We recently reported on a possible upcoming expansion pack for The Sims 4; one of many that EA and Maxis undoubtedly have planned to release throughout the lifespan of The Sims 4 while it's on the market. The expansion is called Outdoor Retreat and is scheduled for release this upcoming January.

Over on the official Sims website, the post announces the Outdoor Retreat as a “Game Pack”. Yes, there's even a reason as to why they're calling it a “Game Pack” instead of DLC or an expansion pack.

The Sims 4 producer, Grant Rodiek, stated that...
“Two words. Game Pack. What is a Game Pack you ask? Game Packs are unique to The Sims 4. Our first Game Pack - The Sims 4 Outdoor Retreat - will be coming out in January 2015, but before we talk about that, let’s talk about what a Game Pack is.

“About nine years ago, during The Sims 2 days, we introduced Stuff Packs to The Sims franchise to change up the way you could customize your Sim stories. Stuff Packs were focused on a specific theme and included clothing, hairstyles, furniture and décor.”

So yes, Game Packs are the new Stuff Packs. I think I like Game Packs better; Stuff Packs sounded kind of lazy and ambiguous.

I remember The Sims 2 have lots and lots and lots of packs but I don't remember quite as many for The Sims 3. I think the more open-ended, modular nature of the third game's design made it a little more susceptible to highly expansive user-mods, where-as the second game's smaller areas and higher dependence on Maxis expansion packs to include new objects, areas and items is what made the Stuff Packs stand out a bit more.

The switch from the open-world design of The Sims 3 to a more instanced-area type design of The Sims 4 has allowed EA to go back to rolling out content for the newest game in the same way they did for The Sims 2.

The new Outdoor Retreat Game Pack enables players to experience new content, such as campfire songs, hiking gear, forest-themed costumes and new interactive objects to play with.

As noted on the website page...
“For The Sims 4, we wanted to continue that tradition while giving you even MORE opportunities to craft the stories you want, since a Game Pack provides new gameplay features, new objects and new clothing based around one central theme.”

It was suspected before when the building tools and areas were being showcased for The Sims 4 that EA and Maxis would likely roll out tons of new expansion packs for The Sims 4.

Given the way the game is designed and since each new Game Pack offers players the ability to experience new content within contained environments, EA and Maxis could keep new content rolling out for The Sims 4 for years to come.

EA is still trying to recover their rep from the toddlers and pools situation from earlier in the year, and Mac fans (as evidenced in the comment section at the bottom of the post on The Sims website) still seem pretty peeved at the lack of OSX support. Maybe after a few more Game Packs EA will show Mac users some love?

In the meantime, Outdoor Retreat is scheduled to go live this January for $20.

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