Is Electronic Arts Cash-Grabbing Sims Players?

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Taylor Burnham

 

I am an avid player of the life simulation game The Sims 4. The blend of realistic storytelling ability with the franchise’s outrageous characteristics immediately enthralled me, and I have overindulged in this game since 2015. With the arrival of new packs that provide unique, immersive content enhancing the base game, the game seemed never to get old until recently. Lately, the most recent packs have lacked depth and replayability, causing Sims players to feel bored with the game. This discontent has not stopped Electronic Arts (EA), the game developers, from developing packs, with the latest edition being the new and controversial pack category of kits.    

 

The Sims 4 already has three standing pack types—expansion packs ($40.00), game packs ($20.00), and stuff packs ($10.00)—but on March 2nd, the Sims team introduced the new kit packs ($5.00). They released three different kits simultaneously, allowing players to choose what they desired based on their play style. These kits include: Bust the Dust (vacuuming), Throwback Fit (90’s fashion), and Country Kitchen (rustic kitchen items). 

Despite kits bringing new content to the game, there are several issues with their conception that have prevented me from purchasing them. It is evident that the game developers have an obsession with money, as all companies do, but the greed exhibited by EA is especially off-putting. Pushing out new packs as fast as they can, it appears EA is more concerned with making money than refining the base game. There are dozens of bugs and glitches players are experiencing with no fix or acknowledgment from the company. The release of every new pack results in more problems, suggesting that the packs are not tested and are merely thrown to the masses for economic profit. Not to mention, several players have reported numerous bugs with the Bust the Dust kit itself. 

 

Simmers have also asked for specific content additions to the base game since its initial release with limited response from EA. For example, it took over six years for the company to finally address prominent issues with darker skin tones in the game, including lack of variety and an appearance of ashinessThe Sims 4 prides itself on diversity and inclusion, but so many cultures and traits are underrepresented that it is hard to believe they care about that aspect. Instead of doing their research and adding necessary content for free, they encourage players to spend hundreds of dollars on packs that they will get bored of after one week. Other components have also been requested, most prominently better babies and developed social relationships, but little has been done to add them. EA has refused to listen to what their players want (do not get me started on Journey to Batuu—NOBODY asked for that) until players threatened to stop playing. Even then, minimum changes have occurred. 

 

With kits planning to be released more frequently than regular packs, they feel like a cash-grab meant to satisfy EA’s insatiable need to manipulate their players. The $5.00 price allows more players to purchase the meager content, but those transactions add up as more and more kits are added to one’s library. I love the Sims, and I have invested every birthday card surprise into this game, but I feel kits are not worth the money nor worth existing. Give me more actual in-depth gameplay, and maybe I will think about it.