The Sims 4 Lacks Pools and Toddlers as a "Trade-Off" for New, Improved Tech

The Sims developer announces a demo and explains the reasoning for the omission of certain game elements that angered fans last month.

The Sims fans were up in arms last month when it was revealed that two seemingly fundamental aspects of the series--pools and toddlers--would not be included in The Sims 4. More specifically, they won't be included in what EA described as the "base game," fueling concerns that, like with past games, The Sims 4 owners would be inundated with premium expansion packs (some of which would invariably include these missing features). Developer Maxis has now shared some of the thinking that went into its decision, explaining that the omission of pools and toddlers stems not from greed, but a desire to create new technology.

"The fact is, we owe you a clearer explanation for why pools and toddlers will not be in The Sims 4 at launch, so here goes," writes executive producer Rachel Franklin on the official Sims blog. "It begins with new technology and systems that we built for this new base game for The Sims--a new AI system, new animation system, new audio positioning tools, new locomotion logic, new routing intelligence and much more are all entirely new in this game. The vision for The Sims 4 is a new experience that brings your Sims to life in deeper and uniquely personal ways--through emotions, personality traits, behaviors and interactions. To do that, our technology base needed a major upgrade."

To do this, however, requires "trade-offs," which Franklin notes Maxis knew "would disappoint some of our fans. Hard pill to swallow, believe me, but delivering on the vision set out for The Sims 4 required focus." This focus came in the form of an emphasis on Sims and their emotions, as well as new (and admittedly fun-looking) ways of building houses.

As a result, Franklin says, "The Sims 4 is a completely new game, and it feels different to play. You'll notice the new technology base the first time you play." She cites examples like the wide variety of new animations, including 75 different walking styles, as well Sims' ability to multitask and interact with groups, rather than just individuals.

It all sounds a lot less nefarious than some had suspected when we first heard about the absence of pools and toddlers. Of course, there's only so much reassurance EA and Maxis can offer through words, but they'll aim to win fans over in the lead up to launch on September 2, starting with the release of more than 15 minutes of Live mode game footage sometime in the next two weeks. Following that, a demo of the game's Create-a-Sim mode will be released. A select number of people will get to go hands-on with this "very soon," with everyone else getting access "later this summer.

Has today's explanation had any effect on your interest? Let us know in the comments.

Chris Pereira is a freelance writer for GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @TheSmokingManX
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Discussion

252 comments
topgun182
topgun182

Everyone knows that pools are very dangerous for toddlers so EA is doing the only responsible thing and not including them in the game. Because the new Sims will have realistic emotions, they could not handle a child drowning in a pool. This is really nice of EA to be so accommodating to the new Sims safety concerns. Of course, they could have included ONE of the two and not had to worry about this issue, but then that wouldn't be fair to the Toddler or Pool fans(depending on which one was left out), so no favoritism here. I do feel, however, that EA may have gone a bit too far in pandering to the walking animation fans. 75? Come on EA, Sims only have two feet.

Mausolus
Mausolus

Oh come on EA, you have absolutely -zero- credibility. No-one can tell if this is BS or not because you have lied to our faces time and time again in the past, like how the 'glass-box' simulation was vital for the operation of SimCity 2013 therefore the game had to be always online. Why even bother making a press release, is anyone still buying what you say?

grin89
grin89

can see it now, toddlers and pools expansion only 60$ 2 weeks after game launches.

TenraiSenshi
TenraiSenshi

That awkward moment when you know that what you're reading is so blatantly full of bull-crap, that you end up wondering how anyone ever thought they'd actually get away with saying it.

cjtopspin
cjtopspin

Just when I was positive nobody could fall below ZERO credibility...

skotj1979
skotj1979

I'm not even tempted. I have every Sims game and was one of the first testers of Simcity. I'm sick of EA's crap. NOT EVEN TEMPTED.

PhoenixRush
PhoenixRush

"New improved tech" - Has the system requirements of a game from 2004. Yeah, not believing this for some reason.

---Cipher---
---Cipher---

OK, this sounds justified. Same thing that happened with SimCity I'm sure. Everyone was up in arms about the "online only" shenanigans, but the fans were shown that the game was just too powerful and that the computations needed to be made by their servers or else our computers would explode! I think we need to trust EA and Maxis, they have such a good track record for not pulling off complete BS.... Also, I'm from Bizzaro Earth...


Anyway, I know that I'm glad with this news! I was worried I might be tempted to buy an EA title again, but with news like this, that worry is long gone!

jimrhurst
jimrhurst

I usually take the developers side of things, but EA / Maxis just don't have much credibility to stand on.  If you had to keep it in development another month to make toddlers work then so what?  Its not like they don't make a mint on Sims games.  I'm highly skeptical.

Stepn2myworld
Stepn2myworld

EA is going to ride The Sims Expansion Era for as long as the consumer lets them.  No toddlers, no pools.  I guess that means weather effects, night life, vacation and everything is else will be delivered eventually.

chicknfeet
chicknfeet moderator

I don't know if I can do it. EA is saying I would have to buy an expansion pack to have kids and a pool? Come on...

coldfusion25
coldfusion25

Either remove the 'Sims 3 style restrictions on modding' or I'm not buying. 

Simple and plain.

ozalme
ozalme

It's SimCity all over again!

cameroncr95
cameroncr95

Do not believe ANYTHING these retards say. Remember what maxis said in 2013 about simcity? "Oh, Simcity will never work offline because it was always designed to communicate with our servers no matter what!"


Yet, a fan hacked the game to play offline and update 10 removed the online requirement. Maxis is the biggest joke now in gaming apart from CliffyB. Its a shame. Maxis used to be fantastic. 

cameroncr95
cameroncr95

Hilarious how they try to pass it off as a trade off. 


This is just typical of Maxis and EA. I can see it now:


The Sims 4 Generations

The Sims 4 Poolz N Stuff


Fail. 

MXVIII
MXVIII

Whoa Who Whoa, Calm down Maxis!!! If you put too much technology, and walking styles, you might be waaay to busy to put women in the game.

adroge1
adroge1

EA has no credibility here. Obviously it will come out as DLC.

MigGui
MigGui

this is getting so hyped that they MUST release an expansion pack called "POOLS & TODDLERS".

munlyn
munlyn

I will rant about the crap EA has put us through, I will talk about how the idea of The Sims 4 is losing my interest, but I'll still buy it, and you other people who despite the bad things we've heard, wont be able to resist the new game. And then when they come out as a DLC, I'll probably buy that as well. I am no brave hero, I almost died when I heard about Sims 4.

blackothh
blackothh

Ive been wronged by EA in the past, so as a "Trade-Off" I dont buy their products anymore.

JackNief
JackNief

That's their reason? Their new technology is their reason for omitting content? I call BS. Its a cash-grab and they know it.

Too-DementeD
Too-DementeD

He calls that a clearer explanation? 
This "upgraded tech" wasn't able to allow you to add pools and kids to the game? 

Next you're gonna be telling me you decided to create 75 different ways to walk instead.

dajier123
dajier123

I think I would take a pool and toddlers over fucking 75 new walking styles ...

Scarab83
Scarab83

 I'm sorry, we had to take out potted plants and the ability to pee standing up in order to give you the ability to save your game.

Jinzo_111887
Jinzo_111887

I'd suggest they actually prove their point by releasing pools and toddlers in an free update (as in not part of an expansion pack or DLC) to the game later. I doubt they'd do it, though.

blackothh
blackothh

Am I the only one that does not understand how new technology ammounts to less features? 


Oh wait, EA is involved, I understand now.

macaque12
macaque12

EA should hire a personal "excuser" so at least they can elaborate a decent "reason" for upsetting people

chatphon
chatphon

sound like 'greed' to me i'm sure EA squeezing it's balls, and one doesn't simply put a bad-words on a company that already bad right? what it's going to be bad-bad very bad company? meh... keep raping you customers (and DEV at some point) EA you're good at it. 

as for me i'll just pirate the game when couple of patchs are released (i'm sure alot of patch will follow.. games these day..) play it 1 or 2 week then done, but i'll purchase it when it's deal with at least 1 or 2 dlc package.


you'll never take my money from day 1 , no.

orbit991
orbit991

What do " deeper emotions" and walking styles have to do with being able to put a hole in the ground, the simplest map making programs allow one to lower and raise land. An animated toddler seems rather easy as well to do and I'm sure both will appear as DLC shortly. Cut the bull crap, just say it, EA, it's in the scam.

jmoney5555
jmoney5555

Just don't buy the DLC if they do that, I don't need pools or toddlers so if it's free then that's great but if not then just don't buy the DLC.

kave1793
kave1793

Yeah right. We all know you'll implement these - I thought standard - features in expansions for a hefty price.

Get bent.

Divedude
Divedude

Yea, thats crap, there going to sell it in a DLC, ready for the next 15 premium content packs. Where is a season pass for this.

OldDirtyCR
OldDirtyCR

You know what the worst thing about the Sims 3 and it's expansions? The game can't even handle having all the expansions loaded at once. Even using an SSD with a top of the line gaming pc it'll take way too long to load anything. The game literally implodes upon itself because it wasn't designed to handle 50+ gigs of content. 


Just look at google for the well documented hatred over the expansion packs and how you can't stably use all of them. It's mind blowing.

cherublvl99
cherublvl99

No problem, just brace yourselves, mods are coming.

BamaGoatt
BamaGoatt

No toddlers no pools = no buy. Do they not understand becoming a parent is an emotional experience. 

Sonic4545
Sonic4545

If they ever release DLC with Pools and Toddlers, then their entire agrument here will be proven as BS.


My money is on BS.

Dragon_Nexus
Dragon_Nexus

Remember the days when sequels would add more stuff to a game instead of taking it away and selling it to you in expansions later?

Those were the good old days.

MXVIII
MXVIII

Hahahahaha. OH my God Maxis is so full of crap. How come Sim City doesnt have offline play? "Well, its because of this new technology. YHou see we wanted to create a whole new experience.,...so the engine, the simulation, the ai, it all has to run online because its sooo complicated."  Hey Maxis! How come the Sims wont have a pool?


"It begins with new technology and systems that we built for this new base game for The Sims--a new AI system, new animation system, new audio positioning tools, new locomotion logic, new routing intelligence and much more are all entirely new in this game."

legamurfacexd
legamurfacexd

Whatever, the Sims only appeals to teenage girls anyhow now and we all know how casual they all are. They'll eat this up and the upcoming weather expansion, pets expansion, college expansion, jobs expansion, magic/vampire expansion, city expansion etc like they did with the last two steaming piles EA/maxis plopped out. It's a shame to see all of these old companies lose all of the talent that made them what they were, but continue on existing with people that have no experience or passion to continue the legacy.

MXVIII
MXVIII

Hahahahaha. OH my God Maxis is so full of shit. How come Sim City doesnt have online play? "Well, its because of this new technology. YHou see we wanted to create a whole new experience.,...so the engine, the simulation, the ai, it all has to run online because its sooo complicated."  Hey Maxis! How come the Sims wont have a pool?

"It begins with new technology and systems that we built for this new base game for The Sims--a new AI system, new animation system, new audio positioning tools, new locomotion logic, new routing intelligence and much more are all entirely new in this game."


nazgoroth
nazgoroth

Rules out drowning them then...

pity...

ronnet
ronnet

@TenraiSenshi  It's stilla very idiotic thing to do, I agree.  Life stages is such a fundamental part of the game that you wonder why they ever thought people wouldnt mind.


However the explanation is understandable. Given how complex Sims are now at the existing life stages in terms of personality and animations available. Adding toddlers would be harder than it was in previous games. But I still think its something they should have included. Either delay the game or skip something less fundamental because this is now how you make loyal fans who are willing to but expansions.


As for pools, there is no excuse for not including it.

suzmit
suzmit

@MigGui No, that'd be silly.... It will be 2 expansion packs. And don't forget about the optional extra DLC to get pool ladders.

MigGui
MigGui

@Too-DementeD yeah, it wouldn't fit in the floppy disks if they added the pools. oh wait...

blackothh
blackothh

@OldDirtyCR It blows my mind how inefficiently a lot of companys use hard drive space these days.