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Updated with new details from Maxis.
After nearly two hundred expansion packs* for The Sims 3, Maxis is finally moving on to the next generation of The Sims. The predictably named The Sims 4 will be coming to PC and Mac in 2014, the company has announced.
(*Not true. Exaggeration.)
Here's the original announcement:
The Sims franchise is fueled by the passion and creativity of its millions of fans around the world. Their continued devotion to the franchise ignites the fire of creativity of the team at The Sims Studio, driving them to continually improve and innovate on one of the world's most successful simulation game that has sold more than 150 million copies worldwide.
There's no mention of "connected" or "always-on" or "social" in the announcement. We're certain that Maxis wants to avoid a repeat of SimCity's launch fiasco--but who knows what kind of design they'll take next for the next trap-people-in-bathrooms-and-watch-them-die simulator.
Update: The Sims 4 is an offline game. In an updated post, Maxis points out that The Sims 4 "celebrates the heart and soul of the Sims themselves, giving players a deeper connection with the most expressive, surprising and charming Sims ever in this single-player offline experience."