The Sims 4, the next installment in EA's life simulation series, is in development at Maxis and will be released on Windows PC and Mac next year.
The announcement post on EA's official blog includes few other details about the game, but promises more information about the game will be revealed on its site later today. Last week, EA activated the domain for TheSims4.com, and invited a number of series fan sites to join a conference call scheduled for today, hinting at the reveal.
"The Sims franchise is fueled by the passion and creativity of its millions of fans around the world," the announcement post reads. "Their continued devotion to the franchise ignites the fire of creativity of the team at The Sims Studio, driving them to continually improve and innovate on one of the world's most successful simulation game that has sold more than 150 million copies worldwide."
Update: Sims fan site TheSimsHub has a reportedly official, extended version of EA's announcement which touches on the offline nature of the game.
"The Sims 4 celebrates the heart and soul of the Sims themselves, giving players a deeper connection with the most expressive, surprising and charming Sims ever in this single-player offline experience," the post reads. "The Sims 4 encourages players to personalize their world with new and intuitive tools while offering them the ability to effortlessly share their creativity with friends and fans."
The statement seems to be an acknowledgment of the severely negative reaction to Maxis' inclusion of an always-on internet requirement to its latest release, SimCity. We've reached out to EA to ensure the authenticity of the extended announcement, and will update this post when we hear back.
Update 2: Maxis revealed additional details about The Sims 4 in a conference call with Sims "VIPs," saying the fourth entry in the series is going back to its "roots."
"For The Sims 4 we took a look at the history of the series and we pinpointed what we believe is the core of the experience," a Maxis representative said during the call, which was recorded and transcribed by TheSimSupply. "So we're listening to fans like you, and we're going back to our roots, the Sims, themselves. We felt it was important to unlock new ways for your Sims to interact with one another. So we're focusing on the complexity of Sim-to-Sim interactions and they way your Sims behave."
The Sims 4 also promises "big improvements" to Create A Sim and build and buy tools. Maxis also teased that the Sims' eyes will play key a role in the 2014 title's gameplay and released the following image.
"They say that the eyes are the window into the soul," reads an FAQ posted to The Sims forums. "Let's just say that these eyes are a window into the future of The Sims 4."
Today's conference call also hinted at a fan-focused event for The Sims 4 in late August.
EA also sent out an official PR announcement for the title, which references the "single-player offline experience" previously touted in the fan site-exclusive reveal.