Hello Simmers! Today (or yesterday, depending on where you live) we received some news from EA regarding new content for The Sims 4, in the form of a new "game pack" called The Sims 4: Outdoor Retreat! Let's break down and digest this news...
Outdoor Retreat info
There were some rumors that surfaced a couple days ago, around the time of the 9th patch release. These rumors hinted at the upcoming release of a new "game pack" (more on that in a minute) based around camping and traveling. Well, we've been downthis roadbefore, so it really wouldn't be a shock that Maxis was working on yet another travel-themed pack. The rumor seemed to pop up rather quickly, but it was just as quickly all-but-confirmed by the major fan websites and even hinted at by The Sims' own Twitter account.
Sure enough, on Friday December 19, Maxis announced the first game pack for The Sims 4, titled Outdoor Retreat. This pack features some new stuff, including:
A new world - Outdoor Retreat will come packaged with Granite Falls, a brand new world that can be visited, but not lived in, similar to the vacation neighborhoods/worlds of previous expansions. Granite Falls will have two neighborhoods; a campground neighborhood, and Granite Falls National Park.
New activities - Outdoor Retreat will allow Sims to participate in new group activities, like sitting around a campfire or playing horseshoes. Sims will also be able to explore the wilderness of Granite Falls, buff up on a new herbalism skill, collect new plants and insects, and discover new herbal remedies and recipes.
New content - Already confirmed content in this pack includes a new costume. I'm sure we'll also see some new camping and hiking-related clothes and gear as well. It looks like campground objects like tents are going to show up as well.
New lifeform? - During an Email interview, sources from EA stated that "[t]here are rumors of a mysterious hermit who lives high up in the mountains, but no one knows quite where…" Could this be hinting at a possible new life state, or perhaps the return of an old friend? We'll find out for sure when Outdoor Retreat drops in January 2015.
So far, it's looking like there's a few promising features in this new game pack. Speaking of "game packs"...
EA's announced a new way to deliver content for The Sims 4: Game Packs. Here's what we know about them so far:
Not expansion packs or stuff packs - A Twitter Q&A with SimGuruGrant confirmed that Game Packs are not the same thing as expansion or stuff packs, but are somewhere in the middle of the two in regards to content. Stuff packs tend to focus more on introducing new objects, clothes, styles, etc. and are typically light on new interactions, whereas expansion packs tend to focus on large game-changing features. Game packs, therefore, look like they're trying to fill the gap, by providing features that don't necessarily warrant their own full-sized EPs, while still offering more in the way of new gameplay than the standard SP
Same price as TS3 stuff packs - The stated price for Outdoor Retreat is $20 (USD), and statements by SimGuruGrant indicate that this may be a standard price for future game packs. This would place the price on par with TS3 stuff packs, at least in the United States. SimGuruGrant has indicated that the general idea is for game packs to be about the same price as stuff packs were in international markets as well, though how the prices will convert to different currencies is an unknown as of now.
Digital only - SimGuruGrant did confirm that these packs will be downloads only and won't be offered in physical form. The stated reason for this is cost control. It's unknown if this policy may change in the future, but it seems as though EA is gauging the popularity of these packs before deciding whether it's worth the extra expense to produce physical copies.
With the news today (or yesterday) about Outdoor Retreat, we want to know what you think! Let us know in the poll below.
What are your thoughts on Outdoor Retreat, so far?
Of course, as always, be sure to weigh in on this new news in the comments. What do you think about the new game pack? What do you think about game packs in general? Is this just another EA cash grab, or is this a promising development for The Sims? Let us know down in the comments below!