I’ve been in a nostalgic mood recently, and I’ve shared a lot of things from the past. Today, though, as a new week begins, I’m doing an about-face and looking toward the future. What’s ahead for our sims?
Last week — and here I am looking backward again — was an interesting one on the Sims 4 Forum. The discussion boards are always filled with rumors and speculations along with pleas to Electronic Arts to divulge a little information or answer a few player questions.
Forum members were excited when word came down from SimGuruDrake that EA would soon be sharing information about new content “in the works” for the game. That brief message was quickly spun off into talk of a “big announcement” coming. As usual, folks turned on the “hype machine” and countdowns were underway, ticking off the hours until the big event.
If you checked the message board on Tuesday morning, April 19 — the promised day — you probably saw the “leaked” video. A quick 15-second clip showing screenshots from a restaurant-themed game pack, and from a children-themed stuff pack.
Oh, but that was from Sims Latin America. That meant nothing! That couldn’t be right. Once again, rumors were flying, but SimGuruDrake stepped into the fray and posted the simple truth. Yes, that was the news.
I want to make things clear: I stated you would get information (not an announcement) regarding content in the next couple months (not a year). Also this was supposed to be a surprise, I simply informed you earlier due to incidents out of my control. – SimGuruDrake
The official “news” post is here:
Of course, if you’re an avid simmer and forum member, none of this is news to you. You’ve probably followed this story all along. Maybe you’re excited about the new content that’s coming up, or maybe the entire “announcement/trailer/news” was a big disappointment.
Either way, this little incident once again shows an ever-widening gap between EA and the players. While players beg for information, the game developers remain closed-mouthed, uncommunicative at worst, condescending at best.
It’s devolved to a horrible state with players pitted against the gurus and developers. Who’s to blame for the mess? Is it our fault — meaning we, the players — for wanting not only new content but some input on the game we love? Are we responsible for the anger and disappointment on the boards when we share our thoughts about toddlers and other “missing content”? Are we wrong to be disappointed when EA ignores not only our wants but our questions, too?
Or should we put the blame on Electronic Arts? Don’t they owe their players something? Wouldn’t they gain greater player loyalty — and win new Sims fans — by being more open about their plans for this game?
When questioned, they become defensive. They speak of legal restrictions and give reasons why they’re not allowed to speak out about upcoming game additions. Meanwhile they seem to think it’s fun to “bait” the players with teasers, hashtag games, and hints — all of which lead to rumors, speculation, and hype.
A vicious circle? Indeed.
The situation has become so divisive that a lot of players are falling away — from both the forum and the game. When I look ahead to the future of the sims, I sometimes wonder how much longer the franchise can endure. The frustrations are growing. I worry that unless EA is willing to listen and respond to player concerns, there won’t be enough players left to make it worth the time and effort it takes to keep the series alive.
What do YOU think?
When you look ahead to the future of The Sims, what do YOU see?