When fans of EA's upcoming The Sims game -- The Sims 4 -- heard that swimming pools and toddlers would not be in the game at launch (or possibly ever), they were upset. A recent post from EA's Rachel Franklin on The Sims 4 blog hoped to explain why these things were excluded and calm down any backlash from The Sims community. But it seems like Franklin's rather lengthy explanation has done little to nothing to calm down the community.
In her post, Franklin says that EA excluded these two things (and probably some other stuff that hasn't been revealed yet) to focus on improving the AI from Sims and to add new emotion animations so that players could tell by looking at their Sims how they were feeling.
The fact is, we owe you a clearer explanation for why pools and toddlers will not be in The Sims 4 at launch, so here goes. It begins with new technology and systems that we built for this new base game for The Sims – a new AI system, new animation system, new audio positioning tools, new locomotion logic, new routing intelligence and much more are all entirely new in this game. The vision for The Sims 4 is a new experience that brings your Sims to life in deeper and uniquely personal ways – through emotions, personality traits, behaviors and interactions. To do that, our technology base needed a major upgrade.
So the bottom line is that when we sat down and looked at everything we wanted to do for this game, all the new tech we wanted to build into it, the fact was that there would be trade-offs, and these would disappoint some of our fans. Hard pill to swallow, believe me, but delivering on the vision set out for The Sims 4 required focus. Focus on revolutionizing the Sims themselves. So, rather than include toddlers, we chose to go deeper on the features that make Sims come alive: meaningful and often amusing emotions; more believable motion and interactions; more tools in Create A Sim, and more realistic (and sometimes weird!) Sim behavior. Instead of pools, we chose to develop key new features in Build Mode: direct manipulation, building a house room-by-room and being able to exchange your custom rooms easily, to make the immediate environment even more relatable and interactive for your Sim.
But some fans are roundly rejecting this explanation from EA; some are saying that the game will be a PR nightmare for EA on the scale of SimCity if they don't add these items. Others are a bit more dramatic if you sift through all the comments.
If taken at face value, the comments seem to indicate that fans want pools and toddlers added into the game at launch and anything other than acquiescence on EA's part is unacceptable.
I prefer Andrew Eisen's explanation (who sent this story in to us) on why EA removed toddlers and swimming pools from the game:
"EA: Because we know you sick bastards would just drown them!"