By the end of its lifespan, TS2 had 11 life states (plus a hidden state, Mannequin). TS3 had 18 life states, including temporary ones like zombies. TS4 has had just 6, plus Plant Sims, which was only for a limited time. With occults being such a big part of The Sims franchise, why do you think the developers have moved away from creating them?
Some possible explanations I can think of:
1. Game data obtained via origin showed that Simmers don't play with occults all that often.
2. Parts of the community were vocal about not wanting occults in their games.
3. Packs focusing on occults didn't sell as well compared to packs without them.
Because I can't; I keep all sigs turned off.
I realized this recently when I took a Servo to a karaoke bar in San Myshuno. I was able to sing karaoke with it. That means that the developers went back to that pack (City Living) and added a Servo to that code, they also recorded singing, and made sure that animations worked so that Servo was able to sing karaoke.
So that's my guess anyway, all these packs probably makes adding another lifestate a much larger task than it was in the beginning of the sims4.
I am exclusively occult player, and I love The Sims only for that. It allows me to tell various stories from my head.
Also, I did quite enjoy storytelling for normal families in TS2 and TS3, but since TS4 heavily lacks in that department, the only thing I enjoy are Vampires and Spellcasters. I only need Werewolves so I can be done with anticipation and wait for TS5.
I suppose it is a combination of
- sims 4 lacks many things from previous games (this has improved since the launch of the sims 4)
- Sims is being prompted as an outlet to play your simsself. I remember a campaign with people telling they could be themselves through the game.
- twitter. During sims 2 and the start of 3 the community was mainly active on forums and I don't recall realism fans complaining until everything fantasy/occult is practically invisible. But twitter appearantly attracts a different audience and it is very obvious the gurus are more active on twitter than the official forum.
I think the team likes to drop a pack and not need to come back to it (bugs aside, but even then do they really work on bugs anymore?), whereas the occults have been constantly tweaked into non existence. It’s a shame, but why would they want to work on more of that kind of content? Plus it’s taken them nearly a year to add pronouns (seems to be an excessive amount of time for something so small), their effort and priority is focused elsewhere with TS4.
This is the reason right here, Right Now MWS seems like karma for these people, you nerfed our vampires, So have a broken pack as payback, now all is forgiven.
This is the exact reason I think TS4 has so few occults too, because the "realism only" part of the crowd loudly complains and whines whenever the slightest whisper of anything occult or out of the ordinary is mentioned/announced. And although relatively small, they're the loudest part of the fanbase and therefore the ones who typically get the most attention.
There are dozens upon dozens (probably more like hundreds if we're being honest) of comments saying things like "we don't need more occults, we need xyz. (usually being things like real babies, cars, or something that's just completely mundane) Or "I don't want occults in my game, they're immersion breaking and mess up my gameplay." And then when, even despite those comments something occult is actually still released, they buy the pack knowing full well what they're getting and knowing the gameplay isn't going to interest them. And then they go on twitter and start crying about how occults are "ruining" their game (despite still buying the pack, mind you) until the occult content is nerfed to near oblivion in the occult dedicated picks.
And, their focus has shifted to creating your Simself and being able to visually represent your RL person, and let's face it ..... there's no hairy beastly beings that turn into a animal when a full moon appears in RL nor are there people who have wings and fly or the many other unique attributes that occult lifestates have. That doesn't fit in with their "simself" focus.
It's like these people are complete noobs, Occults have been part of the Sims series since 1, You'd think that they realize the connection that the one Sims game with the least amount of Occults also happens to be the worse game in the entire franchise.
Idk I also feel its probably the ''you are sim'' ''achieve your YA entrepreneur dreams in the game'' marketing
instead of the good old ''buy this game and make pixel peoples life horrible or fun whatever you like since you are their god'' marketing
All you have to do is look at which types of cc creations were more popular with TS2/TS3 players and what was being downloaded the most by them around the web. If you look at the types of cc/mods on a long running website like Mod The Sims, you'll notice a drastic difference between TS2, TS3, and TS4.
I have no doubt that EA/Maxis team(s) are fully aware of the ratios/percentages for each type of TS4 player, their respective demographics, and their wants/wishes... and then use that info to determine what type of content to market to the consumer.
"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect." ~ Mark Twain
Back in TS2 and TS3 there were hardly any people at all who actually played this way. Sure there were family players, and single Sim players, and legacy players and rotational players etc. However, Maxis changed the formula of The Sims into something different than a god game where you control and or by playing trigger something that happens to your Sim, into a point, click, pose, take a screen shot, tell a story, when none of it actually happens in TS4 it's all made up for story writing with screen shots. It's no longer a god game and never was from the inception of TS4. It's all about how Maxis decided to change the game and therefore influenced players that is what they really wanted, to play their simselves. I really believe there weren't that many people dreaming about playing their simself when TS4 was released it's the fact Maxis told them by marketing it for the last few years, that is how they should be playing. It goes back to that old marketing adage, You don't know what you want until you see it. Actually, they have been very successful convincing many (who never played Sims at all) that is how TS4 should be played.
This isn't meant to offend anyone but the evidence is in how they market their packs, there are eighteen or more stuff packs, more than ten kits, and many, many people don't care for any of the game play in any pack, they often say they bought it for the world, they bought it for the CAS assets, and nothing about game play and or bugs bothers them. That is the evidence Maxis changed the fanbase into one that wants to play as Simself and nothing else. Occults won't fit that mold.
Because they are parting them out for both profit's sake and probably because the tacked on occults were not recieved well, even if they did solely focus on occults it would have taken them years to catch up to former games. So if they balanced between the types of requests to provide content for multiple types of players, it would take even longer.
Not that they necessarily care about popularity that is not profit (*cough* Batuu *cough*), but there is a good reason for them to actively not want more occults on the design side: technical debt. Much like ages, occults are separate types of Sims that will break all sorts of things with new DLC and updates. The game is by many means falling apart anyway. They have to ask themselves if they want the workload to maintain so many occults, ages, and fine tuning requests post launch.
Also, quite frankly, the devs. We generally think of game devs as creative people and they get tired of working on the same thing. It isn't creatively satisfying. The turn over for live services, Sims included, always becomes a bit of an issue because the same people aren't making it. It becomes a different game with a different vision and direction, for good or bad. These devs may not have room for occults in their vision.
I would actually say that the percentage of players who play the game "realistically" is higher than those who take a more magical/fantasy approach towards it. I would say it's relatively the same across all generations of the game, except maybe in TS4. From what I've seen, it seems like there's more fantasy CC/Mods being made for TS4 than 3 or 2, and maybe that's because of the lack of Occults compared to past games? I can't say really, but I think that the art style of the game is more inviting for someone who wants to play in fantasy/magical way.
For my part, I used to think I didn't like occults. I guess you could say I've been a "Simself" player since the Sims 1. At the very least I saw the games as real life simulators and thus occults just felt out of place to me outside of small gags (because humor has always been a part of the series) or ghosts. To this day I do believe things like occults should be toggleable elements of a Pack, because there's a hundred reasons someone might want a Pack, from clothing to furniture to the world, without wanting their Sim to suddenly be vulnerable to monsters.
The Simself thing is a poor excuse though. Not saying it isn't the excuse, it certainly might be their train of thought, just that it's a very narrow perspective. Nowadays I've been seeing outright fantasy and sci-fi settings doing a similar thing, where they focus on audience identity over the cohesion and immersion of the setting. As someone who feels that part of their "identity" is being fascinated by and into imagining the possibilities of different worlds and other what ifs, this often annoys me. However, the fact that it's been working for companies to sacrifice that immersion for identity even in fantasy and sci-fi worlds proves that people can find themselves just fine in non-human characters.
Honestly, one of the things that changed my mind about occults in the Sims was picking up Island Living, because making a mermaid Sim kinda made me realize some things about myself that I had been in denial of, not to sound overly dramatic about it.
To answer the OP - I personally feel that it's the game itself that wouldn't support it. The game wasn't designed to be able to add on and on and on without the constant upkeep in the background. Ts4 was built on the foundation of a scrapped game. They're either unwilling or unable to delay games till they're properly fixed, resulting in broken games being launched. They can't keep up with bug fixes and with every new addition comes new problems that aren't being addressed. Now the amount of money that the sims franchise brings in, I find it hard to believe that there isn't a team working on bug fixes and that is why I think it just can't be fixed. The sims 4 is fundamentally broken.
My only hope is that when TS5 eventually launches, it is a game that is capable of everything ts4 isn't, like having a mutlitude of occults, having fleshed out family play and minimal-to-no bugs.