights in Russia).[87][88] Previous entries in The Sims series have routinely been rated as suitable for lower ages; for instance, The Sims 3 was considered suitable for ages 6 and up in Germany, The Sims 4 is suitable for ages 6 and up in Germany as well.[89] In Japan, The Sims 4 is rated CERO "C", ages 15 and up, the same as in South Korea. In many European countries, like Spain, the UK, France, Poland, and the Czech Republic, the game is rated PEGI 12, ages 12 and up.[citation needed]

Expansions and add-ons[edit]

Expansion packs[edit]

Code Name Release date Description
EP01 Get to Work PC:
  • NA: March 31, 2015
  • EU: April 2, 2015
Console:
  • WW: March 20, 2018
The first expansion pack adds three new playable, active careers: Doctor, Detective and Scientist. Get to Work also gives the opportunity to build a retail store and start a business. The expansion pack also adds a new neighborhood called Magnolia Promenade, and planet Sixam, an alien home world, as well as playable alien Sims. It also adds two new skills (Baking and Photography), new objects and clothing.[90]
EP02 Get Together PC:[91]
  • NA: December 8, 2015
  • EU: December 10, 2015
Console:
  • WW: September 11, 2018
Get Together is the second expansion pack for The Sims 4, which was announced on August 5, 2015 at Gamescom. The main new feature of this expansion pack is Clubs. The player can create and join Clubs with distinct interests, personalities, and styles where the player can set the rules, define their look, and customize their hangouts. Furthermore, there are brand new activities such as foosball, darts, Don't Wake The Llama and arcade machine. There are also all new DJ and Dancing skills. This expansion pack features a new world called Windenburg, with scenic neighborhoods and picturesque landmarks, including the sprawling hedge maze at the Von Haunt Estate, the alluring pools along the bluffs, and the mysterious ancient ruins. Other new features include: emotional texts, natural pool colours, new foods and drinks, barista and DJ NPCs, and new Closet WooHoo and Bush WooHoo.
EP03 City Living PC:
  • NA: November 1, 2016
  • EU: November 3, 2016
Console:
  • WW: November 14, 2017
The third expansion pack features a new city called San Myshuno with four unique neighborhoods. City Living introduces new careers reflective of our time including the returning politician career and two new brand new fields never seen in the franchise: social media and critic. The expansion pack focuses on city life and reintroduces apartments into the city, ranging from fixer-uppers to penthouses. There are many new lots and activities for Sims to explore such the Spice Market, Karaoke Bar, Geek Con with video game competitions, the Spice Festival with curry eating contests and a Romance Festival for love-seeking Sims. Apartments will feature lot traits which can be assigned to any lot. The new lot traits are available via patch to players who do not purchase the expansion.[19][92][93]
EP04 Cats & Dogs PC:
  • WW: November 10, 2017
Console:
  • WW: July 31, 2018
The fourth expansion pack introduces creation of pets such as cats, dogs, and items catered to Sims' furry friends (similar to The Sims 2: Pets, The Sims 3: Pets and The Sims: Unleashed). This also allows players to pursue a veterinary career and create their own veterinary practice.[94][95]
EP05 Seasons PC:
  • WW: June 22, 2018
Console:
  • WW: November 13, 2018
The fifth expansion pack introduces new weather and seasons systems similar to the systems found in The Sims 2: Seasons and The Sims 3: Seasons, which allow Sims to experience winter, spring, summer, and fall. The pack also introduces new outfits as well as a new career, the Botanist.[96]
EP06 Get Famous PC:
  • WW: November 16, 2018
Console:
  • WW: February 12, 2019
The sixth expansion pack allows Sims to become famous (similar to The Sims: Superstar) through the addition of an acting active career or a social media influencer. A variety of expensive objects are added to create luxury mansions, in the brand new world of Del Sol Valley.[97]
EP07 Island Living PC:
  • WW: June 21, 2019
Console:
  • WW: July 16, 2019
The seventh expansion pack focuses on Sims living in a tropical paradise world called Sulani (in a similar vein to that of The Sims 3: Island Paradise). Other features include the conservationist, diving, fishing and lifeguard careers, playable mermaids, boats and the island locals.[98][99]
EP08 Discover University PC:
  • WW: November 15, 2019
Console:
  • WW: December 17, 2019
The eighth expansion pack introduces your sims to the life of university (similar to The Sims 2: University and The Sims 3: University Life). There is a new world, Britechester, which has two universities, "University of Britechester" and "Foxbury Institute". It also adds the possibility of riding a bike.
EP09 Eco Lifestyle
  • WW: June 5, 2020
The ninth expansion pack focuses on eco-friendly living and environmental changes. There is a new world, Evergreen Harbor, which is impacted by the environmental choices your Sims make. New objects include solar panels and wind turbines.
EP10 Snowy Escape
  • WW: November 13, 2020
The tenth expansion pack focuses on winter living. There is a new world, Mt. Komorebi. Snow-inspired accessories and activities, such as snowboarding, skiing, sledding, hot springs and sanctuary-building, are also included.

Game packs[edit]

Code Name Release date Description
GP01 Outdoor Retreat PC:
  • WW: January 13, 2015
Console:
  • WW: December 4, 2018
Adds a new world called Granite Falls. Within the new world Sims can vacation outdoors in a national park. This pack also adds a new skill (Herbalism); a new collectable (insects); and several new Sims traits, achievements, aspirations, outfits, objects, and game interactions related to outdoor activities.
GP02 Spa Day PC:
  • WW: July 14, 2015
Console:
  • WW: April 18, 2019
Adds a new building type, the spa. This pack also includes a new skill (Wellness) as well as several new outfits, objects and game interactions related to the typical features in a spa like massages, meditation, mud baths, saunas and yoga.
GP03 Dine Out PC:
  • WW: June 7, 2016
Console:
  • WW: January 8, 2018
Allows Sims to visit restaurants, as well as build and run their own restaurant. Those that own restaurants can experiment with new foods, employ staff and succeed in cooking. This pack also comes with a variety of items in Create a Sim.
GP04 Vampires PC:
  • WW: January 24, 2017
Console:
  • WW: November 14, 2017
Allows Sims to become Vampires with different powers and weaknesses. A new residential world with five lots, Forgotten Hollow, is also introduced. The pack also comes with a new aspiration, new lot traits and numerous CAS and build mode items that fit the darker Vampire theme.
GP05 Parenthood PC:
  • WW: May 30, 2017
Console:
  • WW: June 19, 2018
Allows adult Sims to control and shape their child or teen's life. New features like cursing, acne, school related projects, and many more. Toddlers, children, and teens can now be rebellious to their parents and other siblings. Parents can treat this new behavior by being strict, or they could be nurturing and hope that good things will come.
GP06 Jungle Adventure PC:
  • WW: February 27, 2018
Console:
  • WW: December 4, 2018
Adds a new destination world called Selvadorada. New food, dance moves and music are added. Ancient artifacts and mysterious relics can be excavated and examined.
GP07 StrangerVille PC:
  • WW: February 26, 2019
Console:
  • WW: May 14, 2019
Adds a new residential world named StrangerVille with a mystery to be solved. A new aspiration, build mode items, and CAS items were also included.
GP08 Realm of Magic PC:
  • WW: September 10, 2019
Console:
  • WW: October 15, 2019
Adds two new worlds, Glimmerbrook and the Magical Realm. Adds Spellcasters and magical gameplay as well as Art Nouveau style build mode items and three different styles of Spellcaster CAS items.
GP09 Star Wars: Journey to Batuu
  • WW: September 8, 2020
Adds a new destination world called Batuu with a Star Wars-style storyline. Adds new types of aliens and other Star Wars-inspired outfits, objects and characters.

Stuff packs[edit]

Code Name Release date Description
SP01 Luxury Party Stuff[100] PC:
  • WW: May 19, 2015
Console:
  • WW: December 5, 2017
Includes several luxury party outfits and items, including buffet tables and a table-top cheese/chocolate/drinking fountain.
SP02 Perfect Patio Stuff[101] PC:
  • WW: June 16, 2015
Console:
  • WW: November 17, 2017
Includes patio furniture, including hot tubs, as well as new outfits.
SP03 Cool Kitchen Stuff[102] PC:
  • WW: August 11, 2015
Console:
  • WW: December 5, 2017
Includes kitchen counters, cabinets and appliances, such as an Ice Cream Maker with over 30 different flavors.
SP04 Spooky Stuff[103] PC:
  • WW: September 29, 2015
Console:
  • WW: October 2, 2018
Includes Halloween-related costumes, items including spider webs and a pumpkin carving station, and a new spooky-themed party that Sims can throw.
SP05 Movie Hangout Stuff[104] PC:
  • WW: January 12, 2016
Console:
  • WW: February 19, 2019
Includes Bohemian-styled clothing, home theaters, and items such as the Popcorn Maker.
SP06 Romantic Garden Stuff[105] PC:
  • WW: February 9, 2016
Console:
  • WW: February 6, 2018
Includes garden objects, new outfits, and new gameplay modes.
SP07 Kids Room Stuff PC:
  • WW: June 28, 2016
Console:
  • WW: June 19, 2018
Includes items for children's rooms, including new beds, a puppetry, a new game, and new hair and clothes for children.
SP08 Backyard Stuff PC:
  • WW: July 19, 2016
Console:
  • WW: May 22, 2018
Includes items for the backyard such as slip 'n' slide and bird feeders, and new hair and clothes.
SP09 Vintage Glamour Stuff PC:
  • WW: December 6, 2016
Console:
  • WW: November 14, 2017
Includes vintage style items such as a vanity table, new Old Hollywood inspired clothes and hair and the ability to hire a butler.
SP10 Bowling Night Stuff PC:
  • WW: March 29, 2017
Console:
  • WW: March 12, 2019
Includes items such as bowling lanes allowing players to build their own bowling hangout(s) for their Sims to visit. A new five level bowling skill, new themed clothing items, furniture, wallpapers and floorings are also included.
SP11 Fitness Stuff PC:
  • WW: June 20, 2017
Console:
  • WW: March 12, 2019
Includes new items such as the rock climbing treadmill, workout videos and earbuds. Also included are more fitness apparel.[106]
SP12 Toddler Stuff PC:
  • WW: August 24, 2017
Console:
  • WW: May 22, 2018
Includes new playground equipments for toddlers to use.[107]
SP13 Laundry Day Stuff[108] PC:
  • WW: January 16, 2018
Console:
  • WW: August 14, 2018
Includes new home technologies to help your Sim with domestic responsibilities and live an eco-friendly life. Marks of the return of laundry, washing machines and other laundry related items.
SP14 My First Pet Stuff PC:
  • WW: March 13, 2018
Console:
  • WW: March 31, 2020
Includes hamster, rat, pygmy hedgehog, or miniature bubalus as new pets. It requires the Cats & Dogs Expansion Pack, and is the first stuff pack to require another piece of downloadable content.
SP15 Moschino Stuff PC:
  • WW: August 13, 2019
Console:
  • WW: September 3, 2019
New clothing and décor from Moschino and Freelance Fashion Photographer career.
SP16 Tiny Living Stuff[109] PC:
  • WW: January 21, 2020
Console:
  • WW: February 4, 2020
Includes new home technologies to help your Sim with living a smaller lifestyle and reducing his/her carbon footprint, including carbon neutral tiles and Murphy beds.
SP17 Nifty Knitting Stuff[110]
Introduces a brand-new knitting system and skill in which you can knit clothing for your Sims and sell knitted objects on an in-game craft-sharing online store, Plopsy. Also marks the return of rocking chairs to the franchise. Includes two new radio stations: Focus and Metal.
SP18 Paranormal Stuff[112]
  • WW: January 26, 2021

Reception[edit]

EA did not provide review copies of the game until September 1, meaning that critics were unable to review the game before release.[125] In the absence of initial reviews it was indicated that players were generally dissatisfied with the game, especially the ones who were familiar with the previous games in the franchise.[126]

At the aggregator site Metacritic, The Sims 4 received a score of 70 based on 74 reviews, indicating "mixed or average" reception.[4]

Hardcore Gamer gave The Sims 4 a 2.5 score out of 5 and commented "it's a half-hearted experience wrapped in a neat and pretty package that beams a potential to both fulfill and crush your inner-Sims’ dreams." They criticized the game for the lack of content and having many bugs.[127]

Jim Sterling of The Escapist, in a mixed review of the game, found there to be an "overall lack of engagement." Although he noted some positive changes, he was critical of the game in comparison to previous entries in the series, declaring that "The Sims 4 is basically The Sims 3, but shrunken and sterile;" he recommended that game be played instead. He also complained of being "harassed" by tutorial messages. His final score for the game was 2.5 out of 5 stars.[128]

ABCNews.com's reviewer Derrik J. Lang praised the game for being "remarkably more intuitive at the start," stating that the Sims are now smarter than before, have emotions that affect their moods, and are able to multi-task. Despite the praise, Lang awarded the game with two stars stating that he encountered annoying glitches and that he misses content from previous games, like dishwashers.[129]

Kevin VanOrd of GameSpot gave this game a 6 out of 10. Despite praising the visuals, audio, and the new multi-tasking and moods system, he states that he misses the two main features of The Sims 3: "Create-a-Style" and the open world. His conclusion is: "The Sims 4's biggest problem is that The Sims 3 exists".[130]

Other reviews were more favorable. CraveOnline.co.uk mentioned in an article that "the awful user reviews indicate a strong backlash;" however, the website added that "Sims fans who haven't paid much attention to the ongoing controversy surrounding the game may look at those Amazon review scores and, without knowing that many are immediately dismissing the game due to its cut content, decide that they won't purchase it."[131]

Kallie Plagge of IGN gave The Sims 4 a 7.5 out of 10. She was disappointed by the lack of content from previous games, and the lack of "cool" objects that could adequately replace them; and the too frequent, albeit short, loading screens. The score she gave is relatively high, though, because "The Sims 4 does succeed in being a deep and complex game when it comes to Sim interactions, with lots of entertaining emotional potential [...] Plus, excellent building tools make architecture more fun than ever". Her conclusion is that "it's a good start to what may eventually be expanded into a great Sims game, but it's not there yet".[132]

The Independent's Jack Fleming praised the game for "The Gallery" feature that allows users to showcase their creations easily, the new multitasking system, the visual design, the personalities and emotions, the unusual careers (that, for example, allow the sim to travel into space), and the new build mode. On the other hand, he voiced his frustration with the loading screens, the new camera controls (while noting they can be reverted to The Sims 3 style), and noted the lack of content from previous installments (such as swimming pools and toddlers) made many fans upset. In conclusion he writes: "The Sims 4 is an easy game to get into (though the constant tutorial-ising at the start can actually get a bit frustrating) and the reasons that people love this series are still present. The game's creators have tried to make the appeal as diverse as possible and have in most ways succeeded; however, I couldn't help but wish I could actually go to space and drive that spaceship around..."[133]

Nick Tan of Game Revolution states that the game is a case study for loss aversion. He explains that the reason for Sims fans expressing so much anger and dissatisfaction with it is because people "strongly prefer avoiding losses than acquiring gains". That, combined with the hatred for Electronic Arts that greatly intensified after the release of the latest SimCity game, resulted in such a backlash. Tan gave The Sims 4 a 3.5/5, calling it "woefully incomplete, despite being unexpectedly solid and entertaining in its current state."[134]

In 2020, Rock, Paper, Shotgun ranked The Sims 4 as the fifth best management game on the PC.[135]

In January 4th 2020, The Sims 4 and Mac Cosmetics collaborated and released a limited edition eye shadow palette.[136][137]

Sales and revenue[edit]

By 2018, EA reported that The Sims 4 had 10 million players.[138] In January 2020, The Sims 4 reached 20 million players.[139] In June 2020, it was reported that The Sims 4 hit 10 million monthly active users.[140] As of July 2020, the game had more than 30 million players worldwide across all platforms.[141] As of 2019, the game generated more than 1 billion dollars.[142]

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Category Result Refs.
2014 NAVGTR Awards GAME, SIMULATION Won [143]
Guild of Music Supervisors Awards Best Music Supervision in a Video Game Nominated [144][145]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Blind Squirrel Entertainment co-developed the PS4 and Xbox One versions

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External links[edit]