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The Sims 4 will launch without pools and toddlers, and Sims fans are very upset

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

The Sims 4 won't allow players to build pools or see their Sims through the toddler stage of development, developer EA Maxis confirmed yesterday, drawing the ire of numerous fans of the series.

One of The Sims 4's main features is its revamped Build Mode, which is designed to make it easier than ever to construct the world of your dreams. But according to Ryan Vaughan, a producer on the game at Maxis, "It's not possible for us to include every single feature and piece of content we added to The Sims 3 over the last five years."

Pools won't make the cut, at least not for The Sims 4's launch on Sept. 2. Another omission is the toddler phase of childhood, which debuted in 2004's The Sims 2 and was also present in The Sims 3. Vaughan indicated that it's possible that Maxis will be able to add these features back in at some point in the future.

"While we recognize that some of you will be disappointed that pools and toddlers won't be available when The Sims 4 Base Game launches in September, you should know that we're building an incredibly strong foundation that is capable of fulfilling every one of your desires in the years to come," he said.

Letting your Sims enter backyard pools and then removing any exits — thereby trapping them within and dooming them to a shallow, watery grave — has long been a sadistic pastime of The Sims players. So it's not surprising that some Sims fans weren't thrilled to hear this news. Comments on Vaughan's blog post range from tolerant to disappointed to irate.

"I was really excited about The Sims 4 but now every new thing I hear about it makes me want to get it less and less. Are they just deliberately holding back core aspects of the game to use in expansion packs?" wrote Claire Simpson.

"What I don't understand is how you play The Sims without a swimming pool. The end goal of The Sims is to drown yourself in a swimming pool only the Nordic gods could conceive of. [It's] impossible to play The Sims without a swimming pool. This time they're simply selling the game engine without the actual game," said Max Haworth.

One individual has already created the obligatory petition asking Maxis to include pools and toddlers at The Sims 4's launch; it currently has more than 2,600 signatures. For more on The Sims 4, check out our E3 preview.

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