Considering the level of fan dismay that this news caused, EA and Maxis have had to address the issue head on. This has resulted in Rachel Franklin (who is part of the team working on The Sims 4) writing up a post over on the official webpage for the game. In that post she explains the reasoning behind the decision to remove swimming pools and toddlers. The gist: the content was cut to make way for improvements in other areas that result in the game being better.
“…when we sat down and looked at everything we wanted to do for this game,” Franklin explains, “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 revolutionizing the Sims themselves.”
It almost sounds like a limited resources thing, but whether that’s game engine resources or development budget resources is up for debate.
“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 behavior. 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.”
So that’s the official response as to why two long-time features have been axed: it’s to make the game better. Anyone else having flashes of SimCity here? Guess the only thing left to do is wait to play the game and see for yourself whether the lack of toddlers and pools leaves a gaping hole in your enjoyment. Or your heart. Probably your heart, you big softy.