EA has just announced that starting on October 18th, The Sims 4 base game will be free to play – forever! While jubilation and celebration abound throughout the EA-positive Twitterverse and Sims YouTube, pragmatists the world over are asking the same question; is EA doing enough?
Examining the facts, we see that no game in The Sims’ history has had more packs and additional content than The Sims 4. Eleven expansion packs and nine stuff packs were released during The Sims 3’s tenure as the preeminent life simulation game. In contrast, The Sims 4 currently has 57 content packs, split between expansion, stuff, and game packs, and the recent addition of smaller packs called kits. Mind you, these 30-odd further packs that The Sims 4 has don’t add much that The Sims 3 didn’t have.
In reality, Sims 3 packs like The Sims 3: Supernatural, have been divided into The Sims 4: Werewolves, Vampires, Paranormal Stuff, Realm of Magic, and Spooky Stuff. One pack essentially hacked up into five costly purchases. It’s difficult to put a number to how much the entire Sims 4 catalog will cost you. However, through research, we can give you a number – no less than $900. That is grotesque.
If we take that $900 it would take to own all of the Sims 4 DLC and subtract the cost of the base game, we get to an equally ridiculous $880. So, The Sims 4 base game being made available to everyone for free doesn’t really seem like anything more than EA throwing its loyal customers a bone after years of overpricing and overproducing content for The Sims 4.
The other question is what does the base game actually let you do? Well, in the grand scheme of the amazing things you can do with the 57 DLC packs, not much. Yes, EA is constantly adding one or two items into the base game, but none of these affect the game’s playability. The Sims 4 base game is still a barely-worthwhile introductory title and the gateway to spending more money than you normally would on content that largely has no effect on your real-world life.
One can see why there are so many videos highlighting which Sims 4 packs you should buy and which are a waste of money.
One consolation is that you can pick up the latest kit, Desert Luxe for free if you’ve already bought the Sims 4. This lasts until the 17th of October, which means waiting to get the base game for free will not entitle you to picking this one up gratis. Oh EA, you old so and so.