Well that's one of the weirder headlines I've written recently. Fans of omnipotent overlord simulator The Sims were dismayed last week when it that the series' fourth entry would feature neither swimming pools nor toddlers.
For as EA doth say, "Upon the fourth age thy Ikea cabinets ye shall have, thy exercise bikes and spiral bookcases also - but lo! Thy tiny crawling children between the ages of one and three hath been cast right out! And no swimming pools neither."
That's a direct quote from the king of EA himself, by the way. Anyway, Rachel Franklin, executive producer on The Sims 4, has written a blog post explaining the decision.
"The fact is, we owe you a clearer explanation for why pools and toddlers will not be in The Sims 4 at launch," she writes, "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."
That need to rebuild the game's tech lead to the amusingly specific mission of pools and toddlers. But where did the time not spent creating them go instead?
"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," explains Franklin. "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."
Thus follows a lot of not very interesting talk about how your Sims will now be "uniquely personal" and the character creation process "impactful", and lots of other bland marketing buzzwords. Franklin does promise a The Sims 4 Create A Sim Demo later this Summer, so you'll get to see just how new that portion of the game feels.
So there you have it. Essentially it's too much work to create separate animations for toddlers and for swimming. Obviously those two seemingly disparate items will be added in some kind of future expansion or something. I imagine the shit will re-hit the fan if players are asked to pay for them anew.