Looks like The Sims 5 is free-to-play

The Sims 5
(Image credit: EA)

A new job listing suggests that The Sims 5 - or Project Rene, if you prefer - will be free-to-play and supported with an in-game marketplace.

EA and Maxis are seeking a Head of Monetization and Marketplace for The Sims 5 (via TheHenfordHen on Twitter). Among other responsibilities, this role will handle "Project Rene’s in-game marketplace of content and UGC (free and paid)" and "pricing of all content in this free-to-enter game, ensuring we have an optimal pricing and content architecture."

The devs had not previously said whether The Sims 5 would be free, so this 'free-to-enter' line is particularly notable. It's unclear whether EA considers 'free-to-enter' distinct from 'free-to-play', and we could see a situation where a chunk of the game is available for free, but the full experience is still cordoned off behind a premium purchase. But that's pure speculation, and even the devs themselves probably haven't made a final decision on how this will work yet.

I'm also especially curious what a 'marketplace of content and UGC (free and paid)' looks like. The Sims 4 already has a marketplace for smaller bits of DLC on top of its various expansion offerings, but it doesn't currently include UGC (meaning user-generated content). The Sims has long had a robust community of mod creators, but this would open the door for those mods to be directly integrated into the game itself, and potentially sold through the marketplace, with creators and EA splitting the profits.

The Sims 4 went free-to-play last year, and it certainly seems EA is happy with whatever results that experiment has provided. The publisher may be doing more if it in the future, too, as Skate 4 is also going free-to-play.

A recent dev video gave us our first look at how Sims look and behave in The Sims 5.

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.