EA has explained its decision not to include toddlers and swimming pools in upcoming life sim The Sims 4.
The company sparked controversy when it was revealed in late June that the next game in the Sims series would not let babies grow into toddlers, meaning the likelihood is that babies will simply grow into children instead.
At the same time it was confirmed that swimming pools would not be included, thereby removing one of The Sims' most notorious traditions: the ability to remove the ladders from swimming pools and make Sims drown as a result.
"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, behaviours and interactions," EA's Rachel Franklin stated in a blog post on the Sims 4 website. "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. Hard pill to swallow, believe me, but delivering on the vision set out for The Sims 4 required focus. Focus on revolutionising the Sims themselves.
"So, rather than include toddlers, we chose to go deeper on the features that make Sims come alive: meaningful and often amusing emotions, more believable motion and interactions, more tools in Create A Sim, and more realistic (and sometimes weird) Sim behaviour.
"Instead of pools, we chose to develop key new features in Build Mode: direct manipulation, building a house room-by-room and being able to exchange your custom rooms easily, to make the immediate environment even more relatable and interactive for your Sim."
In late June, EA appeared to suggest pools and toddlers would be added at a later date when it stated: "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."
EA and Maxis recently released a new The Sims 4 trailer. The clip, entitled Smarter and Weirder, attempts to highlight the Sims' increased AI and the more elaborate and bizarre scenarios that can occur as a result.
The official Sims 4 release date is September 2 worldwide.