Oh Snap, The Sims 5 Looks Like It’s Going To Be Free-To-Play

A The Sims 4 image shows characters dancing while wearing cowboy outfits.

Image: EA

An Electronic Arts job listing for a role related to The Sims 5, the upcoming entry in its popular life-sim series, appears to confirm that it will launch as a free-to-play game.

As noted by Sims Community, according to the application listing for “Head of Monetization & Marketplace, Project Rene” (Project Rene being the codename for The Sims 5), the person who fills this role will be in charge of the game’s free-to-play monetization practices. Here’s an excerpt from the job listing:

  • Own Project Rene’s in-game marketplace of content and [user-generated content] (free and paid), and manage a data-informed player-centric player purchase journey – maximizing value to players, optimizing player spend patterns, and minimizing player churn.
  • Own pricing of all content in this free-to-enter game, ensuring we have an optimal pricing and content architecture. Provide guidance to content teams on in-game content needs to meet player demand.

Read More: The Sims 5 Prototypes Give Us A Taste Of What’s Next For The Life Sim

The meat and potatoes of the job listing suggest that the future head of monetization will be in charge of determining optimal pricing for all sorts of content in the game’s marketplace, finding the sweet spot where profit is maximized and players are retained. What’s not clear yet is just how playable the game will be without additional purchases, or, of course, just what sort of pricing model we might see on this content and how it could be packaged.

Kotaku reached out to EA for comment.

This isn’t the first time EA has launched a game under a free-to-play model. Last year, EA released the base game of The Sims 4 for free on all platforms eight years after its initial release. Outside of The Sims, EA also released the popular battle-royale shooter, Apex Legends, as a free-to-play title with paid season passes.

The Sims 5 does not have a confirmed release date.

Free-To-Play Shooter Shuts Down For Good Due To Cheaters

Developer Yager Development has announced that its free-to-play multiplayer shooter The Cycle: Frontier will go offline forever on September 27. The developer gave a few reasons for the shutdown, including an interesting one: Cheaters ruined the experience for everyone involved.

On June 29, Yager took to the game’s Steam page to deliver the saddening news. Alongside specifying that the project was no longer “financially viable” despite the team’s best efforts, Yager also said cheaters were equally to blame.

Why is The Cycle: Frontier shutting down?

“The general behavior with online games after a good launch is a couple of nice weeks, then a dwindling interest, until stabilization after a few months,” Yager wrote. “During perhaps one of the most important periods of a live game, we faced many challenges. One of them and perhaps the most crucial one was the increasing number of cheaters shortly after The Cycle: Frontier went live. Although we had tools and measurements in place, we quickly realized we needed to improve our anti-cheat efforts to be able to ensure a fair game experience for all players. By the time we got additional partners onboard for our anti-cheat efforts and could focus again on gameplay and performance improvements for The Cycle: Frontier, [plenty of folks] had already been affected and as a result we saw a significant decrease in our player base.”

Developed by the team behind the beloved third-person shooter Spec Ops: The Line, The Cycle: Frontier is a survival multiplayer shooter that pits players against other players against the environment (PvPvE). As a Prospector, your job is to embark on missions on the alien planet Fortuna III to collect loot and gather resources in an attempt to escape with your spoils before monsters maul you to death. The premise sounds kinda neat, an amalgam of Borderlands and Escape From Tarkov with some squad-based gameplay a la Apex Legends, too. Unfortunately, all that will soon be irrelevant with the game going offline in a couple of months. Even players were disappointed, as a cursory glance at The Cycle: Frontier’s “mixed” score on Steam shows fans decrying how it was a fun time that benefitted from various improvements, but ultimately couldn’t escape the hackers hellbent on killing folks almost instantly.

Kotaku reached out to Yager Development for comment.

What’s next for The Cycle: Frontier? According to the official website, Epic Games players won’t be able to install the game anymore while Steam players can. Either way, everyone who owns The Cycle: Frontier can still access it until September 27. Refunds will reportedly be automatically processed before the game goes offline, while the official communication channels (Discord, Twitter, etc.) will stop posting new content updates. Meanwhile, Yager will take the experience it has gathered and shift to “new projects” it hasn’t revealed yet.

This news means The Cycle: Frontier will soon join the over 40 games that already were killed this year due to dwindling player bases, lack of money and resources, and expiring licenses, among other reasons. The Cycle: Frontier’s unceremonious shuttering follows a growing trend: Games cost time and money to make and upkeep, and sometimes developers run out of both. From a preservation standpoint, and for the dedicated player base, however, the decision to shut down the extraction shooter in September sucks.

 

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