Fans have been crying out for The Sims 4 multiplayer over many years now, so they can become virtual neighbours and pay each other's digital families a visit. It's true that EA have always shown support for the Sims communities which have formed online, but so far they haven't found a way that neighbourhoods in The Sims 4 can be merged, so we can visit our friends or take a walk around user-created towns. It's always a consideration, so here's everything we know about EA's plans for Sims 4 multiplayer, along with thoughts on what we might see in the future.
What EA has said about Sims 4 multiplayer
If comments from EA's CEO Andrew Wilson are any indication - and you have to hope they would be - an online future is something that the company is considering. This statement is from EA's third quarter of FY2020 earnings call.
"As Maxis continues to think about The Sims for a new generation – cross-platforms and a cloud of a neighborhood world, you should imagine while we will always stay true to our inspiration, escape, creation, self-improvement, motivations – that this notion of social interactions and competition like the kind of things that were actually present in The Sims Online many many years ago – that they will start to become a part of The Sims experience in the years to come.
We are very excited. This is a game that really doesn’t have any competition in its category for delivering and fulfilling these motivations for players and we think of the tremendous growth opportunities for us for many many years to come."
There’s always the Sims 4 multiplayer mod
Always one step ahead, the sims community has already created a serious mod to bring multiplayer to The Sims 4. The Sims 4 Multiplayer mod is designed to let you play with other people in real-time on a local network. The mod basically uses one PC as a server, which allows two players to join the same game. It's still in closed beta, but the developer has a Patreon to support the project and hopes to expand the mod to allow more than two players in the future.
You can check out the mod at sims-multiplayer.com
Remember, this isn't an official EA product, so you'll want to be careful when downloading and installing.
The Sims Online
Some sims players will remember The Sims Online, which launched in December 2002 for PC. For a subscription fee of $9.99 a month, players essentially got to experience a sims MMO. Think all the usual sims gameplay but the other sims are all real people. Career choices were Restaurant, Robot Factory, DJ, and Dancing, but people also made money by buying and then selling or renting homes.
In 2007 the game was rebranded as EA-Land, and in August 2008 it was shut down.
The Sims Bustin' Out was released in 2003 for PS2, Xbox, Game Boy Advance and Nintendo GameCube, and had multiplayer features. The game was very different from the pure simulation of the classic series, offering an adventure style narrative that saw a villain called Malcolm Landgraab stealing possessions from others sims. The Online Weekend mode let players use chat and work together in freeplay and storymode. The server for the game shut down in August 2008.