Developer EA Maxis isn't adding pools or toddler-aged Sims in The Sims 4 at launch because of the new systems built into the game, according to a new explanation to fans by executive producer Rachel Franklin on the official Sims website.
"It begins with new technology and systems that we built for this new base game for The Sims a new AI system, new animation system, new audio positioning tools, new locomotion logic, new routing intelligence and much more are all entirely new in this game," Franklin wrote. "The vision for The Sims 4 is a new experience that brings your Sims to life in deeper and uniquely personal ways through emotions, personality traits, behaviors and interactions. To do that, our technology base needed a major upgrade.
"So the bottom line is that when we sat down and looked at everything we wanted to do for this game, all the new tech we wanted to build into it, the fact was that there would be trade-offs, and these would disappoint some of our fans," she added. "Hard pill to swallow, believe me, but delivering on the vision set out for The Sims 4 required focus. Focus on revolutionizing the Sims themselves."
Rather than include toddlers, the developer chose to include better emotions, improved motion and interactions, more tools in Create A Sim and more realistic Sim behavior. The Sims 4 Create A Sim public demo will be available "later this summer." Invitations for an early trial will be sent out to a limited number of players soon before it opens up to everyone.
Pools were scrapped in favor of developing new features in Build Mode, such as direct manipulation, building a house room-by-room and the ability to exchange custom rooms easily. The appeal of pools for some fans was letting Sims enter pools and removing exits, leaving them to perish in a watery grave.
The developer first confirmed that pools and toddlers won't make the cut for The Sims 4's launch on Sept. 2 late last month to fan outcry. One player established a Change.org petition asking Maxis to include pools and toddlers at The Sims 4's launch, which has collected more than 16,000 signatures. For more on The Sims 4, check out our E3 preview.