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What just happened? Electronic Arts is making one of its most popular social simulation games free to play starting next month. From October 18, The Sims 4 will be free to download and play on Windows, Mac, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series.
The Sims 4 launched in September 2014, nearly a year after Grand Theft Auto V (my how time flies). As the name suggests, it is the fourth mainline entry in the series and a direct sequel to The Sims 3 which arrived in 2009.
The game has been a resounding success, with EA announcing in early 2019 that it had already generated more than $1 billion in lifetime revenue. In a financial report from May 2021, EA said The Sims 4 had almost 36 million players and had delivered its sixth consecutive year of franchise growth.
Also see: The Sims: 22 Years and Counting
EA anticipates welcoming lots of new players to the game and said its team is more dedicated than ever to creating new and meaningful experiences. As such, they will continue to develop and release fresh content for the aging sim into the foreseeable future.
Speaking of, more information on what is in the pipeline will be shared during EA's Behind The Sims Summit on October 18. That stream starts at 10 a.m. Pacific on YouTube and Twitch.
Those who already own The Sims 4 can score the Desert Luxe Kit as a free gift from now through October 17. Simply log into the game and you should see it available to claim in the main menu.
The Sims 4 currently retails for $19.99 on most major distribution platforms.
The transition to free to play does not provide much insight into EA's long-term plans for the game. Is it a sign that a sequel is coming sooner rather than later, or evidence that EA wants to milk the game further through additional expansion packs and paid DLC? Which game is likely to launch sooner, The Sims 5 or Grand Theft Auto VI?