EA revealed on its blog on Monday that "The Sims 4," the next entry in the company's series of popular life-simulation games, is in development and will be released for PC and Mac sometime in 2014.
Fear not though: "The Sims 4" will be an offline game, which is key considering that both EA and its customers are still reeling from the abomination that was the release of "SimCity," an online-only reboot of the original metropolis-building simulator. To all fans of the series, as well as gamers everywhere: Feel free to breathe a sigh of relief.
EA addressed the off-line component in "The Sims 4" in the first paragraph of the game’s announcement.
"'The Sims 4' celebrates the heart and soul of the Sims themselves, giving players a deeper connection with the most expressive, surprising and charming Sims ever in this single-player off-line experience."
This acknowledgement by EA suggests that the company realizes gamers would be turned off by another online-only title. In response to the announcement, one commenter said, “>single-player off-line experience Thank. you [sic].”
When "SimCity" was launched in early March, it suffered from several issues. Its online-only requirement turned a lot of gamers off by preventing them from playing "SimCity" without an Internet connection. This was compounded by the fact that the game was virtually unplayable for at least two days after its release due to server overload.
Eventually, EA was able to get the game’s servers up and running, but they had to turn off some of the features in order to do so, including leaderboards, achievements and more. Eventually, the fans got fed up, leading to the creation of a Change.org petition, asking EA to remove the always-online requirement from "SimCity," as well as future games. The petition currently has more than 78,000 signatures.
We’re surprised that EA went in the online-only direction to begin with considering that "Diablo III," another online-only title, also experienced a disastrous launch due to server-side playability and account security issues. We’re glad to see that "The Sims 4" won’t tether gamers to the Internet, but only time will tell whether this represents an overall “lesson learned” moment from EA’s standpoint with respect to online-only play.
While EA has announced that "The Sims 4" will arrive on PC and Mac in 2014, its exact release date is currently unknown.