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Will Sims 4 be Free on Steam?

If you‘re a fan of simulation games, you‘ve probably heard the big news that The Sims 4 is going completely free-to-play. EA announced that starting October 18, 2022, anyone can download the base version of The Sims 4 for free on PC, Mac, consoles, and yes – even Steam.

But what exactly does this mean for the Steam version of the game? Will The Sims 4 standard edition really become free to download on Steam once the promotion starts?

The short answer is – yes, absolutely! When EA launches the free base game promotion on October 18, you‘ll be able to add The Sims 4 to your Steam library permanently without paying anything. Read on for a detailed look at what this means for the Steam edition.

Overview of The Sims 4 Going Free-to-Play

Let‘s quickly recap what EA announced about The Sims 4 becoming free. Here‘s the gist:

  • Starting October 18, 2022, the base version of The Sims 4 will be available completely free. This free edition is called The Sims 4 EA Play Edition.

  • It will be free across all platforms – PC, Mac, PlayStation, Xbox, and Steam.

  • The free version includes the Create-a-Sim mode for making characters and the Build mode for home construction.

  • Classic life simulation features like careers, relationships, Sim needs etc. require paid expansions.

  • There will be ongoing base game updates and a paid EA Play subscription option.

So in summary – a big shift to a free-to-play model to attract a massive player base, then monetize through expansions and subscriptions. Pretty clever!

Breaking Down The Free Steam Version

Specifically for Steam, here‘s what you‘ll get for free starting October 18:

  • The Sims 4 base game added permanently to your Steam library
  • Unlimited access to Create-a-Sim mode
  • Unlimited access to Build mode for home construction
  • Free ongoing updates to CAS and Build mode items

Create-a-Sim allows you to make Sims characters from scratch – choose their personality traits, aspiration, physique, hairstyle, outfits, accessories, and more customization options.

Build mode provides furniture, wall/floor patterns, decorations, landscaping tools and more to construct your perfect Sim home.

These two modes will be free on Steam and receive regular new items and options via game updates.

However, to take your Sims beyond CAS/Build and into life simulation gameplay, you‘ll need to purchase expansion packs.

Expansion Packs Still Paid on Steam

While the base game becomes free, existing and future expansion packs will remain paid purchases. Expansions provide deeper gameplay around specific themes.

Some popular paid expansions to enhance classic Sims gameplay on Steam include:

  • Cats & Dogs ($39.99) – Adds pets, veterinary skills
  • City Living ($39.99) – Apartment living, festivals, city careers
  • Get Famous ($39.99) – Acting career, celebrity system, fame perks

Other great expansions provide seasonal gameplay, magic, vampires, new locations, additional build mode items and more.

EA continues to regularly release fresh expansions. So the free base game on Steam serves as the portal to enhance your game with paid expansions.

Should Existing Owners Buy Expansions Now?

Gamers who already own The Sims 4 on Steam don‘t need to do anything – you‘ll automatically have the base game free once the promotion begins.

However, one impact is that expansion pack prices could potentially increase after the base game goes free. So existing owners may want to purchase desired expansions before October 18 to lock in current prices.

I recommend looking at the most popular expansions and buying 1 or 2 that appeal to you. My personal favorites are Seasons, Parenthood, and University for the value they add to the core experience. Grab them on Steam if you want them!

Sorry, No Refunds!

What about players who previously purchased The Sims 4 base game on Steam – will they get refunds now that it‘s free?

Unfortunately, EA has stated that there will be no refunds given when The Sims 4 goes free-to-play. This policy applies to all platforms.

While you won‘t get your money back, remember that you can continue enjoying the full game, and your purchased expansions carry forward. Plus you‘ll get bonus content as an EA Play member.

Free Base Game Is a Smart Strategic Shift

EA making The Sims 4 free-to-play is a really smart business strategy. They studied free-to-play successes like Fortnite and Genshin Impact.

By removing the base game‘s price barrier, EA can attract a massive influx of new players to the franchise. Many gamers who were hesitant to pay $40 for the base game will happily play for free.

Then once hooked, a percentage of players are likely to spend on expansions to enhance their experience. This fuels ongoing revenue.

In 2021, The Sims 4 had nearly 36 million players. That number could double or triple thanks to the free base game bringing in new fans.

So in the end, EA makes more by making it free and monetizing through expansions, subscriptions, and in-game ads.

The Future – The Sims 5 Will Also Be Free!

The Sims 4 going free signals a major strategic shift for EA regarding this franchise.

They confirmed the next generation Sims game, codenamed Project Rene, is in early development. Exciting!

We can reasonably assume Project Rene will also utilize a free-to-play model when it launches in the next few years.

In fact, EA job listings mention they‘re hiring developers with experience in "free-to-play PC and mobile games."

Other tidbits about Project Rene:

  • It will incorporate multiplayer/social features
  • Cross-platform play will be supported
  • The game will be "continually updated"

So expect a free-to-play, multiplayer-enabled Sims 5 sometime in the next 3-4 years. The franchise is evolving!

Conclusion: Get The Sims 4 on Steam for Free

Here‘s a quick summary about The Sims 4 becoming free on Steam:

  • On October 18, you‘ll be able to add The Sims 4 to your Steam library permanently for free. No purchase needed.

  • This includes unlimited access to Create-a-Sim and Build Mode features.

  • You can buy expansions to unlock deeper life simulation gameplay.

  • Existing owners should buy desired expansions before October 18 to lock in current prices.

  • The free base game will help attract lots of new players to the franchise.

  • Multiplayer Sims 5 is on the horizon and will also utilize a free-to-play approach.

So in conclusion, yes – you‘ll absolutely be able to download The Sims 4 for free on Steam starting October 18! See you in Create-a-Sim mode fellow Simmers!



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.