Nearly a decade after The Sims 4 launched, EA has confirmed that the next major entry in the franchise is in the works. At a Sims livestream event, the company announced Project Rene, described as “the next generation The Sims game and creative platform.” It sounds very early in development and far from release — hence the codename, instead of being announced as The Sims 5 — but the company did provide a few early details.
Here’s the official description:
The game will stay true to what The Sims has always been while pushing to evolve how those Sims think and behave. It will reimagine The Sims with even more ways to play, tools to encourage creativity, and the ability to tell meaningful stories. With Project Rene, players will have the choice to play solo or collaborate with others, and will have the ability to play their game across supported devices.
It sounds like the plan following the early tease is to release continual updates leading up to launch. Lyndsay Pearson, vice president of franchise creative for The Sims, describes it as “the start of our journey over the next few years.” In a statement, she said that “We are building on the same foundation that has made The Sims compelling for generations of players and pushing the boundaries to create new experiences. We’ll have much more to share as we continue to progress on the game’s development and milestones along the way.”
The announcement of Project Rene comes at an important time for the franchise. Starting today, the base game of The Sims 4, which first launched in 2014, will be free, potentially opening up the franchise to a large new audience.