I've been saying it for years, the sims needs competition and it's crazy no one ever made a serious attempt.
I think it where only some poorly made 18+ games with limited content focused only on dating.
Competition is what pushes developers to step up their game. Even if you don't play the competing game, you benefit. If the competition offers more content for less money, the sims can't stay behind of course.
And naturally, a competitor would be excused for not having all the content a new sims game had in previous installments. It's a fresh start, a clean slate. They only need to offer more than the sims does in their base games at launch.
I think a competing game could get pretty far if they focus on a 16+ rating, having some more mature content but not showing sex, drug addictions or such. But it would enable alcohol, smoking and murder. Possibly some risque stuff like the pie dancers the sims used to have but would never dare to put in their games anymore.
Offering a better career system that interacts more with the world could also be a selling point.
Same for layered clothing, letting you pick your sims underwear and put clothes over it. Like Saint's row and other games have been doing for many years already.
And more varying personalities of course. Not hard to beat sims 4 at that, and I feel like it could have been better in previous sims games too.
Like how the interests and hobbies could never be selected but where random.