May 8, 2016
'The Sims 4' Communication Drought Explained

It's become a familiar refrain, but once again, there's trouble in the land of The Sims 4. On the heels of promises to open lines of communication with fans, yet another news drought has taken over the development team behind The Sims 4. Much to the chagrin of fans, it seems like that will be standard operating procedure going forward.

New updates and new content are coming to 'The Sims 4'
[Image via EA]According to Sims Community, SimGuruDrake, producer of The Sims 4, recently took to the official forums to clarify the new media landscape. SimGuruDrake reiterated that SimGurus and employees at Maxis can't and won't release information about content in the pipeline. SimGuruDrake also defined "future content" as anything free or paid that isn't currently in the game. Essentially, this means that nothing is going to be discussed until it's ready for launch.

One player voiced his frustration to SimGuruDrake on the official The Sims 4 forums.

"You know mentioning in advance some future content, rather than just before release, might actually keep players from losing interest and abandoning this game. The lack of any mention on this game's future play is only adding to the firestorm. Give the players something!! I actually don't like this game at all and so don't care about future releases as I won't be buying any more, but I understand those who still hold hope for this game are getting impatient and bored"
SimGuruDrake's response didn't elaborate on future content, but it did give a glimpse into how the development team feels about the reception of The Sims 4 so far.
"I'm sorry to hear that you do not like 'The Sims 4.' What in particular did you not enjoy?"
It's becoming apparent that the development team doesn't like the communication drought any more than fans do. The reason behind the communication drought is somewhat complicated. According to SimGuruGraham, when future content has a price, such as an expansion pack or game pack, the team can announce it whenever they want. Consumers can't purchase the content yet, so it doesn't exist on Maxis' balance sheet. Things get more complicated for free content. Free content additions have to be released in the same financial quarter in which they are announced. If Maxis fails to meet that deadline, the sales during that quarter don't count, because technically they haven't sold the game they promised.

The Sims 4
[Image via EA]To keep the financial picture from devolving into chaos, Maxis doesn't announce free updates to The Sims 4 until they are ready for download. The situation gets even more complicated when free content and paid content are released at the same time. In situations like that, it's safest for Maxis not to say anything until they are sure the content will launch in the same quarter. When they aren't sure, or when a free content release is delayed, fans face a communication drought.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, an employee at the official Sims 4 Latin America Facebook page suggested that paid content intended for release at some point in the past few months was delayed. Free content associated with the paid content was likely also delayed. Since the development team behind The Sims 4 has to play their cards so close to the vest, this likely led to the communication drought.

The release of information is therefore out of the developers hands. All they are left with are the gameplay challenges and attempts to relate to a fanbase that has grown increasingly hostile in recent months.

The demand to add content to The Sims 4 and fix content like retail shops, which most fans agree left much to be desired, are growing. All signs suggest that Maxis is working on it, but can't talk about what they are planning until the content is ready to release.

Expect the communication drought to continue until Maxis is back on track.

[Image via EA]