Back in June 2017, EA invited us to EA Play to experience The Sims Mobile – which is currently soft launched in Brazil and will be coming soon to iOS and Android devices worldwide. During EA Play, we had opportunities to provide feedback but to also interview producers working on the upcoming title and learn more.
Please note that this interview is based on notes that I made throughout my conversation with the producers and is not a transcription of the chat.
I had the opportunity to interview Sarah and Scott, two producers working on The Sims Mobile. Sarah has been at EA for a year, but this is her third time at EA! She started in 2002 and has worked on The Sims 2 and Spore, among other titles, and has spent 7 years working on mobile titles. Scott, on the other hand, has been at EA for just over 6 months and it is his first time working at EA and started his career at SEGA and has made console, PC, browser, and mobile games throughout his career.
After introductions, the first question asked was “what do you like about The Sims franchise in general?”. Sarah confessed to being a huge Sims fangirl since The Sims 1 and “…loves the creativity and expression” and the “ability to tell whatever story you want”. Scott echoed with a similar response adding that he likes the “people that the game attracts”, referring to types of players who are creative, unique and individual as everyone has their “own story to tell and have the opportunity to do so”.
As we all know, The Sims FreePlay currently provides a mobile Sims experience, albeit 5 years old. Therefore I asked about why they decided to create a second mobile game when that already exists. The Sims FreePlay came out for technology in 2011 and things have advanced which as given an opportunity to “create an incredible Sims experience that is different… a completely new game”. Scott added to this by saying that there was “two other big things”. What a player expects and what a mobile game can be has dramatically changed, and The Sims 4 now exists which sets expectations of what the experience should be, so they “wanted to build on top of that and drive the vision forward”.
In addition to this, the game itself is “inspired by what the community wanted of them… the legacy aspect”. It’s all about thinking ahead to the future and what you can do in 3, 4, 5 generations and be excited by that instead of holding onto individual Sims for a long period of time.
Some of the main elements I noticed while playing The Sims Mobile was the focus on legacy and careers/hobbies. When asked why this was a big focus, Sarah and Scott responded by saying they wanted to “respond to the community” and “take the core elements and what makes a Sims game great, and add onto the foundation” with the legacy, social, and live events.
When asked what their favourite thing about the game is, Sarah said that she loves being able to “create an amazing Sim” and that “you can experience it with friends”. Scott said he is excited by “the potentiality of what could be done in the future” by players.
This is great if you’re like me and are hopping between devices!
Digging a bit deeper about features, I asked about SimCash, one of the in-game currencies that you can purchase. With it, you can get particular objects, so I asked whether this is just decorative items or if some of these could prevent progress in-game if you didn’t get SimCash. Sarah and Scott replied by saying that they can “benefit activities” but you can “unlock tokens you need to get the same object”, and they do “open up a bunch of experiences”.
Some players, mainly those who are used to the paid experience on PC, have asked why it is a free-to-play game instead of an upfront cost, like The Sims 3 app was back in 2009. When asked with this, Scott replied by saying that PC games, such as The Sims 4, “have to ask how can I get money” whereas with free-to-play, that is the “last question we ask” and instead they focus on “how can we engage you and have fun right away”.
Speaking of Sims 4 players, I personally think The Sims Mobile deserves a chance. So I asked Scott and Sarah what they would like to say to people who play The Sims 4 who may be skeptical of the mobile entry. One key reply was that “The Sims 4 isn’t going anywhere” and to “give mobile a try” as there are features standard for mobile games but also it’s an experience that “Sims 4/Sims 3 players will love”. In addition to this, they added to “keep playing your current game” as “if you don’t want to play now, we will keep getting better, and eventually we may have something that will complement your experience”.
There you have it, our exclusive interview with The Sims Mobile producers, Sarah and Scott, at EA Play 2017! I want to thank them for their time and for providing such a valuable insight into their background in the gaming industry, history of The Sims Mobile, what it has to offer, and everything else we discussed in our conversation.
You can get all of the latest news for The Sims Mobile, The Sims FreePlay, and The Sims 4, among other Maxis titles, right here on our website at BeyondSims.com and our YouTube channel! You can also check our first impressions from EA Play below.