The Sims 5 is codenamed Project Rene, at least 'a couple' years away

Electronic Arts didn't announce The Sims 5 during today's Behind The Sims Summit livestream, or at least not in so many words. It's still describing the next Sims game as "the future of The Sims," but has given it a working title: "Project Rene."

EA's VP of franchise creative for The Sims, Lyndsay Pearson, referred to Project Rene during the livestream as the "next generation Sims game and creative platform," before showing a glimpse of some of the editing tools and cross-platform play.

The next Sims game looks like it will be bringing back an expanded version of the Create-A-Style tool from The Sims 3. I'm thrilled, because that's basically the one thing I want from The Sims 5. Maxis showed how the individual parts of a piece of furniture can have a selected pattern, material, custom colors, and even modular pieces like different couch backings or bed headboards. Oh, and it looks like you can rotate some objects on the Z-axis (couch cushions, in the video shown), which Sims 4 players can only do by using a popular mod.

It also appears that it will let you to collaborate with friends by sharing designs more directly than you can with the current Sims Gallery, which is known for being a rather clunky way to trade creations. 

(Image credit: Electronic Arts, Maxis)

Over in its blog post about the livestream, Maxis says "players will have the choice to play solo or collaborate with others, and will have the ability to play their game across supported devices," referencing the live decoration editing between desktop and mobile shown during the show. The "collaborate" bit is less clear. Maxis could be planning full-on multiplayer of some kind, but so far hasn't been specific about the scope.

Pearson explains that Project Rene, whatever its true name ends up being ("Sims Infinite," or maybe just "The Sims"?), it's still a few years away.

"Over the next couple of years we'll continue sharing updates with all of you on Project Rene." Pearson says. "We'll share in progress work, explorations, sneak peeks, and behind-the scenes content, as well as start to open up early access to Project Rene software to small groups over time.

"This is super early for us and we've never shared information about our games years before they launch to the world but we're so excited to take you on this journey with us."

Lauren Morton
Associate Editor

Lauren started writing for PC Gamer as a freelancer in 2017 while chasing the Dark Souls fashion police and accepted her role as Associate Editor in 2021, now serving as the self-appointed chief cozy games enjoyer. She originally started her career in game development and is still fascinated by how games tick in the modding and speedrunning scenes. She likes long books, longer RPGs, has strong feelings about farmlife sims, and can't stop playing co-op crafting games.