The Sims has long allowed its fans to indulge in the most mundane of fantasies. From virtual morning sickness to doing laundry, developer Maxis has continued to refine how its players can experience their quotidian virtual life. Soon, The Sims 4’s next expansion, Get Famous, will add a timely new vocation to the long-running life simulation game: the influencer.
According to Maxis senior producer Grant Rodiek, there’s a lot of player demand for new job tracks — the most common fan mods are careers and traits — so the company is always looking to add new and different official paths for players to explore. In order to capture the attention of the community’s Gen Z audience, the developer decided to branch into fashion and style — a shakeup from more traditional jobs like business or military tracks.
But creating internet-focused jobs within the game’s playhouse was harder than it sounds. ”So much of our game is visual,” he says. “It’s about seeing the Sims do stuff, and then seeing clear, intuitive reactions as a result of them doing those things.”
The Sims already has a version of Instagram (aka Simstagram) that allows sims to snap classic Insta-bait like food and pets. Get Famous adds a Pinterest-like style mood board where Sims can connect style and inspirational images in a way Rodiek compares to a police detective board.
“we create lego pieces”
The expansion isn’t going full YouTube creator — it’s more about style influencing than vlogging — but will include social media staples like a “streaming station,” which Rodiek describes as a setup a Twitch streamer might have. From there, players can fill in the blanks about how their Sims would pursue viral fame. “A lot of what The Sims is ultimately is we create lego pieces, effectively, that our players use to tell the stories,” he says.
Get Famous launches in November, and the career track will be available for free to players who own The Sims 4. Despite some reactions that the influencer career is a grim or extremely 2018 addition, the team wants it to be an aspirational career path — much like it is for many young people today.
“Our goal isn’t really to parody them,” Rodiek says. “Really what we do in the game is generally lighthearted ... We present this as a serious career, a real career, a real way to go about making a living.” That said, it’s still going to skip the burgeoning trend of apology videos.