EA Know When You WooHoo (In The Sims 4)

I was going to zoom in on the sausage as a symbolic reference to WooHooing but the image became blurry and weird

A year after launch, we’ve found out that EA have been monitoring your sex life in The Sims 4 [official site] like a bunch of creepy digital voyeurs in order to create a first birthday infographic. To that end, they have announced that characters in the game have done the flesh fandango 235,000,000 times.

I’ll tell you a bit more about the data in a moment but first: birthday infographics.

My parents never made an infographic for my first birthday. It could have been perfect for a newsletter or official blog (which I also didn’t have). It could have featured favourite words, steps taken, maximum tantrum decibels, time spent stroking the cat, time spent being comforted after stroking the cat went wrong…

I feel like this is a black mark against their parenting. What is life if not points of data organised for other people’s delight? My parents cared nothing for my #brand. They’ve also never celebrated my workiversary on LinkedIn. My father has, however, endorsed me for the skills of “Journalism”, “Pop Culture” and “Rodeo” so I suppose they are trying.

Speaking of work, apparently the most popular career for a Sim is “Other” and is expressed as a briefcase with a Simolean symbol next to it. I would like to be employed in the field of “Other” if it means briefcases full of cash, although I guess cases of money didn’t end well in Shallow Grave so maybe I should be careful what I wish for.

Only 9% of Sims chose the writer career, by the way, and being a writer is definitely not expressed in terms of suitcases of money. Instead there is a pen and paper. I have a pen and paper so this all checks out.

Not included on the infographic was “number of comments from players asking for toddlers be added into the game” or “number of pools in the game now that you can actually get pools in the game”. I bring these two things up because I remember them being the Big Controversies at launch.

Since that period of confusion and explanation and pool provision there have been further points of investigation, like needing to find out the difference between a Stuff Pack and a Game Pack and an Expansion, which have dampened my willingness to invest in the game or contribute to its WooHoo stat. Adam has also just told me (imagine I am a newsreader and he is pouring facts into my earpiece) that all the released and announced official DLC will set you back £186. Regarding this fact I refer you to my earlier remarks about writer careers and cases of money.

And thus I meander towards a final question:

Did any of you make the switch to The Sims 4 and, if you did, are you still playing?


  1. NyuBomber says:

    I did not switch to Sims 4, but I have gotten back into Sims 3, which I enjoy.

  2. TheAngriestHobo says:

    I am not advocating piracy, but at that price range, what does EA expect? £186 = $374 CAD. That’s just $25 shy of the cost of a new 500 GB X-Bone 1 with a decent game.

    I mean, AAA games have been creeping up in price for a while, but this is absolutely ridiculous.

    • geldonyetich says:

      Seems ridiculous, but it sells, so it isn’t.

      The reason why is probably because this franchise has a captive demographic. There’s people who only want to play dollhouse simulators such as this, and The Sims is so advanced ahead of its competitors that it has no real competition. So, for this demographic, all the expensive DLC doesn’t matter much because it’s the only game they buy anyway.

      Personally, I’m not part of that demographic, so I don’t worry about buying the newest DLC. I wait until they’ve been heavily discounted with age, first.

      • Rizlar says:

        Reading this I cannot help but think ‘like SimCity was way ahead of it’s competitors’.

        • geldonyetich says:

          But SimCity is a city builder in a whole genre of city builders. There’s not a whole lot of games like The Sims to compete with. So they have a captive audience because there’s virtually no competitors. (Some tried, such as Singles: Flirt Up Your Life back in 2003.)

          • LexW1 says:

            I think you’re missing the operative word: “was”.

            Simcity didn’t have any real competitors for a long, long time. I wasn’t really aware of any until, what, 2008? Later? Maybe not until 2012. Now it has a number, and they’re out-competing it.

            I feel like Sims is kind of on the same road. Sims 4 has been one long misstep compared to Sims 3. It is BEGGING to be competed with. EA make gigantic bank on it but invest relatively little because there’s no competition except itself, as you say, and because it competes with itself, they’ve engaged in a few dirty tricks towards people who haven’t “upgraded” to Sims 4. For example, some Sims 3 expansions have gone up in price, and the once-regular Sims 3 sales have pretty much vanished and are smaller in terms of reduction (there was a decent one hidden away on Steam a while back, but the Origin ones have been terrible). They also introduced quite a bunch of serious bugs to Sims 3 (we’re talking game-breakers) not long before they stopped supporting it.

            On top of this, you’re dead wrong when you blithely claim that Sims players only play Sims. My wife played a ton of Sims 3. She even has a bunch of Let’s Plays on Youtube for it (not super-popular or anything but…). She also plays dozens of other games – most recently she’s been playing a ton of Darkest Dungeon, but generally she’s a pretty serious player in a number of games, and a particularly brutal PvPer in things like TF2, HotS and WoW.

            So lay off the “they only play virtual dollies lolz” stereotyping. Even a brief time on actual Sims boards would make it clear that’s a subsection of people who play the Sims, comparable to the sort of people who only play a specific MMO or MOBA (of who there are tons, of course).

          • geldonyetich says:

            It’s certainly possible EA could lose its Sims franchise crown to sheer overconfidence. Indeed, it boggles the mind that they actually let the flexibility of Sims 3 lot generation fall by the wayside, as it would seem to be as essential as breathing, to say nothing for how unstable the engine has come with each expansion. This might be related: they may blame the overhead of multiple lot simulation for the engine instability.

            As for the pitfalls of overgeneralization of people, I was well aware of that in my initial phrasing, thanks.

    • shutter says:

      They expect people will buy it, and they will, because they’ve been buying it for years.

      It’s important to remember that it’s not 186 GBP up front. It’s only that much if you buy every DLC, and you buy them all at launch. Most people will pick up a few, maybe wait for some to go on sale, over the course of the year and more than Sims 4 has been out plus however long it takes them to release all the announced DLC. That’s really not that much, especially if you’re a single title person.

      Playing WoW costs you 120 GBP a year + the cost of an expansion every other year or so, and no one blinks an eye at that.

      • LexW1 says:

        Almost no-one stays sub’d to WoW all year, though. Hell, even at my most hardcore of WoW-playing (which was pretty hardcore), I think my record was being sub’d for six-seven months.

        That said the model of buying for Sims games you posit is absolutely true. They are still pretty expensive for how little EA invests, though – this marketplace could seriously do with competition.

  3. JFS says:

    I’m playing Sims 1 and 2. In my heart, it’s still 2005 and that won’t change.

  4. mrentropy says:

    I fire it up every once in a while. Usually when I don’t feel like doing something but want to keep my mind semi-occupied.

    I was thinking it worked like this:
    Stuff Pack = new objects (a new couch!)
    Game Pack = new objects and new interactions (a disco ball you can disco dance with)
    Expansion = Adds new game play features (jobs that you can actually take your sim to and… do stuff)

    The good thing with the packs and expansion is that you’re not legally obligated to get them if you don’t want to, so it’s not like anyone is forced to pay hundreds or thousands of [currency of your choice].

  5. SoundDust says:

    I did pick up Sims 4 and had fun with it for awhile – after I got over the “no newspaper” shocker. Then it got buried under all the other new, interesting games.

    I’ve played all of the Sims versions without the expansions – never thought of them as really essential to the experience.

  6. teije says:

    The more important question to ask is “why is the guy in the guitar serenading the girl in purple about a pair of red stiletto pumps?”

    • SoundDust says:

      He’s clearly trying to get in her shoes.. after he gets out of the guitar.

  7. Darth Gangrel says:

    I thought he was doing a different version of the song These Boots Are Made for Walkin’.

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      I clearly clicked on “log in to reply” on teije’s comment, yet my comment stands alone and out of context. Lol, that’s a first for me personally, but I’ve witnessed many other victims fall prey to it.

  8. Cropduster says:

    Still playing the Sims 3 here (when not playing more manly, red-blooded games about gnomes and longsword +1s).

    Maybe appeals to the inner control freak. Create a town, it’s buildings, all its citizens then watching it go and just tinkering with it like some kind of twisted self assembly coronation street. Frantically swapping between households and using mods to make sure their lives are all running according to the script I have provided. Then getting board and starting from scratch. Can’t do that in TS4, just two households and a trip to the pre-made library if you’re very lucky.

    Without any meaningful customization the sims core gameplay loop of “O look, my poo meter is low, best click on the toilet” quickly becomes old. The Sims 4 feels really hollow, like a tablet port or something, it’s the first game again essentially. Can’t build a town, because the town is an image with buttons on it now. Can’t customize walls, furniture or clothing, because that would interfere with the “emotions” system, which makes all sims act the same in practice. I think EA kind of dropped the ball, in this the post minecraft world where games about building and customizing the world are becoming a real deal, they instantly remove all that from the game.

    In all honesty though I’m glad. Never again will I be spending the shameful amount of cash on expansions and premium content that I did in TS3.

  9. Wulfram says:

    I’m surprised at how little casual sex is apparently going on in Sims land. 2/3 encounters are for the purpose of procreation?

  10. DigitalSignalX says:

    The Sims have always been about Architecture and Torture IMO. Build the most unique Frank Gehry / Loyd Wright home you can, then bring the Sims in and torture them to various degrees of discomfort and or death.

    Sims 4 really doesn’t do anything new for the Architecture / Torture simulation genre.

  11. Noc says:

    Though, with 93 million Sims and 235 million instances of Sims Gettin’ It On, that means a Sim will get laid only 2.5 times in their life, on average.

    Though a better metric is probably time spent playing, since many of these Sims were potentially created and discarded before they had the chance to spread their wings and get into someone’s pants.

    235 million hot dickings divided by 27,900 game-years gives us an average rate of 8423 instances of hanky-panky per year – and with 8765 hours in a year, this means that the typical The Sims 4 experience involves someone doing the dirty just slightly less than once every hour.

    And…actually, the rate of 0.96 Horizontal Tangos per Hour is so close to a regular hourly even that I’d be surprised if this wasn’t something that was carefully calibrated.

    • Mags says:

      I am both impressed and slightly terrified by the amount of thought you have put into sim sex.

  12. Premium User Badge

    Serrit says:

    …being a writer is definitely not expressed in terms of suitcases of money. Instead there is a pen and paper. I have a pen and paper so this all checks out.

    Journalistic integrity intact :-)

  13. rocketman71 says:

    EA. Nuff said.

  14. Kefren says:

    Strangely, it bothers me that they use the euphemism woohoo in place of sex. I like the word woohoo, and it has its place – if they also talked about sex then it would make a humorous synonym in some cases. But it’s as if the word sex is so dirty, so shocking, so inconceivably damaging that it cannon be used – even though the straightforward thing it describes can be portrayed at a distance. Reminds me of the 1970s.

    Is it an American thing, or more common? I wonder if it is related to the way many people use the word gender when they mean biological sex. Maybe there’s something magical about those three letters in that order. Something that corrupts certain brains. Oops, maybe even this comment has corrupted some brains.

    • rexx.sabotage says:

      it’s woohoo so they can still get away with a teen rating instead of adult.

      fornication is certainly implied but, for all we know, they could be practicing line dancing under that pixelated mosiac.

      naked line dancing.

    • Ragnar says:

      American conservative news media seems to hate video games, and looks for any excuse to denounce them as depraved, full of sex and violence. Of the two, sex is the one they particularly focus on, and the one they use to generate mass hysteria.

      There was a big stink over the original Mass Effect. Never mind that it had only a single sex scene following 30 hours of gameplay and that it’s most risque component was showing some side boob, making it tamer than many music videos.

      I’m not surprised EA wants to avoid mentioning sex, lest they generate conservative media backlash for making a sex simulator or similar nonsense.