Here's what we need to know (and speculate about) from the blog post:
- Devs are working on the Community Stuff pack. "I can’t tell you its name, because we have not voted on that yet, but I saw the list of options last week, and I have no idea which one you all will choose. I’m anxious to find out."
- "We are also hard at work on our next Expansion Pack. I’m super excited about the theme the team has chosen—I think it will be a surprise to many of you." -> There is a rather small group that won't be surprised but most people will be -> it's probably not a Farming pack nor Generations. I'm guessing Supernatural EP or Hobbies EP.
- "The team has also been hard at work on some new surprise additions we plan to bring to the game over the summer. They are not massive changes, but they are pretty cool ones that I think you will have a ton of fun with." -> We'll get new stuff in Patches coming over the summer. To give you a rough scale about what we're getting, we got the Freelancer career in a summer Patch last year. Other features we got in patches were the first-person camera view, odd jobs, that Alexa thing, etc.
- "Another group on our team is currently focused on our next Game Pack. This pack is a major first for us, and we are super eager to share it with all of you later this year." -> This GP being a major first probably means that we won't get any occults nor destination vacations. I'm taking a bet to say that it's a Singer/Band GP or something but we'll have to see.
- "Lastly, we have been working on some fun ways to Stay Home and Play Together. No, we are not doing multiplayer. We want to help our community of players connect with each other (and us!) in this time of social distancing. As part of that, we Gurus want a chance to share more with you." -> Probably a revamp of Maxis Occasionally Maxis Monthly/Guru Games streams. ++ some other stuff to keep us busy.
The blog post implies that the Release order will be almost the same as last year:
In 2019 we had: Freelancer patch -> bugfix patch -> OffTheGrid Pre-EP patch -> Island Living EP -> Create a Sim: Story Mode + UI revamp Pre-SP patch-> Moschino SP -> L-shaped stairs Pre-GP patch -> bugfix patch -> Bugfix patch
For this year we'll have (this is my speculation btw): <Medium patch> -> <Bugfix patch> -> <Medium Pre-EP patch> -> Hobbies EP -> <Bugfix Pre-SP patch> -> Community SP -> Singing skill and Instruments Revamp + for Instruments Pre-GP patch -> Singer/Bands GP
But speculation aside, I'm hoping the team isn't going too far with the whole Surprise theme thing. Strangervile shows us that "Surprise themed" packs get mixed reviews and making them is a big gamble. They should stop doing these and make new packs based on Community surveys (like the one we got in January) instead. Otherwise, they risk losing a rather large part of the community and not getting enough revenue.