The next Sims game 'is not an MMO' Maxis clarifies

In another Behind the Sims livestream, which also announced the much-awaited babies update, Maxis got to talking about The Sims 5 (codenamed "Project Rene"). Maxis is still very clear that Project Rene is years away, but did want to set the record straight on multiplayer. The Sims 5 will have multiplayer, as it's teased already, but it's definitely not an MMO. Sorry, Sims Online hopefuls.

It's not an unwarranted clarification, given that we'd been told the next Sims game would include some kind of multiplayer but no details beyond that. Whether you considered the possibility of a Sims Online revival a threat or a wish, you can put it to bed. Maxis brought out game director Grant Rodiek to talk a bit about the next game, including the scope of multiplayer.

"One thing to keep in mind is that Project Rene is not an MMO," Rodiek says. "It is not this public, shared space where everything you do is always with other people."

Rodiek explains that Project Rene is trying to achieve both a traditional Sims singleplayer experience and online creation too. "We know that our players want to have that intimate, personal experience where they're exploring stories and ideas in singleplayer but there are also really cool things you can do with others where you share and create with your friends."

We got another very quick glimpse of how this will look. Although names are blurred out, we got to see several bits of furniture all moving about in a household with colored name tags to show who's moving what.

Rodiek was big on explaining that the transition from singleplayer to multiplayer is always going to be on your terms, whether you're in the mood to play alone or invite your friends in for a bit of co-op decorating. As for whether this co-op control will extend to Live Mode at all, Maxis hasn't explicitly said.

Otherwise, Rodiek talked about the cross-save functions between the mobile and PC versions of the next Sims game, indicating that you can be decorating or playing on one device and then move to another. Create a new sim on your bus ride and pick up your generations challenge when you're back home at your desk, perhaps.

Project Rene is still undergoing early playtesting with small groups of players checking out its apartment customization and build/buy mode tools, Maxis says. We'll keep hearing small tidbits like this as the game develops over the next few years.

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.