Depending on the amount of cynicism you keep stored in your hate pouch at any given time, you can either chalk this happening up to fan pettiness or developer connivery. After EA announced that The Sims 4 wouldn’t include two common features, they faced a hefty amount of criticism from their fans. What features are those? The inclusion of swimming pools and a toddler phase for growing Sims. You read that right: The Sims 4 will not ship with swimming pools or toddlers. To quote Herbert Morrison: Oh, the humanity!
EA, hoping to save some face, released a statement recently explaining their reasoning for excluding what many fans see as standard features of the series. According to executive producer Rachel Frankliln, they were removed simply to make room for new innovations and features.
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.
While this seems like a legitimate reason, it’s surprising that they couldn’t find a way to incorporate two seemingly small features with these huge, drastic changes. That being said, EA has also said that they may add the missing features back into The Sims 4 with a post-launch update or expansion. Fan outrage at EA may hit all-time high numbers if the company tries to charge fans extra bucks to get old content back, but this all remains speculation for now.
Whatever happens after launch, it’s now clear that The Sims 4 will be released on September 2, 2014 on PC sans pools or toddlers to swim in them.