Last month, it was revealed that EA’s upcoming live-em-up The Sims 4 will be missing 2 traditional features: the toddler life stage, and swimming pools.
Traditionally, since The Sims 2, babies in the game progressed through a toddler stage before becoming a youngster. No longer: babies now magically grow into kids once they reach the appropriate age.
Secondly, and perhaps more oddly, is that swimming pools have been removed. A feature that has always been in the game, swimming pools weren’t just there for decoration or splashing around in. Famously, they could also be used to kill your Sim by waiting until they got into the pool and then removing the ladder (though in The Sims 3, you needed to also wall them in), causing them to eventually drown.
When fans discovered that these features had been removed from the game, they weren’t best pleased, mounting a campaign to see them added back into the game. EA has taken note, and in a blog post on thesims.com, Rachel Franklin – the game’s executive producer – attempted to explain the removals.
“The fact is, we owe you a clearer explanation for why pools and toddlers will not be in The Sims 4 at launch, so here goes. It begins with new technology and systems that we built for this new base game for The Sims – a new AI system, new animation system, new audio positioning tools, new locomotion logic, new routing intelligence and much more are all entirely new in this game,” she wrote. “The vision for The Sims 4 is a new experience that brings your Sims to life in deeper and uniquely personal ways – through emotions, personality traits, behaviors and interactions. To do that, our technology base needed a major upgrade.”
She continued: “…delivering on the vision set out for The Sims 4 required focus. Focus on revolutionizing the Sims themselves. So, rather than include toddlers, we chose to go deeper on the features that make Sims come alive: meaningful and often amusing emotions; more believable motion and interactions; more tools in Create A Sim, and more realistic (and sometimes weird!) Sim behavior.”
She finishes the post by saying”…from the entire development team here at The Sims Studio, thank you for your feedback and support. Our hearts are being poured into every line of code, every single piece of art, and every single Sim that is created. We’re building a brand new Sims experience with a foundation we can build on and evolve based on your feedback. We think you’re going to love playing with life all over again.”
Naturally, the statement has led some to speculate whether the features will be included later down the line, either as free (or paid-for) DLC, or as part of expansions – an area which EA has been typically aggressive in pursuing with the series over the years. While the removal of these features is certainly disappointing for some, we won’t know for sure how keenly their absence will be felt until The Sims 4 releases on PC on September 5 this year.