When I saw that The Sims 4 a new type of micro content called kits introduced, my first reaction was a deep, tired sigh.
If you frequently visit online areas dedicated to the Sims franchise, you’ll probably know that older generations of the game tend to be very well remembered. This is in contrast to the much more mixed reaction to the current iteration of the series, which is currently The Sims 4.
The Sims 3 vs The Sims 4 is currently a particularly controversial topic among fans of the series. I have my preferences, but I try to stay out of it where possible. First and foremost, I’m in fandom spaces to celebrate media I enjoy, not to point out whether other people agree with me on every point. And I enjoy the Sims immensely.
However, I always had a bone to pick when I unwisely plunged into online debates about which game did it worse. The Sims 3 Store has you parted with real money for exclusive content, which can range from a new game world to a single cosmetic item. It remains, in my opinion, possibly the worst decision in the history of the franchise. The fact that The Sims 4 got rid of the feature was, in my opinion, one of the sequel’s big improvements over its predecessor.
In 2013, purchasing all content for The Sims 3 – the base game, expansion packs, packs and all items in the store – would have set you back almost $75,000. (It’s actually today more .) I’m usually a completionist, but this is mind blowing. In comparison, purchasing all of the add-ons released for The Sims 4 to date would cost around $700 – still completely ridiculous, but that’s a month’s rent versus a generous 25% down payment on a mortgage.
With that in mind, the addition of three mini-DLC pieces to The Sims 4, priced at $5 each, isn’t all that egregious, although there are likely more to come. In my estimation they would need to introduce at least 15,000 things before they finally catch up with the Sims 3 Store.
But it seems to mark the slow return of microtransactions to The Sims, which I definitely could have happily done without – as I have done since The Sims 4 came out in 2014.
My intention is certainly not to shame anyone who purchases content from the Sims 3 Store or who likes the look of these kits for The Sims 4. If it makes you happy and you can afford it, there are probably worse ways to throw away a few pounds.
But I can’t shake the feeling that the introduction of kits represents a return to what feels to me (though obviously not to all players) like the bad old days of the franchise. The Sims 4 doesn’t always get everything right, but so far at least they’ve resisted the urge to charge you a real dollar to give your Sim a new haircut, even though history had taught them they could do it .
Unfortunately, they now charge you a real dollar per digital vacuum.
If you’re still curious about what it’s all about, you can now purchase all three new kits for The Sims 4 – Bust the Dust, Country Kitchen and Throwback Fit (that’s supposed to be “Fitness”?) – on PC, Xbox and PlayStation .