As promised, EA is teasing out details for its next-generation sims game, codenamed Project Rene. During a livestream today, EA confirmed that multiplayer will be a major component of the experience — though not at the expense of the traditional single-player that has made the series such a blockbuster. “We think we can be both,” Grant Rodiek, game director for Project Rene, explained.
He was quick to stress that the new game is “not an MMO,” so don’t expect World of Warcraft with characters speaking in Simlish. Instead, as an example, EA showed off the new game’s enhanced customization tools — where you can tweak every part of a piece of furniture, from its color to the parts it’s made of (see the image below) — saying it’s a feature you can use in real time with other players. From the sound of it, these kinds of features will be additive to what sims players expect. “We know that our players want to have that intimate, personal experience,” Rodiek said.
Outside of that, the developers continued to show off one of the big changes for Project Rene: its multiplatform capabilities. The game is being designed for both mobile and PC, and while both versions may not be exactly the same, the plan is to make it so that players can move their experiences seamlessly between the two. “The idea is that all of your information is wherever you need it to be,” Rodiek said.
That’s about all the new information we got out of today’s stream, but — much like with the next skateboarding — EA says it’s utilizing a more open development process where it will be sharing details steadily in the lead-up to launch. Which means there should be plenty more of these streams, as Project Rene is billed as being “years out” from releasing. In the meantime, last year, the base game for The Sims 4 was made free, making it a good time to jump in.