The Sims 5 is Going Free-to-Play

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The Sims 5 is Going Free-to-Play

The Sims 5, currently referred to as “Project Rene,” will most likely transition the series to a free-to-play model, based on descriptions of the game in EA job listings.

First reported by Sims Community, EA posted a career listing for Head of Monetization and Marketplace for Project Rene which described the project as a “free-to-enter game” and made reference to an in-game marketplace. The listing has since been taken down.

Based on the wording from the listing, the monetisation model being explored sounds similar to something like Fortnite. Here is the relevant language from the list of responsibilities provided to job candidates:

“Own Project Rene’s in-game marketplace of content and UGC (free and paid), and manage a data-informed player-centric player purchase journey. Maximizing value to players, optimizing player spend patterns, and minimizing player churn.”

“Own pricing of all content in this free-to-enter game, ensuring we have an optimal pricing and content architecture. Provide guidance to content teams on in-game content needs to meet player demand.”

An interesting point is the allusion to an in-game marketplace which will include both “content” (presumably official releases) and “UGC,” referring to user-generated content. This could suggest plans to incorporate fan-made content packs into the game’s infrastructure itself, and even allow for it to be officially monetized.

While no prior Sims game has launched on a free-to-play model, The Sims 4’s base game was recently made free last fall, a move which caused the already popular game to skyrocket to even greater success. Considering this, as well as the success of other EA free-to-play projects such as Apex Legends, the move towards free-to-play from the beginning of the game’s lifetime is not so surprising.

Still, Maxis has said that Project Rene is still in very early development with release not coming anytime soon, so it remains to be seen how exactly the game’s monetisation model will play out.

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