The Sims first began as a virtual dollhouse with limited features in 2000. The series quickly exploded into a massive franchise of console, PC/Mac, and smartphone games. The series has been beloved by casual and hardcore gamers for years. For decades, players have lived out their dreams through the Sim people or have some laughs as they test the limits of their creations.
The series wasn't immediately accepted upon conception. Several changes had to be made to make testers, and more importantly, the higher-ups happy. Though the game was highly successful after it launches, changes were often made to improve on graphics and gameplay. Maxis and EA Gamers kept experimenting with the series to make their fans happy and to keep pushing sales.
Though most gamers accepted new additions to the series, there was massive outrage when features were removed from later games. EA Games’ Public Relations department often has excuses, such as time constraints, but fans didn’t buy it. EA had time to add numerous “Stuff Packs,” or microtransactions, to the game, yet failed to capture the spirit of the game. It’s no surprise that gamers believed that EA was ruining their series.
The Sims franchise has faced several changes to calm down longtime fans of the series and make a profit. Not every idea was successful, but Maxis and EA Games did their best to experiment with new and old. Our list compiles some of the content that was removed from the game.
15 A Mime Of A Different Name
The Sims had to face some changes when it was released in Asia. Though the game title has a simple, easily recognizable title to English speakers. It's not unusual for a game's name to be changed, depending on the region. The Sims faced the most significant name change in Japan. Many fans believe that The Sims was too difficult to translate for Japanese speakers. In Japan, The Sims series is known as SimPeople.
Though The Sims kept its name in China, other changes had to be made to make more appropriate for their audience. In the original game, there is an optional career track called “Criminal.” Gamers can climb the job ladder from Pickpocket to Criminal Mastermind. China decided this was unacceptable, and “Criminal” was switched to “Mime.” Instead of breaking the law, Chinese gamers can play a career track to become the best Mime.
14 Adding More Action On Computers
The computers in the Sim world are similar to how real people use them. People can use them to chat with their friends or meet new ones, browse online, look for jobs, or play games. The Sims 2 opened up the possibility to purchasing land and opening a business. The games vary from snowboarding to The Sims 3, if you want to watch your Sim play The Sims as you’re playing The Sims.
The Sims 2 would have opened up another purpose of the computer: using it to access adult content. With the action “Watch play-in,” your lonely Sim can engage in racy content. The title of the action may not seem explicit to most gamers but in the first The Sims game, the word “play” referred to, well, doing it. Using “Watch play-in” on a computer will also remove 20 Simoleons from your Sim’s account.
13 More Exciting Children’s Parties
The Sims: House Party advertised adding Drew Carey, former star of The Drew Carey Show in the 90s and current host of The Price is Right. If your Sims’ party were going well, a limo would pull up to their front door. Drew would step out from his limo and entertain the adult guests.
How could Sims make their parties more lively for the younger Sims? In the cut content, there was a Party Clown, specifically for children. Kids’ parties could be livened up with an entertaining clown. It’s unknown what actions the clown would take, but we assume it includes dancing and balloons.
Clowns were not entirely removed from The Sims series. Party Clown was only intended for children but was cut. Entertainer Clown was still available for parties in House Party. If your Sim becomes depressed, they can expect a visit from Tragic Clown.
12 Life And Death By The Poolside
Depending on if you used pools to work on your Sim’s athleticism or drown them, The Sims 4 completely removed them from the game. EA Games claimed that pools had to be removed so that the developers would have more time to work on refining the Buy and Build Mode. Adding pools also meant that the swimming animations would have to be adjusted. EA didn’t think pools were worth the extra effort at the time.
Fans didn’t accept EA’s response so quickly. Gamers launched complaints on social media and created petitions asking EA to place pools back in the game. After months of complaints, EA games finally added in swimming pools with Patch 7.
Without the backlash from fans, gamers would have had to use other methods of exercise for their Sims and think of more creative ways to get a visit from the Grim Reaper.
11 Births Happened Around Medical Professionals
Sims could get pregnant by “playing” in bed, a hot tub, or being abducted by aliens. When the baby is ready to make their debut, your Sim will scream in pain, and the baby will appear. If only giving birth was so simple in real life.
Giving birth in The Sims 2 would have been a more involved process. Instead of having a baby at home, your Sim would travel to a nearby hospital. A doctor and nurse would help your Sim through labor and delivery. Since the base game of The Sims 2 focused more on controlling the individual household, there may not have been enough time for developers to whisk a pregnant sim away to a hospital. Giving birth to a baby in a hospital was eventually added the optional action to “Have baby at hospital” in The Sims 3.
10 A Different Language
The Sims has used a strange, incomprehensible language since it was first released in the year 2000. At first, gamers wondered if The Sims were speaking English. Maxis announced that the virtual people spoke in their own Simlish language, composed of different letters unfamiliar to most.
Simlish is the result of long experimentation. Maxis knew they didn’t want to use English because they would have to hire on several voice actors and actresses for each game. VAs would also have to be employed in every region where The Sims was released. At first, Maxis considered using a language based off of the Najavo language. Unfortunately, they were unable to find enough Najavo speakers. Maxis instead developed a single language composed of various sounds, called Simlish.
9 Starting With A Change Of Seasons
In the first Sims game, every day had perfect weather. The only noticeable sky change was when day turned into night. Since the focus of the game was your virtual people, the outdoors may not have been an issue.
The Sims 2 advertised improved graphics and gameplay. With these additions, gamers believed that weather would be included with the base game. Unfortunately, the technical demands were too complicated. The developers were unable to add such an enormous feature to the base game. Some gamers were happy about the news since they might not have had a computer that could handle the technical requirements. The change of weather was finally added in the Seasons Expansion Pack.
8 Good And Bad Traits Removed
Traits make up the personality of your Sim in The Sims 3. They can completely change your Sims's mental, physical, social, or lifestyle behavior. A Sim who "Can't Stand Art" may not get along with an "Artistic" Sim. Sims can either earn traits by completing scholarly activities or reaching a certain level. There is an unlimited amount of ways to create a unique Sim.
The number of Traits was originally much higher. Some were eventually merged or renamed to enhance gameplay. "Boring" was replaced with "No Sense of Humor," and "Conversationalist" was replaced with "Friendly." Other traits may have been too racy, and EA felt pressured to remove them or be forced to raise the ESRB rating. "Wanton," which used an icon of a blonde woman in a form-fitting red sleeveless dress, was likely scrapped to keep the game rating low.
7 Wine And Dine Upper Management
In The Sims 2, all children rode the big yellow school bus to their public school. Education is treated like a job in The Sims 2 and children are required to go Monday-Friday. If your Sims find themselves with extra Simoleons and your role-play requires that they impress others, you can invite the Headmaster of the local Private School over for a recommendation.
The Sims 2 initially had the same plans for your adult sims. Your boss, whose gender was random, entitled simply "Big Boss" would come over for dinner. Big Boss would arrive by helicopter at 5 PM. Sims in the household would rush outside and cover their ears from the loud noise. If things went well, your Sim had a higher chance of getting a raise. Fail to impress Big Boss, and you might lose your job.
6 Originally Didn’t Use Comic Sans
When you think back to the user interface of The Sims, you’ll remember the big blue bar and use of Comic Sans font. Though the font would never be seriously used anywhere today, the year 2000 was a different time. The interface was just where you kept track of your Sim’s moods, traits, and friends.
The interface initially looked different. A regal Serif font replaced Comic Sans. There was no longer a giant blue bar, and instead, the interface resembled a library. The design went through several changes. At first, the interface was on the left-hand side, including a clock face with the entire date written out. Later, the menu was at the bottom with several tabs to navigate through. The blue bar with Comic Sans may seem humorous now, but it was much less confusing than what was originally in development.
5 Fourth Attempt To Revive Multiplayer
Maxis first attempted to make a massive multiplayer online game with The Sims Online after the success of The Sims. The game lasted for almost eight years under EA Games. EA Games attempted to revamp it was EA-Land, which failed within months of the relaunch. Before death, EA Games tried to bring the series to Facebook as The Sims Social. It met the same demise as EA-Land.
After the success of The Sims 3 in mid-2009, EA Games was ready to try again to launch a Sims themed MMOG. EA announced The Sims Olympus, which would be an updated version of The Sims Online. There were multiple neighborhoods planned, including a Windenburg styled area. Other players could be recognized by blue plumbobs, while your character used the signature green.
The Sims Olympus was eventually canceled. The assets were then used for The Sims 4.
4 Missing A Stage Of Life
When games are developed there is usually a set of goals to meet. Though they hope to go through with every idea from conception, it is challenging to achieve publisher demands. The Sims 4 cut a significant part of the game, which had been included since The Sims 2: toddlers.
Toddlers may be too time-intensive for some players. Some gamers may have been happy with the removal of toddlers since they require a Sim train them to use a potty or how to be fed. Players were upset with EA for removing content instead of adding on more. EA Games replied that toddlers required new animations, which took development time from other parts of the game.
Thanks to fan demand, toddlers were eventually added in January 2017, three years after the game's initial release. If fans never spoke up, Sims would miss an entire stage of life.
3 Controversy Forced The Removal Of Content
To keep a low ESRB rating, EA Games uses mosaic blurs when Sims take baths or use a toilet. There was initially a development code in the game that removed the mosaic blur. The code was only intended for development purposes and wasn’t meant to be left in the game’s final version.
News of the code spread quickly as a “n**e code cheat.” After one infamous advocate, former Florida attorney Jack Thompson heard the news; he immediately went to work. He claimed that EA games were using The Sims 2 to promote being unclothed with the cheat code. He claimed that when the mosaic was removed, anyone could see the detailed private parts of a Sim. EA Executive Jeff Brown stated "There is no content inappropriate for a teen audience. Players never see an unclothed Sim." and "They appear like Ken and Barbie."
2 Combined Two Large Franchises
Before The Sims, one of Maxis' largest game franchises was SimCity. Players created and maintained a city from the ground up. The Sims takes this micromanagement idea to a more personal level, where gamers control individuals instead of larger groups.
After the success of The Sims in 2000, Maxis wanted to combine both popular games. In SimsVille, players would control multiple households at once. They could view their neighborhoods in a 3D terrain, similar to The Sims 2. The trailer for SimsVille failed to impress. Preferring to command Sims directly, players disliked the new gameplay. In SimsVille, players would only have to place a Sim near an object, and the Sim would act with it on their own. One year after its announcement, SimsVille was canceled. Developers who worked on SimsVille were moved to other The Sims projects, such as The Sims Online.
1 Almost Never Happened
Will Wright lost his home during the Oakland-Berkeley Firestorm. The tragic experience inspired him to create a game based off creating a home from the bottom up. Players would work hard to get a job, start a home, and improve their lives. It was similar to his situation: he had his life, but he had to rebuild his home from the ashes. He introduced the concept to a focus group, which was poorly received. Wright decided to present the idea to Maxis instead. They agreed, but it had to be a background project as he worked on SimCity 2000 and SimCopter. Maxis only allowed him to use one other programmer from the team, named Jamie Doornbos.
If not for these hard workers and Wright's tragic loss, The Sims would not have been brought to life.