The Sims 4: City Living released last week, and it’s the most difficult Sims world developer Maxis has ever built thanks to its size and content. But despite the festivals, new jobs, apartment features, and variety of other new things, City Living is missing one feature a number of its fans desperately wanted to see included.
Despite City Living’s focus on apartment life and the prevalence of elevators in apartment complexes, your sims are stuck taking the stairs in the DLC. The reasons for their exclusion are perhaps more mundane than fans would expect. Mostly, as with any type of game development, there wasn’t enough time to put every single feature imaginable into City Living, and Maxis wanted to focus on new inclusions rather than elevators, which were featured in some past Sims titles. But there’s another reason that’s less about the general realities of game design and more specific to having actual elevators in The Sims 4.
“Personally, I just don’t think it’s a very interesting object,” Producer Grant Rodiek said on a recent media call. “I get why some people like it, and it’s great that you can have woohoo and you can die in it. It’s just a trade-off. It’s always us trying to figure out where we can make the most people happy with things that are really cool and surprising.
“And we have made [elevators] in The Sims 2 and The Sims 3. And with The Sims 4 we wanted to be different, so we’re not doing it just to be different, but there are things where – sometimes we’re going to prioritize the new thing because our players already have that old thing. But we understand. We get it, and maybe we’ll do the elevator at some point. Maybe we’ll do those other things at some point. But I sincerely believe that [consumers] will get their money’s worth, and that there is a lot to love in City Living.”
Despite stating that Maxis gets where players are coming from with complaints about the lack of elevators, Rodiek also noted that it can be frustrating to the developer when players scan announcements for what features are missing.
“It can be frustrating sometimes that they can sometimes focus on what they don’t have instead of what they do. But then again, I don’t expect them to understand or even care, because it’s not really that interesting, about all the reasons we did or didn’t do a thing.”
Rodiek said that his team does read internet comments about the game, however, and it knew ahead of time that elevators were something a portion of the fan base wanted to see in the latest content pack. But in addition to not finding them interesting enough to make it worth cutting something else to get elevators into the game, Rodiek also pointed to how people live in the real world.
“We knew that players would want to be able to place an elevator, but in reality, most people don’t have elevators in their homes, and it would have been very, very expensive and a complex [process] to make it work.”