Shown above is a screenshot from the game with the newly added dust bunnies. The Sims 4 has become the best-selling game in the Sims franchise, with over 200 million copies sold. Image/EA.com.
By Lakia McLeod, Contributor
Published March 28, 2021
On March 2nd, The Sims team announced to their player base that they were releasing three new downloadable contents (DLC) via their official social media. These new bite-sized packs are ‘Bust The Dust,’ Throwback Fit Kit, and Country Kitchen Kit.
Bust The Dust introduces little creatures called dust bunnies, which true to their name, spawn around your Sims’ homes and generate dust that will accumulate on surfaces. Over time the dust builds and will negatively impact your Sims’ environment and moods. The grime then needs to be cleaned up through vacuuming. Dust bunnies and vacuums are both the main takeaways of this kit, as neither previously existed in the games. The Throwback Fit Kit gives players a variety of workout and fitness clothes for their sims to model that were inspired by 90’s fashion. The Country Kitchen Kit provides players with quaint countertops and table sets to decorate their homes.
While none of the kits add significant game-changing content to the game, they weren’t designed to do that. The idea behind kits, according to the Sims team, is to provide players who are unwilling to pay for the more expensive game or stuff packs an alternative and to tide Simmers over during the long development period for those larger packs that add more to the game. Kits are priced at $4.99, compare that price to the price of stuff packs, which cost $9.99, game packs, $19.99, and expansion packs, $39.99, and you can see the potential appeal of kits for more casual or conservative players.
Affordability is not enough to endear Kits to everyone in the Sims community. Many Simmers were disgruntled by what is, in their eyes, just another blatant attempt from those in charge at Electronic Arts (EA) to get them to spend more of their money. The Sims has an increasing number of players who are unhappy due to decisions just like this one to break up content that could have easily been part of the base game or an expansion pack. To put it into perspective, if someone were to buy The Sims 4 and all of the add-on content already released, they would be looking at a final price tag of well over $700.
Besides, the low price for Kits is canceled out when one considers players who live outside of the United States. Players in the UK, South America, and certain other countries are taxed pretty much the price of the Kit itself, bringing their total cost up to that of a stuff pack.
“Don’t buy the kits,” said one user going by the handle I_speak_portugese on The Sims Reddit community page, “Don’t. Please, just don’t. EA is literally laughing at your face while they trick you into giving them money for something extremely ridiculous and unnecessary, that at best should be included in a stuff pack but ideally should be in the base game.” According to the user, the price of all three kits in Brazil would equal the cost of a game pack which is 80R$ in their currency. “This is insane, don’t support the kits. If we keep giving them money, they will continue creating these absurdities.”
Perhaps the introduction of kits shouldn’t be a surprise to players. Maxis Studios, the company that created the Sims franchise, is owned by EA, a company that is infamous in the gaming community for working microtransactions into their games—even in-game franchises known for their single-player games that traditionally do not have microtransactions incorporated into them.
“This is totally part of a slow move towards microtransactions in game. Best thing to do is DO NOT BUY IT.” Stated another Reddit user under the username Intrepid_Inside_8785. “It would not surprise me in the slightest if The Sims became microtransaction based. Could you imagine how much worse that would be to their already flawed system? Yuck. No thanks.”
While not all Sims players are displeased by the announcement, a significant percent are. The announcement trailer for Kits that was posted on The Sims official YouTube page, and currently has a ratio of 11,000 dislikes to 8,100 likes, enough to make any longtime Sims fan concerned about the future of the series.