Is A Sims Game Without Pools Even A Sims Game At All?

You will get NONE OF THIS.

The answer is, of course, “Yes, obviously,” but The Sims’ triumphant return to our lives (well, technically non-lives with The Sims ruling them) might be a slightly bittersweet one. The Sims 4 is bringing all sorts of new building, customization, and socialization features, but it’s losing some classics. Remember swimming pools? Of course you do, you SimSadist, you ladder-deleting devil. Well, they won’t be available, unfortunately. Neither will toddlers. Details below.

The news actually came as part of a rather celebratory blog post on Maxis’ part, but the offending bits stuck out like sore thumbs, all hangnail and puss-encrusted cuticle:

“Build Mode truly is the most powerful, and fun, Build Mode we’ve ever created. While it’s not possible for us to include every single feature and piece of content we added to The Sims 3 over the last 5 years, we’ve added features that you’ve asked for and that offer a whole new intuitive and fun way to build. These are features like Wall Height Adjustment, Dynamic Foundation Sizing, and Smart Windows! And though pool building won’t be available in September, we do have a new Fountain Tool so you can create sophisticated landscapes. Whether you were a novice builder in The Sims 3, or an experienced pro, I really think you’re going to love The Sims 4’s build mode.”

Yeah, but, but, but… POOLS.

The toddler news was similarly couched in effusive positivity, with Maxis waxing genetic about the ability to create relatives from any other Sim. There will also be all sorts of new personalities, which sounds great! Thing is, they’ll be confined to babies, children, teens, young adults, adults and elders. No toddlers.

It’s hard not to be concerned that EA will add these features back at a later date (possibly for a price), but nothing Maxis explicitly said indicates such a plan. Not directly, anyway. That’s something, but beyond that we’ll just have to wait and see.

For now, then, we can only mourn the loss of our ability to use pools for completely non-nefarious purposes as we eagerly await our babies’ chrysalis metamorphoses into walking, talking, non-larval humans. Let us hope it’s all for the best, even as our Sims gaze longingly into their backyards and wonder what could have been.


  1. Detocroix says:

    Well, we can absolutely assume “everything will be added for a price” as that’s what Maxis (under EA) has been doing for years now… especially with Sims.

    Also… “While it’s not possible for us to include every single feature and piece of content we added to The Sims 3 over the last 5 years” – quote, apparently it’s not even possible to add everything that The Sims 3 launched with.

    • Bull0 says:

      The ingame object designer that let you retexture beds etc is gone too, apparently. Shaping up to be a real step backwards from The Sims 3. Total clowns running the show.

      • P.Funk says:

        Surely by clowns you mean geniuses right?

        Add features to game. Next iteration remove feature and sell it as DLC.

  2. laijka says:

    You just know that these features will come back in the form of DLC/Expansions with EA/Maxis tooting their own horn about how they “listen to the community” and “give people what they want” all for the small price of $19.99.

    • Simon_Scott says:

      My thoughts too – the “won’t be available in September” seems rather telling.

    • Superpat says:

      I can just see the name of the expansion now: Floating Toddlers

      • P.Funk says:

        Considering how dark the E3 presentation was about spontaneous death could we maybe… see… uhhh… pools… toddlers…. forgot to put his floaties on…

        Basically I’m saying we should get a Sim 4: Dead Babies expansion. Feature list includes: drinking things under the sink, drowning in the pool, falling down the stairs, and everyone’s favourite Sudden Infant Death Syndrome! Imagine the emotional torment you’ll be able to experience with your Sim parents when you child dies for NO REASON AT ALL!

        • WiggumEsquilax says:

          As long as swimming babies can be made to, uh… disappear, I don’t think the community will need such randomization. Toddler + pool – ladders = funny.

    • secuda says:

      Not DLC, just think of Dungeon keeper on smart phone. and you might get where i am going.

      • rikvanoostende says:

        I thought it a refreshing change: Dungeon Keeper Mobile, where the concept was evil and nothing was good.

        • secuda says:

          Exactly, that freaking timer on everything. whats the point in playing the game if you have to wait 24h on a block to disepear with no other gains then it just disepear. oldschool gamers should not stand for that kind of treatment.

  3. Lacero says:

    I had heard they also removed the feature that let you put custom textures for objects in. Re-texturing or recolouring things let you get a lot more variety out of the base objects.

    Seems a huge shame. To be honest even if they do re-add things later why buy it until they do? and then why buy it if sim3 is cheaper?

  4. RedViv says:

    A new base Sims game, a new load of features that were never there before, a mix of things that the previous game had in vanilla and a bunch of stuff from later expansions, and new comments on how this is the Worst Thing Ever because clearly they should just work five years worth of expansion packs into the new engine and game systems right from the start because [personally important feature] is not in this time so EA is litllerally Heilter.

    • Wulfram says:

      Which new features are those? Aside from the emotion systems, which doesn’t seem exactly revolutionary.

      • Bull0 says:

        I would also be interested to hear about the mysterious new features and the unicorns

      • Premium User Badge

        Phasma Felis says:

        Truly, it is a mystery. If only these new features had been specifically mentioned in the very article we’re posting under!

    • Drake Sigar says:

      It’s not like there’s no basis for this, people have a decade of solid evidence to predict what will happen next.

    • noodlecake says:

      +1 this.

      All those artists and programmers who poured everything into this, sleeping under their desks for days on end to meet deadlines should lost their jobs and their dreams and the company should go down.

      • Dux Ducis Hodiernus says:

        …What? How is complaining about the ethics of a publisher correlating to the distain for the individual developers? Who are you even ridiculing, yourself?

        • toxic avenger says:

          No, he’s ridiculing people who think creating and including content for the next Sims game magically pops out of the air, and who don’t realize that limited resources (as in, finite resources) always means something will be left out.

      • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

        Those people should get better jobs at a company that isn’t EA.

      • Bull0 says:

        Yeah. Not being too thrilled about the way the new Sims game is turning out means all of those things.

    • RedViv says:

      Big changes in the creation tools aside, since they have been mentioned almost every time TS4 comes up:
      The emotion system should not be cast aside like that at all, since it means the game is no longer about making every single Sim as happy as possible, that traits have a way bigger influence on what consequences the actions of a Sim can have, and the shift in emotional states that are far more varied than the binary grumpy-happy thing that even Sims 3 had going should lead to, well, way better roleplaying I guess.
      Aside from that, TS4’s new engine also has grandly improved pathfinding, task distribution, and multitasking capabilities for pretty much every occasion in the daily Sim life.
      The new world system should get rid of rabbit holes pretty much everywhere, albeit with the drawback of separating the world into smaller neighbourhoods. It’s improved A LOT on the pure technical level, and the amount of skill-based activities and apparent objects in various preview pictures do very much show, not openly stated because marketing and surprises and such nonsense, that they generously grabbed stuff into the Stuff We Got With TS3 Expansions bag and sprinkled that over it.

      Of course not everything is in, and of course it would be lovely to see MORE MORE MORE, but they’ve stated multiple times that the tradition of each base game having more to do than the last one lives on. Pools and toddlers don’t ruin that for me.
      Stuff packs can go stuff it though. Those are just bollocks.

      • Dux Ducis Hodiernus says:

        But pools weren’t a part of the 5 years of expanison content. It came with the game at release. So saying “how can you expect 5 years of extra content of the original game!!” when we’re talking about pools, something which existed from the get go in all previous games, you’re just spitting out unrelated bullshit.

        • RedViv says:

          Yeah sorry, forgot to say that it has always been a mix of stuff that was in previous expansions and base games, ever since Sims 2, and that it might just happen to be the one thing from a base game that is left out this time. Anywhere at all. My bad.

          • Premium User Badge

            Joshua says:

            But creating awesome swimming pools was the closest thing the Sims the 1st had to an endgame :(!

          • Bull0 says:

            Create-a-style being another base game feature that’s gone walkies.

    • Grygus says:

      You seem to be taking these criticisms hard.

      If you or someone you love worked on the game, take comfort in the fact that even while people complain endlessly about The Sims, it still sells like cotton candy at a county fair, so perhaps they are only revealing part of their whole feeling about the game. It is boring to say what you like about The Sims because most people like the same things, so while talking about these games, people tend to talk about the bad parts; it’s not because they suck, it’s because the good things are mostly assumed.

      If you don’t have a direct connection to the development, you can still take that comfort but you might also consider taking a step back. Even if we all hate a game or company you like, it doesn’t reflect on you.

      • RedViv says:

        How do I come across as taking this personally? All I’m saying is that pools are just part of the rotation of features they do, have done since TS2, some base things in, some expansion things in, some base things out. That it hits swimming pools, okay, odd. But they’re just a single feature. I just don’t think this necessitates such an overreaction, especially when there are so many nice changes otherwise.

    • Universal Quitter says:

      The Hitler comment was unnecessary and stupid. But to the point, you’re leaving out the rest of the big picture, which is the base PRICE of these future DLCs, which will NEVER be reduced.

      Five years from now, they’ll still be 20-30$, long after the base game has dropped to 20$, and for content and features that don’t touch the base game in depth.

      And let’s not forget what a broken, unstable mess the Sims 3 actually is, even today.

      But yeah, invoking Godwin’s law preemptively is way smarter than actually understanding the multitude of reasons why EA, and the Sims in particular, tends to piss people off.

      • stupid_mcgee says:

        “But to the point, you’re leaving out the rest of the big picture, which is the base PRICE of these future DLCs, which will NEVER be reduced.”

        Yeah… No.

        The expansions have dropped in price. In fact, the older ones have dropped in price comparable to the base game. And a lot of older games are still $10 or $20. Kingpin: Life of Crime came out in 1999 and yet it still commands $10. Quake 4 came out in 2005 and it’s still $20 on Steam. (FYI: The Sims 3 launched in 2009)

        Before accusing others of using argumentative bullshit, perhaps you should clean your own shit-filled house.

    • OscarWilde1854 says:

      Fucking “Heilter”…. Killing all those poor “Jwaes”

    • Arglebargle says:

      I quit after Sims2, and am unlikely to ever return. It’s become nearly the same sorta scam as Madden Football. And if you think these other comments are bad, you should hear what my former Maxis employee acquaintence has to say about EA. It’s not nice….

      Oddly, it echoes what all my ex-EA friends say.

  5. Bravado says:

    I hope someday EA and Ubi go bankrupt or die, or something…

  6. secuda says:

    Hey hey maybe POOLS are something in the past.

    • PsychoWedge says:

      tss… tss… maybe the sims are so wet behind the ears they don’t need a pool or sumpthin…

  7. VCepesh says:

    Well, I suppose people will have to content themselves with walling sims in a concrete windowless room or repeatedly barbecuing or poking fireplace, while sleep-deprived. Or whatever the alternatives are.

  8. chrisnolan says:

    Hmmm, isn’t (my emphasis):

    And though pool building won’t be available in September,…

    relatively clear cut?

    • Neurotic says:

      I was just about to say exactly the same thing!

      Babies I can do without at launch; I rarely do families from the ground up anyway. No-launch pools are a shame, but I can wait.

    • CameO73 says:

      Knowing EA, it’ll probably be followed by the next announcement:
      “The pools will be available as part of the Sims 4 ™ Waterfun DLC. Toddlers can be selected after you have bought the Sims 4 ™ Family Expansion Pack. Everything easily purchasable via the in-game Store ™”.

  9. quietone says:

    The Sims: Pools’ Stuff and Other Stuff and Some Thing or Another for Cash

    Available: TBA

  10. Shadowcat says:

    I have this vision of nightmare scenes in Maxis QA, where every game of the Sims 4 led unavoidably to toddlers floating face-down in swimming pools.

  11. Koozer says:

    “Wall Height Adjustment”

    Can I make everyone crouch and get terrible back pain?

  12. joedpa82 says:

    Its all money grabbing opportunity. I bet those extras would be added later in the game as patch and downloadable on Origin.

  13. QA Bot 47 says:

    What about speech and thought bubbles? And what would a pool be without thought bubbles? I’ve had a bad feeling about The Sims 4 since before the first screenshots, and it’s only gotten worse since then. But after playing The Sims 3 so much, will I have any choice but to buy it? This is supposed to last us until 2020?

  14. noodlecake says:

    I never understand this logic. When a company makes a game they have time and budget constraints. With each game being an improvement on the last things tend to take longer and cost more, so losing some features is pretty inevitable.

    Knowing that they are going to make expansion packs no matter what, why is it a bad thing that they will include some of the things from the previous games that they couldn’t manage to get into this one in those packs?

    • ribby says:

      because it feels like they’re charging money for something that previously was free.

      • toxic avenger says:

        But…but…you’re getting other things that weren’t free before…

  15. PsychoWedge says:

    well, there goes my plan to make a single parent with 5 toddlers, kill the tyrannical adult and let the kids built an utopian society in the backyard…

  16. rustybroomhandle says:

    I’m sure they’ll add it all in after they pool their resources.

  17. XhomeB says:

    Crossing fingers GOG release Sims 1&2 at some point in the future, because I sure as heck won’t be supporting Sims 4 anytime soon. It’s ridiculous, the previous installments sold millions of copies and they still cannot put some of the most basic features in.

  18. sinister agent says:

    The Sims 5: Monochrome only on release, camera can only rotate clockwise, Sims’ eyes removed as “unnecessary”. Sims 5 full price expansion 1: Weeell……

  19. Jackablade says:

    Perhaps they’re just fulfilling the wish of the average parent and skipping past the anarchic toddler stage… although there’s probably some interesting gameplay to be had there. You could probably make an entire game playing as a parent trying to keep up with a hyper active 3 year old while at the same time extricating jam sandwiches from printers, cleaning crayon, tomato sauce and various biological oozings off the wall and comforting traumatised pets.

  20. celticdr says:

    Call me a cynic or call me someone who has bought previous Sims games – my money is (not literally) on the Maxis/EA machine churning out DLC after DLC, for a princely sum, where they add pools and other features that should be there from day dot, and there will most likely be an always online feature due to “massive software calculations requiring cloud servers”… however I could just be a cynic.

  21. Tayh says:

    Maybe it’s like in Sims 3 where it took Maxis years to finally add diving boards and spiral staircases.

  22. bangalores says:

    The Sims is still the only games which I’ve seen girls who don’t usually play games become absolutely addicted to.

    • Bart Stewart says:

      The Sims is still the only game that does emergent stories about people so fully.

      Thank you, Will Wright.

      • stupid_mcgee says:

        Actually, Wright’s original conception for The Sims was more of a dollhouse building game. The idea to give the sims some autonomy and to make them controllable, opposed to Wright’s idea of total autonomy, was an idea of one of the Maxis employees. They tinkered with it and Wright said it made the game much more fun. Thus, The Sims was born.

  23. Bearsbandit53 says:

    One month after the game is released, we will get an “exciting” new update: Coming Soon, The Sims Pool Party. Only $29.95!

  24. altum videtur says:

    Heard you can buy a mouse pointer for just 5$

    I remember that one time EA tried to sell me resources in Dead Space 3 and I hacked the game with CheatEngine in 3 seconds to have as much as I want.
    Then stopped playing because it wasn’t very good.

  25. Lanfranc says:

    Rule of Acquisition #198: No pools, no purchase.

  26. ZephaniahGrey says:

    Just going to say this once and for all:

    Piss off, EA.

  27. rikvanoostende says:

    Pay €30 every six months for an expansion of your base game doen’t seem as ridiculous as paying €15 per month just to access your game (ESO/WOW). Wish they offered a grown-up version/DLC of the game without the ‘woohoo’ and ‘sugar rush’ and with ‘sex’ and ‘drunk’ instead. EA proved they can when they released Sims Medieval.

  28. OscarWilde1854 says:

    Obviously going to be an expansion for this (as has been said by countless other people); but I reckon they’ll probably end up getting pressured into it being released as a free DLC, or something, after launch when the “masses” realize pools aren’t in the game.. (as, obviously, not everyone who plays will have heard this info before launch).
    And if there is one thing that motivates game companies it’s pissed off parents with upset children..

    I can even see the whole “Sim City” always online thing happening again..

  29. Doganpc says:

    Stop calling it Maxis, it’s clearly just a front for EA that knows it has a bad reputation. Might as well go wholesale name change EA then stay eerily silent whenever someone says you used to be EA.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      It’s dead… it’s dead already…

      Wait, no it’s moving… it’s alive… no, it’s “unalive”! Zombie Maxis will get us all!

  30. warcroft says:

    The Sims 5: Homeless Sims

    Buy the game you get two Sims living on the streets.
    You buy everything else as DLC.

  31. warcroft says:

    People are outraged, but they will buy it.
    Then they will be outraged when pools become available as DLC, but they will still buy it.

  32. machineageproductions says:

    Let’s be fair: People would be complaining regardless.

    If they added pools, people would just say, “they’re recycling features, like Dragon Age 2’s recycled dungeons!”

    And they’d buy it. And they’d swear they’ll never buy another EA game again.

    • Stupoider says:

      Ah yes, I have fond memories of the outrage surrounding the inclusion of pools during the release of TS2 and TS3.

      Wait, no I don’t, because people recognise that recycling features that are a mainstay of the series is better than killing them. Making a pool, having a Sim swim in it and removing the ladder is a great entry in the gaming consciousness.

      Dragon Age 2 had more problems than ‘recycled content’, whatever that means. Dragon Age 2 could’ve recycled more of Origins’s features and it would’ve been heaps better.

    • sharkh20 says:

      Did you even play Dragon Age 2? The recycled content wasn’t from other games. In fact. they removed a whole lot of features from that game that were in the first one. The recycled parts of DA2 were recycled from itself. There were like 4 dungeons in the game that they used over and over for the entirety of the game.

  33. Freud says:

    The Sims have built many pools owned by EA executives.

  34. Mittens89 says:

    When’s that ‘worst company of the year’ award thing coming up?

  35. Juan Carlo says:

    This is nothing.

    I remember a time when SIms games didn’t include Katy Perry.

    Dark days indeed!

  36. SkittleDiddler says:

    As long as Maxis keep my favorite feature – slowing the game down to a crawl if more than one expansion is installed – in The Sims 4, I’ll be a happy camper.

  37. qutayba7 says:

    It’s true that including all the features of a fully expanded Sims 3 in the base Sims 4 would make for overly-cluttered gameplay. It’s also true that redesigns call for streamlining features to emphasize what is new and may call for jettisoning features that were clunky. However, you haven’t been paying attention if you think EA, and the Sims franchise more than any other triple-A offering out there, doesn’t cynically withhold features in order to whet your appetite for that $5 digital toilet down the line. There are plenty of other companies that don’t follow such an exploitative model that are nevertheless quite profitable. The Sims is a fun game, and I’m sure the developers made some interesting and heartfelt improvements, but I’m not giving in to their cynical business model this time around.

  38. waltC says:

    I still have a very hard time understanding why anyone alive would want to buy and play any Simms game ever made…;) It looks exactly like grown people playing with a dollhouse filled with plastic Ken & Barbie dolls–& “Chatty Kathy” dolls, too. (You know, you pull the string and she says in a warbling, recorded voice, “Hello! I’ve just wet myself. Will you change me?” Ugh!) When the first Simms game was published, I thought, “This thing is going to crash and burn, hard.” Man was I ever wrong…;)

  39. Tayh says:

    I’ll let Robbaz explain:

    (edit: wtf, you can embed youtube videos here?)