What Happened to The Sims?

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What Happened to The Sims?

Fans of the popular The Sims series have had to make due with less and less.

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So your problem with the Sims...

...is that it's run by EA.

Blah blah...something about EA. EA is the devil.

Who even plays the Sims? Microtransactions are commonplace these days, anyways. All F2P MMOs have them and even the monthly-sub monster itself has quite a few of them.

DVS BSTrD:
So your problem with the Sims...

...is that it's run by EA.

Yeah, as usual, the first comment gets it right. The problem with the Sims franchise is that EA is at the helm and, oh look, all the same complaints from their other titles are here too.

And they wonder why their stock is tanking.

Don't worry Sims fans. There is a legion of people dating back to the mid 90s (and probably before) who have seen their favorite franchises destroyed by EA. You're not alone.

DVS BSTrD:
So your problem with the Sims...

...is that it's run by EA.

/Article, EA is the devil, blah, blah we already know the procedure for those articles.

I haven't played The Sims since the first edition. Making Magic was one of only two expansion packs I'd bought.

I got into The Sims when my friends were getting out of it. They complained (with acknowledged irony) that their Sims had better lives than they themselves did.

I'd like to buy the newer series but every time I turn around I hear complaints about the studio milking the game through newly refinished updated expansion packs for all they were worth. I acknowledge the business logic to this, but I agree that they're stingy when it come to basic systems after spending years building expansion packs.

The fact that the mod systems offer a viable alternative to buying official expansions might serve to stimulate a change of habit on the studio's part in making new basic and expansion packs richer and more rewarding.

Unfortunately they might only decide to do so after the game starts losing so many repeat customers that it's too late.

Nicely written article, great one to pop your Escapist cherry with! I remember meeting some of the Sims community managers at GamesCom a few years back and while they were thrilled with the new Sims stuff, they all had that haunted look about them of people who knew they were on their way to getting fleeced.

They did however get free head bands that had the green diamond floating above it, so at least they got something for nothing!

Yep the cheap answer really just is EA happened
EA was supposed to have been different at some point but I can't remember that

Took me a while but ノー(iie) and EA sound the same. ノー (iie) is Japanese for no.

So they knew all along...

On topic, good article. My partner will be happy to hear that she hasn't wasted her money.

I.Muir:
Yep the cheap answer really just is EA happened
EA was supposed to have been different at some point but I can't remember that

(Skip to 5 minutes 14 seconds for old EA)

Those were the days

you complain about ea doing this with the sims why not complain about ever other game company sending out 50 and 60 dollar half hearted games then expect you to pay 10 to 15 dollars more for content that should be in the game this is par for the course and it is only the gamers and the people that casually play these games fault because we throw our money at them

I appreciate most of the article, but I have to disagree with one point:

No matter how great the volume of complaints, they will always be dwarfed by vast sales figures, so EA can be forgiven for thinking that they just don't matter.

No, no they can't. It's a poor position for EA to hold, both ethically and from a business/financial stand-point. I've said similar things in the past, but EA's business tactics are increasingly ravenous (must... eat... successful... studios!) and scatter-shot (Facebook! Flash Games! Mobile! AR! Go, go, go!...) These are the maneuverings of a company that sees no future without growth, but is eating its own tail. Without generating loyalty in one's customers, the prospects for long-term growth are bleak, even if today's sales numbers appear rosy.

I may understand that you (mistakenly) think kicking me is in your best interests; that doesn't mean I'm obligated to forgive the malice or the stupidity.

Here I thought the EA hate period was finally over here on the forums, and then this article brings it back...

Personally, I enjoyed and still do enjoy the Sims. I have never bought an expansion pack, but I used mods frequently.

I picked up the base version of The Sims 3 in a steam sale a few months back.(if only because I had a few weeks to kill and $15 burning a hole in my pocket) The amount of technical problems I had to deal with was staggeringly annoying to say the least; I spent the first two days trying to figure out why the leaf textures on every plant had inverted visibility. Something happened though about 4 days into my first family...I was done. Like seriously I had accomplished all the stuff which took forever for me to do back in the original game; my family wasn't in the red, everyone with jobs was at the highest tier, and their needs bars were actually staying full.

It just had so little content to explore, and I didn't really see a reason to buy one of their many expansions. (and refused to spend a dime at their micro-transaction store) Frankly I think that's the biggest crime of this particular iteration of the games. It can be beaten, that's just something that shouldn't happen.

My thoughts on DLC in picture form:

image

EA is a soulless monster that eats good/popular franchises and spits out turds(at $15 a pop.) Now that they're going almost entirely multiplayer, I wouldn't be surprised if they made some kind of forced DLC.

Once EA took hold of Maxis and the original creative minds behind the first iteration of the Sims fell to the wayside, I've become more and more disheartened with the franchise as a whole. I remember buying Vacation and House Party, along with the base game, on a whim one day while snooping around a shopping mall and the game absolutely blew me away. The music - each composed to match the expansion pack - the humor - some of it lowbrow and some of it subtle and undercutting - and the general atmosphere of the original Sims is something that both the Sims 2 (later on in its life cycle) and the Sims 3 (right around the time of Ambitions of Generations) failed to recreate.

I originally enjoyed the Sims 3, but it keeps going down the exact same path the Sims 2 went down. It starts off building upon the core mechanics of the original while introducing something exicting - for the Sims 2, age and families and greater interactivity, for the Sims 3, that plus the open world - but they slowly and surely decline into some ridiculous hodge-podge of expansion packs introducing gimmick after gimmick, as the things people WANT fall to the wayside, all while nickel and diming us for furniture that doesn't look like absolute ass from the microtransaction store (as of writing this, no Sims 3 copy I own - and I own all the ones up to Showtime - has ONE fuckin' ceiling fan in it - and the one from the store doesn't even work spin).

My main problem with the newer iterations is that they're increasingly homogenized. The orchestral flares and tropical music, jazz rhythms and organ pieces of the original, Vacation, Hot Date, and Makin' Magic, have been replaced by identical sounding by-the-books techno/pop garbage that is one strike against the game.

Looking further into the mechanics, while I don't expect much to change, the games in and of themselves fail to ever add anything new. While the open environments are incredible in the Sims 3, there's so LITTLE to do that it's almost disheartening. How the Sims had more to do in 3 expansions than the Sims 3 has enabled us to do in like 6 is ridiculous. By this time in the original, I could go to a tropical, winter, or temeperate get away and do all sorts of weather specific activities, I could hit it up in a jazzy, '60s inspired city filled with restaurants, clubs, and hangouts, and I could even go into a parallel friggin' universe, fighting wizards and magi, brewing alchemical potions, and building amusement park rides.

The plain and simple of it is, it's not even the items or the scarcity of things the Sims 3 and all subsequent games are going to have that worries me. It's the fact that the soul of the game died a long, LONG time ago (right around the time Apartment Life was considered a legitimate expansion pack) and what we need, instead of a return to roots orchestrated by a bunch of conglomorate suits sitting on a board room lauding the introduction of someone like Deadmau5 in the Sims 4, is a new company to come along and build their own iteration of the Sims, without stumbling into the pitfalls of greed and big business.

And for any game franchise that has been summarily ruined for that matter.

Basically, (here comes the dramatic, maudlin tone) we need to keep dreaming.

And before I have hell rain down on me for saying I'm feedin' the machine by buying the games and givin into EA's sales-pitch maaaaan, I don't actually BUY them. My brother does and I play them when he's done.

And I'm not gonna get preachy on his ass.

I complain a lot, but I am also a hypocrite. I love the sims, and I have it all. Except that weird Katy Perry thing... O.o

I just love games that lets me manage lives. Be it city builders or simulators. Seeing my little avatar smile makes me smile.

As someone who bought The Sims 3 from its release (and bought all previous games), I found this a really good article. I've already stopped playing the original title and haven't bought any of the EPs. I've finally been broken by the lengths that the developers go to withhold content to the player.

As you rightly say, weather and seasons and a multitude of other features should be part of the original title, not continually repackaged as EPs -- they had an excuse with the The Sims 2: Seasons, because it hadn't been done up till that point. But to just release the same content with each new generation? I'm afraid you've lost me as a customer. And no amount of EPs will change that ...

I like the Sims 3. I still play it. I download a lot of fan-made content and I use most of NRaas' mods, as well as all Expansion and Stuff Packs up to (But not including) that insufferable Katy Perry crap.

My only problem at the moment is that they've stopped selling new titles on Steam.

This means that I have to uninstall it from Steam and then reinstall it on Origin if I want any of the new expansions.

No Thanks.

It's a good article, picking up a lot of points about EA's current monetisation policies. I wish you'd brought SimCity into it though. From the sounds of it, what the Sims community is going through now is similar to what SimCity fans went though with the progression from the feature rich SimCity 2000 to 3000, which added features, and then to 4 and Society which seemed to take them away again.

I'm not convinced SimCity 5 is going to really return to glory days, although it does look pretty.

The swap features thing, recycle them some years later as new began with EA sports. Madden and NBA had all sorts of cool features back in the day, only to have them ripped out for several incarnations then swapped back in as "new."

Glad to see that EA can piss off even the causal gamers they are so hot to court, so their big foray into the ultimate casual game, with a huge fan base built in and they screw them over the same way ea sports had, plus they add the whole micro transaction thing and hefty costing expansions.

Glad you still have hope for the next sims, i would not, EA will bleed that horse dry until only a shell remains.

It's a very simple matter to me.

The expansions in the Sims 2 were all (mostly) new stuff that we didn't get to see before. Sims 3 expansions are just Sims 2 expansions ported to Sims 3. For overblown prices. The entire online store is just disgusting. It is the most horrible way to monetize items I have ever seen. A modder could have made that stuff for free and they are charging 10$ for a fucking table.

That is sickening. Not being a big Sims fan already (Sims 3 was the first I bought) mainly because of the expansion pack whore of a game it was and still is Sims 3 basically put me off the franchise for good. It was my first game and my last simply because I would never reward EA for ripping me off.

They already did with Sims 3, why should I allow them to do it again with every expansion or online content update?

Sims 4 can go suck on a rock, I will keep my eyes focused on SimCity 5.

1337mokro:
I will keep my eyes focused on SimCity 5.

And you Honestly think that Simcity 5 won't follow the same route as Sims 3? EA already has a tried and tested marketing scheme in place that earns them boat loads of cash, regardless of the vitriol they get from the fan-base, do you think that they won't do that out of the goodness of their hearts and actually care about gamers?

I don't think so.

CAPTCHA: for the gipper

aceman67:

1337mokro:
I will keep my eyes focused on SimCity 5.

And you Honestly think that Simcity 5 won't follow the same route as Sims 3? EA already has a tried and tested marketing scheme in place that earns them boat loads of cash, regardless of the vitriol they get from the fan-base, do you think that they won't do that out of the goodness of their hearts and actually care about gamers?

I don't think so.

CAPTCHA: for the gipper

I said eyes. Not my wallet.

I'll see and wait. If it blows giant godzilla chunks, then I'll just keep my eyes fixed on SimSomethingelse.

A publisher releasing the same-ol' over and over again, milking the blood out of the franchise with addon packs and DLC is not exclusively a Sims problem. It exists with many mayor franchises because it's an obvious way to make money. I have given up on these types of products.

And, fittingly, the captcha I have to enter to post these words is "no regrets".

Welcome to the Escapist, btw. and you have an awesome name. Are you a starfighter pilot?

In terms of the vanilla game, without expansions or microtransactions, I do heavily prefer The Sims 3. Just the simple fact that they made aging more reasonable so it's actually feasible to complete career paths makes the game miles more fun, IMO. I find this to be much more of a dealbreaker in The Sims 2 than The Sims 3's technical issues.

P.S. Thanks

I was a rather compulsive modder for Sims 2, and have had over 2 million downloads on ModTheSims alone... I spent hundreds of hours working on models for the game and fine-tuning them to perfection. I was, quite frankly, obsessed with it, and spent entirely too much time on it.

When Sims 3 came out, I tried it for a while... but it just seemed so lifeless and empty for some reason, and I completely lost interest. The modding was far more difficult, and the store just seemed like it killed the soul of the game and the community, so I quit and never looked back. Haven't touched a Sims game since.

"No matter how great the volume of complaints, they will always be dwarfed by vast sales figures, so EA can be forgiven for thinking that they just don't matter."

No, no this is not an excuse. No company should get away scott free for ignoring customer complaints, just because they are not universal. There are dumb things to complain about, yes, like the Sims not being a FPS. But when people have legitimate criticisms, they should be listened to and dealt with.

Something I was recently reminded of: EA said they won't publish a game without a multiplayer component. Imagine how much that could mess up Sims 4.

I love The Sims 3 <3

Anyway I think the expacs have gotten a little out of hand but if anything it shows how goddamn adaptable this game is, and frankly you don't have to buy them all to enjoy the game.

I wouldn't buy the Katie Price thing if Dean Winchester crashed through my window topless with it on a silver platter...but expacs like generation's which added so sooo much to the legacy (fanmade) game play of the game was amazing.

I'm not disappointed with the sims and frankly the community on sites like The Simmers Society have been the friendliest I have experienced in gaming so far.

It is a shame is has the dark shadow of EA over it but frankly I think the core team know what they are doing and the gimmicky stuff is easily avoided.

tellytoy:

Something I was recently reminded of: EA said they won't publish a game without a multiplayer component. Imagine how much that could mess up Sims 4.

The community is already pseudo 'multiplayer' it wouldn't surprise me if in Sims 4 they introduced a way to hold comps etc for houses you have built, between players, since they are very supportive of this part of the community

I won't lie.

I never fancied the expansion packs such as Showtime and Supernatural but I bought them regardless because I have always had my Sims games complete.

The main issue with Sims 3 is the towns. If you buy an expansion pack, you have to sacrifice the one before to play the new one unless you create a massive town to accommodate all the packs. I hate that - I am not patient enough to build massive worlds!

The Sims had it right regarding the holidays. You booked into a hotel and you stayed there - there was no random quests or Indiana Jones type games. You just went and had a holiday and I really enjoyed that.

EA are putting in mini games where they are not needed! If you play The Sims, you play The Sims.

Am I in the minority that got the first Sims game (no expansions) and found it be so boring, yet with the Sims 3, and many of the expansion packs I am having more fun then I ever had with the first in the series?

Sims 4 is going to be free-to-play, but in the free version you'll just be a penniless beggar, trying to get enough simoleans to eat.

Overall, a little more respect and far less exploitation would go a long way toward healing the rift between publisher and fan-base.

You won't see that happen. Paying customers don't exist to them, to them everyone is a potential theif that they try to shake every dime out of while telling them to shut up and go away if they don't like it.

It won't change until
A)EA goes bankrupt
or
B)Gamers stop giving big publishers money

B probably won't happen.

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