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Future of The Sims
Near Future
Some hands-on playtime on The Sims 2
The future of The Sims seems to be a good one, as far as I can tell at the moment. The first new package we'll see is Bustin' Out. One piece of information from that: the red scooter might be designed after Will's famous red scooter. Will didn't know for sure though, but the sound is definitely different: Will's scooter is electric, while the one in Bustin' Out sounds like it runs on gas. As for The Sims: we've seen very many - 7 - expansion packs for The Sims 1. I've asked if we'd see a patch for Superstar after all, since it has many bugs. However, that is still unsure and unfortunately it doesn't look like there will be. This is in my opinion the worst thing EA has (not) done to the Sims fans in the past year. It shouldn't be that people have to spend another $30 to buy Makin' Magic to fix the Superstar problems.

After Bustin' Out, it's of course time for The Sims 2. I don't expect this to be released in January or February, considering the state the game's in at the moment. March or April 2004 seems to be more likely, which is also what Maxis has said recently ("early spring 2004"). Will Wright thinks that this new game will eventually sell even more than The Sims 1 (over 7 or 8 million copies worldwide!), because the amount of players grows. Currently there aren't many Sims players aged over 35-40 years, in 5 years that'll be 40-45 and so on. The gaming industry is still a growing industry. Of course it'll take some time before The Sims 2 outsells The Sims 1, also because there are still more people who don't yet meet the system requirements for The Sims 2.

In the near feature Maxis will also be enhancing the official site, so it gets a better BBS system, improved navigation, and the servers will get better hardware. The MySim pages will also be renewed to add the ability for Sims 2 branded custom content.
More Distant Future
Dave and Charles, Art and Creative directors
After The Sims 2 is out, Maxis will bring out several new objects at SimDays again. They will also make new expansion packs, and it seems to be true that there will be quite many again. Save up some money, as this game will again cost you quite a bit. The prices won't change though: about $50 for the original game, and $30 for each expansion. That's nothing really new. Another thing Maxis will be releasing is a tool to create new objects for The Sims 2. However, we'll still have to wait about 6-12 months after the release of The Sims 2 to get it. It won't be Edith, but probably a trimmed down version of it, which has far less features than Edith itself (which has been used to make all the objects for The Sims 1 and 2). It's not sure yet whether this tool will be done in-house, by Maxis itself, or by a third party under a license of Maxis.

Maxis is also working on several new projects. These include the next SimCity (SimCity 5?), which is not yet announced, but is being worked on as we can see at the EA Jobs page at the time of writing. Will is also working on a secret project, which I can't really tell anything about. Since there were rumours of his next project at the E3 2002 (read this) and E3 2003 (right here), I think it's quite likely this game will be presented at the next E3 in May 2004. That means it will probably be released late 2004 or early 2005. However, this is pure speculation and nothing has been confirmed about this project whatsoever, and I could be wrong by a year, or the Maxis may even cancel the complete project (which I think is unlikely, but it's happened before with SimsVille and SimMars, to name two never finished projects). Maxis is keeping any details of this new game secret at the moment, and we'll probably have to wait another couple of months before we'll get the first pieces of (confirmed) information. However, it is commonly known that Will is working on something new again, and has been for quite a while already. It's a matter of a lot of patience to get the first information, which The Sims Zone will of course report about.

And after that? Nobody knows... not yet anyway.
Final Conclusion
For now, I know this special is over with. This is the final bit of the whole thing. If you want my opinion about The Sims 2: I think it's going to be a great game, far better than The Sims 1. I'm quite happy there won't be even more expansions for The Sims 1, as they won't be able to bring real new features. The graphics and the engine in general of The Sims 2 is so much better, it's definitely worth the wait. The new features bring The Sims to a whole new level - the next generation - and makes the gameplay better in many ways. And The Sims 1 won't be useless: those who want to keep playing that, can just keep it installed next to The Sims 2. But I'm quite sure that everybody who's played The Sims 2, will leave the first series alone pretty easily.

I hope you found this special interesting and that you enjoyed reading it. I know it's given a lot of new information about the Sims 2, and I enjoyed writing it. I also hope it's been useful for you to get to know more about The Sims 2. I'm looking forward to the game, I guess EA wants you to be. You can always read this special again, as it'll remain in the database of The Sims Zone. Just in case you forgot something.

The people of Maxis who held presentations or otherwise helped making The Sims 2 University great Charles London, Creative Director
Desiree, who co-organised the whole trip

Finally, I want to thank Maxis for the great time I had. It's been great to see The Sims 2, CaSIE, and to meet people from Maxis, including Will Wright. I've had an amazing weekend, and I can't wait to go again. Thank you (from left to right): Daniel, Anna, Dave, Caryl, Tim, Mike, Luc, Lucy, Darren, Will, Patrick, Robyn, Charles (on the top-right picture), and Desiree (bottom-right picture)!

The webmasters who attended The Sims 2 University together with Will Wright
Written at 22:50 on Tuesday 18 November 2003 by ChEeTaH.

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