A while ago we asked you, our wonderful readers, what type of games you prefer when it comes to upgrading, updating and new releases. It is something that caused a fair amount of discussion for us over here at Game Hype…
Recently I was clearing my house and, as an avid player of The Sims for the majority of my life, I found the what can only be described as ‘excessive’ collection of old Sims games, every expansion pack for one and two, the majority for three and now I have the Sims 4 digitally with all the packs. The digital edition is a little dangerous for me because with the click of a mouse I have new content downloading for my wonderful families to enjoy. My self-control when it comes to games is somewhat questionable. The point of this being that I have built quite the collection because the games are close to my heart.
I want to clarify before going any further into this article. I would not trade the money nor time I spent on these games for the fun I had. I have always loved The Sims. In the time since I first played I have made (and in some cases brutally murdered) hundreds of Sims. I have completed achievements and let families live from birth to death, generation after generation. There have been weeks, possibly months, of gameplay. I remember the feeling of making my first potions and playing with my first dogs, I remember losing baby after baby to social services and I remember that first time that our characters had clear feelings and wants. I have accidentally killed person after person through not restocking fridges or letting them be eaten by cow plants, sometimes I just don’t keep a good check on my vampires and they burn to death. I have seduced the grim reaper and made him join my family, I have then turned him into a plant person. I have probably played every which way possible.
So, given my dedication to the game I gave it a lot of thought. I’ve now realized that over the years I have spent in excesa of £1000 on The Sims games, money well spent. After consideration I realised that many of those games are now redundant as the result of a new game being released. What did the new games have that the old ones didn’t? Well, not a lot, the graphics were far better, that is certain, but there was nothing that really stood out for a reason that I was spending more on a game that I essentially already had. In fact, when it came to the transition from The Sims 3 to 4 I realized I was losing more than I was gaining. The option to have free lots where you build your houses was gone. The toddlers were also gone. The creation aspect of making your own items and clothing etc. was also removed. Not to mention someone taught my Sims how to climb out of swimming pools without built-in steps. How am I meant to casually kill my sims for entertainment when they can escape the pool so easily?
This aside, the missing toddler aspect was really disappointing to me. It felt like an unnecessary removal of an integral part of the family building and bonding process. That was until toddlers suddenly became available with an update. Excellent! EA realized their mistake and rectified it! That was what I thought until I went to play with these new characters and realized the options available were extremely limited. That would have been okay when you consider that EA released all the content for the toddler and parent sims separately to the DLC, if it weren’t for the extortionate cost. It was kind of a kick in the teeth. Not only did the toddlers really need one expansion pack to be enjoyable, but there are 3 purchasable packs designed to improve the lifestyle of your Sim children and toddlers. Each one costing between £9.99 and £17.99.
I have considered it and concluded every game comes with the same things missing. To rectify this EA will then release exactly the same expansions, admittedly, they are usually better but sometimes they’re missing things that we previously enjoyed.
When you are staring at a pile of redundant games in your house, combined with the purchases made digitally, you quickly realize there is a pattern that has evolved. For me, it meant that a franchise I have been an avid fan of for the best part of 18 years began feeling less like a friend and more like a parking attendant waiting around the corner to ticket my car and make a few extra quid. I looked at the same expansion packs for each game, there are pets expansions, holiday expansions, season expansions, even magical/vampiric expansions for every game. This obviously was a deflating feeling.
So I posed the question: Is it better to keep building your game with expansion packs and continue putting money into the one game over and over or would people prefer to buy new and improved edition, losing the progress and characters you’ve invested time and energy in?
It was felt for a few that they would rather keep the one game, building on it with expansions, DLC, and progressive purchases. Others agreed that they would prefer a whole new game that had the content built in so that it essentially came as a whole unit. Honestly, we couldn’t agree. So we put it to the good people of the Twitterverse.
It appears that we all have different views, but if one thing can be taken from this it is that for those of us who really enjoy a game, money is no object. We just can’t help ourselves but buy into the latest and greatest additions to our favourite games. If I were to price my enjoyment of The Sims per hour of time I have played it over the 18 years, well, honestly, it is a price I am more than willing to pay for the gratification I have received.