EA have revealed a new gameplay video for their upcoming virtual life simulator, The Sims 4. The trailer gives fans a 20 minute walkthrough of the game, which isn't that unusual. What is interesting, is that this Sims 4 trailer reveals the game will have a premium subscription service.
A SIMple plan or ...
The games walkthrough explains some of the key features of The Sims 4, mostly the creative tools for designing your Sims and their homes, and how all of that will impact interactions throughout the game. It's nothing really all that exciting to watch. It is the Sims after all, it makes for better playing than watching.
There's nothing too surprising in there overall, but the important bit is the, we're guessing. unintentional reveal of the premium subscription service. The Sims-centric website SimsVIP picked up on the-blink-and-you'll-miss-to info nugget. The news comes from a screencap from the trailer that happens at the 13:26 mark. It's a caption during a loading screen that reads:
"The Sims 4 Premium. Save on new packs with early access and exclusive items. Become a Premium member to get early access to three new packs, with exclusive items. Your Sims can throw a spooky costume party, camp in the great outdoors, and toast to the new year in style."
... SIMply outrageous?
That sounds pretty clear cut to us. So it looks like the The Sims 4 will contain a premium subscription service, not dissimilar to Battlefield Premium which gives its subscribers access to all the future DLC packs as they get released. Veteran Sims players are already accustomed to buying add-on packs for the game, but this would be the first time an ongoing fee would come into play.
Now, generally speaking, I view these premium subscription-style services for games with disdain. Unless we're talking an MMO, there is very little value in paying a monthly fee for content. Unless there is some guarentee that there actually will be new content every month, what are you actually paying for? Added to that, you oftentimes won't even know if it's content that will appeal to you. It's classic nickle-&-diming.
With the Sims, though, it may actually make sense. The Sims as a series has always had a very strong custimisation component. People have spent hours, days, even monthes designing their characters and homes, before they even start actually playing. And we already know that the series optional expansions have sold really well.
So if EA - and lets be clear it is EA we're talking about - can ensure that there will be a consistent and quality stream of content on a monthly basis, then fine, this could actually be quite beneficial. Oh and so long as the stand alone game itself is a complete experience on its own.
But again, there's no way to judge the value of this before hand. It will be interesting to see how the established Sims players will react to the concept. So if a subscription model like this does, in fact, prove to be true, would you be willing to part with some cash for the potential benefits?
The Sims 4 releases on September 26, you can pre-order the Premium Edition, Collector's Edition and the Limited Edition for PC from kalahari.com.
You can watch the new The Sims 4 gameplay video below and pause 13:26, if you wanna see the super brief loading screen:
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Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not MWEB Connect (Pty) Ltd