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While The Sims 4 has made the jump into being a free-to-play product a long time after its initial release as a full price product, Electronic Arts (EA) and Maxis are very likely eyeing this business model from the very beginning for The Sims 5. A job advert spotted by seems to confirm that the next iteration of the popular life simulation series, which is officially known as Project Rene at the moment, will be a live service title.

“Own Project Rene’s in-game marketplace of content and UGC [user-generated content, editor’s note] (free and paid), and manage a data-informed player-centric player purchase journey – maximizing value to players, optimizing player spend patterns, and minimizing player churn,” the posting for a new Head of Marketplace and Monetization states. The advert has now been taken down, but is still visible here.

It continues: “Own pricing of all content in this free-to-enter game, ensuring we have an optimal pricing and content architecture. Provide guidance to content teams on in-game content needs to meet player demand.” While it’s unclear what exactly EA means by “free-to-enter,” it’s pretty clear that The Sims 5 – or at least basic parts of it – will be available without paying anything.

According to the ad, Maxis wants to create “a nimble live service culture of test-learn-iterate across platforms (PC, Mobile, Consoles).”

The Sims 4 has retained its DLC pack-based expansion model despite the move to make the base game free and this is certainly a route The Sims 5 could take as well. Alternatively, EA may look to a subscription-based model as it had initially planned for The Sims 4. The plans for a premium membership were scrapped shortly before the game was released, though, with EA going for the tried and tested DLC model instead of taking a risk with one of its flagship products.

It seems like there might be a possibility that users will be able to monetize their content on the marketplace as well, selling their creations in the game with EA taking a cut. It certainly reads as if user-generated content will be available directly in the game through official channels at least.

In any case, The Sims 5 is likely still quite a few years away from launch and many things can change between now and then as the last-minute switch of The Sims 4’s business model illustrates, so nothing is set in stone.