With the continually-rising prevalence of downloadable content, certain companies have made gamers’ watch-lists through past abuse of the market. One such case that stands out for many PC gamers is that of The Sims 3. While the base game undoubtedly contained a wealth of features, the number of post-release paid content packs bordered on excessive. Now, with The Sims 4 nearing release, it looks as though history could be preparing to repeat itself.

As a title promised to be at E3 2014, many gamers were anticipating the jump forward that The Sims 4 would represent for the series. Judging by the fact that Electronic Arts had taken note of the disastrous SimCity‘s shortcomings by making this next title playable offline, the development already looked like it was shaping up well. After a recent announcement though, some fans are beginning to worry.

Following the venerable Los Angeles gaming trade show, The Sims Studio released a blog post for their fans detailing some of the more minute details that might not have come across through relentless demoing of the title on the show floor. In this, they explain that gamers will be able to exert as much or as little control over their Sims as they would like, given the new gameplay system that focuses on emotion. Through this, they want all sorts of players to be able to play the game their way and ensure that even Machinima artists are represented.

This philosophy of allowing the player experience the game in their own way continues through to the game’s online presence which will not be forced upon the player. Should players simply want to view others’ creations from afar, they can. This will not stop the more social gamers from interacting with the digital lives of their friends and strangers.

Turning to the Build Mode though, is where some gamers took issue with the title. While The Sims 4 will include new building features like “Wall Height Adjustment, Dynamic Foundation Sizing, and Smart Windows,” the game will see the removal of everyone’s favorite death-dealing implement: pools. Everyone has memories of – accidentally or not – removing the stairs to their Sims’ pool and watching the chaos that ensues but in this latest iteration the feature will not be included, at least not in the base game.

The Sims 4 No Pools Toddlers Neighbourhood

In a similar manner, while gamers are sure to get excited about the addition of Genetics in Create A Sim mode, another past feature has seemingly disappeared from the base game for no good reason. Almost every stage of a Sim’s life is represented, but the toddler age group will not be included in the Sims 4 base game. In this way, Sims will jump from their baby form to childhood in one fell swoop. While it may not seem like a serious omission, Sims fans are not happy at all about this news.

Even the news that within players’ worlds in The Sims 4 there will be individual neighbourhoods that they can build up for work or play is not enough to quell this storm. Having been stung in the past by relentless paid content releases, it’s understandable for Sims fans to be upset that core features of the series are being withheld from the game at launch. While there is no news of DLC at the moment, many are speculating that these much-wanted features will no doubt find themselves available as part of some DLC pack in the near future.

This is saddening news considering the series’ history and status as a PC staple. Not only has just about every gamer tried their hand in at least one Sims iteration, but the title has even found its way into the Museum of Modern Art. Putting aside worries of future DLC, it’s hard to deny that The Sims 4 is shaping up to be an exciting title and looks good to boot. As it nears release though, it can only be hoped that EA pulls back on their reins and doesn’t follow the same potentially damanging DLC path they did with The Sims 3.

Do you think toddlers and pools will be made available through DLC? What kind of DLC for The Sims 4 would you be happy paying for?


The Sims 4 is due out on PC on September 2, 2014. A release date for the Mac version has not be revealed yet.

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Source: The Sims