The Sims has turned from a beloved long-running series into a beast solely responsible for helping EA deepen their wallet. With a multitude of overpriced expansions, we’re forced to ask why EA is milking this game for all it’s worth.
The Sims launched for the first time ever on Feb 4th, 2000, which makes the game a little over 20 years old. In its heyday, Sims was a title that saw major sales on most of the big platforms, everything from PC to Wii to even our smartphones. With an extremely dedicated following, it’s easy to see why EA would want to continuously pump out Sims games and added expansions.
But $750 for a finished game? Really?
Yes, that’s how much the entire game of Sims 4 costs once you purchase each expansion pack. These packs range from $20-$40, though a couple of small packs worth less than $10 have a chance to be added for free. These expansion packs cover everything from letting your Sim go to college (University Living), helping patients as a Doctor (Get to Work), or even going as far as making your Sim one of the living dead (Vampire Pack).
This type of mass expansion pack gameplay is usually seen in MMOs, but the Sims 4 expansion packs aren’t really like their MMO counterparts (Insert “no dip, Sherlock” here.) But this disparity between Sims and MMO packs is actually one of the main reasons EA is still milking the series. Take Destiny as a prime example. In Destiny, after hitting a certain level cap, you’re essentially forced to buy a DLC to keep your character leveled up, which prevents you from being plowed through in the PvP modes.
In Sims, the DLCs aren’t necessities, and every expansion pack, no matter how small, could potentially add hours of game time. This is why packs are not only still being sold, but actually see discounts very frequently, as seen by sales on a couple of huge DLCs and small content packs every week to two weeks. I actually forked over the $17.99 for the Vampire pack, and I’ll be honest when I say that not only did that add in 10+ hours of game time, but now I’m seriously eyeing that Celebrity pack so my character can do some mind control on other A-list stars.
EA is known for being money-hungry, and the DLCs for Sims 4 don’t help that cause. Honestly, though, it’s nowhere near as horrible as you’d think. Because the base game is already so cheap and the DLCs are seeing huge price cuts from bi-weekly sales, EA can skate by a bit easier here than they can with other games. Each pack does bring something valuable to the table and can easily triple your hours spent in-game depending on how you mix and match and what fun challenges you come up with. They keep milking the game because we keep buying the milk from them, and while $750 is way too steep a price for a full game, you don’t need everything to enjoy the Sims experience. Now that we’ve got the packs out of the way for Sims 4, what’d be really nice is if EA could just move on and publish Sims 5.