The Sims 4 Producer Sheds Light On Post-Release Content
The Sims 4 didn't exactly release with the bang that Maxis hoped it would. Maxis received its share of criticism and fan disappoint over some features not being in the initial release of The Sims 4. Some of these included pools, cars, and dishwasers. Maxis has heard fans loud and clear, releasing free updates for the most-requested ones. Ghosts were introduced last month, pools became available today, and new career paths will hit in December's update. We recently spoke with producer Ryan Vaughan to learn more about the future of The Sims 4 and gain some insight into the team's decisions.
Maxis has only confirmed the three free updates so far, but Vaughan seemed open to exploring more in the future and said the team has been making fan feedback a deciding factor in the post-content released. "I can't comment on anything specific in terms of features or timelines of what we can release in the future, but we've all approached this game unlike the past ones," Vaughan says. "...this is really a live service. It may not be an online game per say, but this is a title that we're going to continue investing in and continue improving and building it into the way that our players really want to play with it."
Vaughan also notes that updates and patches are much easier to implement with the new game, opening the door for more opportunities in the future. "The Sims 4 gives us the ability to release updates and new content a lot faster and a lot easier than we have been able to in the past," he explains. "With The Sims 4, we have a lot more flexibility and we're able to respond to what the fans want faster."
As noted, Maxis received plenty of complaints when the game launched without some features, and many fans wondered why the game just wasn't delayed to provide this additional content. Vaughan admitted that the decision was a challenge, but he feels that the team made the right call."When we made the decision to [not include] some of those core features like pools to decide to work on other stuff, it was a decision that I think was the right one for the game," he says. "That's one of the challenges of releasing a Sims' base game; you're essentially competing with the last five years of iteration that you've had on the previous title and all the content that goes along with that. So it's a balance that we have to find within our appropriate timelines to make a game that still retains that core experience - the things that make the sims what it is - but also leave room in there to make a new experience, make it fresh, and give the players new opportunities to tell stories and play the game how they want."
And how exactly did he feel about hearing the ire and disappointment vocalized from many dedicated players? "...I was impressed or even almost humbled by how passionate [the fans] were about these things," Vaughan says. "Seeing the response, how much they cared about these features, how much they cared about the sims themselves, and what they could do in the game, it continually impresses me. It's something that's really special about The Sims and the player base."
For more on The Sims 4, you can read our review.