Why The Sims 4's Latest Expansion Pack Is Receiving Backlash

The official trailer for The Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle, the ninth expansion pack for the series, was released on May 6. Already the announcement is seeing a backlash from the fan community, unhappy with the direction the latest expansion pack has taken.

A photo of a wind turbine was posted to Sims Community’s Twitter the previous day, sparking fans to speculate what the next pack would be, with discussion primarily focused on country living. However, when the trailer was released, it was met with much less enthusiasm.

The latest town, Evergreen Harbor, starts out in rough shape: Garbage overflows into the streets and smog fills the air. Sims can clean up the town to transform it into a nature-filled paradise or let it fall into garbage-laden ruin. Sims can install wind turbines, solar panels and dew collectors to help make the world a little greener and offset their bills.

As Evergreen Harbour gets cleaned up and the skies clear, Sims may even be able to see the aurora borealis. Recycling is a new feature and Sims can transform trash they’ve collected from dumpster diving using a variety of new objects to upcycle.

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Despite the new gameplay dynamics introduced into Eco Lifestyle, many fans are upset at what the expansion fails to add. A world that transforms based on Sims’ actions was introduced in Island Living and sustainable, eco-friendly living was featured in Tiny Living. Thus, fans feel that Eco Living is nothing more than glorified DLC dressed-up and priced as an expansion pack.

Further driving the feel of glorified DLC, the Nifty Knitting stuff pack was announced only days before Eco Lifestyle and many fans feel as though the two games could have been made into a single pack. Nifty Knitting was part of the Community Voted Stuff Pack project, with EA turning to fans to vote on objects and gameplay features they would like to see in a future stuff pack. Throughout the five rounds of voting, fans continued to comment and speculate on the clear DIY route that the game was going for. It led to conversations across fan forums speculating on future expansion pack contents.

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Fans speculated whether a country-living or a farm-life expansion could be in the works. Horses had been a pet option in The Sims 3 Pets, however, they were missing from the Cats & Dogs expansion. Fans wondered if the theme they were seeing in the community voted content was a hint at what they would see in the next expansion pack and many hoped it would mean a country-themed pack. Fan forums filled with talk of what others would like to see next and the consensus among fans seemed to favor the addition of chickens and horses.

Instead of an expansion pack that offers new, innovative gameplay, The Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle feels like a rehashing of recent expansions and stuff packs, including the recently announced, community-driven Nifty Knitting stuff pack. Although the game has elements of items and objects fans desire, Eco Lifestyle falls short of being the game fans wanted.

The Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle expansion pack will arrive on June 5 for PC, Mac, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

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The official trailer for The Sims 4 Eco Living is being met with backlash from fans, who see it as glorified DLC. Here's why they're upset.

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