screenshot from Paralives

Paralives Could Displace The Sims as the New King of Simulation Games

Will this new indie video game surpass the popularity of the long-running EA franchise?
June 4, 2020
7 mins read

Paralives is an upcoming simulation video game that was first revealed in June 2019. It has become popular across all types of social media platforms for its amazing building tools. On May 19 of this year, the game’s developers unveiled what the characters will look like, and so far, people are quite happy with their design, with many even starting to call Paralives better than the latest Sims game.

A Brief History of The Sims

The very first Sims game was launched more than 20 years ago, in 2000. It was created in order to give players the ability to simulate daily life activities and build homes from scratch. This concept in gaming, allowing players to have free creativity when it comes to interacting with and changing the environment of the game, is called sandbox gameplay. In The Sims, this is often achieved by creating complex characters, building houses and community lots and altering the world the characters live in.

What has made The Sims so popular is the range of control that players have over their avatars’ lives and their relationships with others. In some versions of the game, your avatar, referred to as a Sim, can be a burglar and kleptomaniac who steals from their neighbors.

Some Sims games were a nice mix between having a lot of creative control and getting random obstacles thrown in that created challenges to the gameplay. These random occurrences, which players had no control over, might consist of being robbed in the middle of the night or getting their items repossessed while they were away at work.

The most recent Sims game, The Sims 4, initially released in September 2014. It left many fans disappointed for its lack of some features that were removed from previous versions, things like cars, an open-world setting and a color wheel for furniture and clothing. While fans were upset to see features like that go in The Sims 4, they still continued to support the series that they grew up loving. However, when the new game Paralives was revealed, and it was announced to have all of those features and more, some lifelong Simmers quickly started to support the new competition.

What Is Paralives?

Paralives is a life-simulation game in development for PC, with a team of currently only four people working on it. Originally, the game was being developed by just one person, Alex Massé. According to his website, Massé had previously worked on a few different projects before coming up with the idea of Paralives. One of these projects was PewDiePie’s Tuber Simulator, where he applied fixes to various bugs and worked on enabling characters to walk.

Massé announced Paralives last November, and since then, people have been flocking to it in hopes of finding something bigger and better than what they’ve already known. Since the developers are such a small team, they have been using Patreon to fund their expenses. Because of the influx of people contributing to their Patreon lately, they will now be able to hire six more team members, which should help speed up the development process. Since there is no release date as of yet, fans have been trying to contribute as much as they can to get more people working on it.

Paralives has a lot of features that have already been confirmed by the development team. It’s a simulation game where you can create characters, called Paras, who look just like you, and you can build the houses that they live in. It’s a sandbox game in which you can manipulate many aspects the characters’ lives, e.g., their relationships, desires, jobs, actions. The game already showcases an attractive user interface with tools that make building and creating easier. Building abilities that are confirmed to be present at launch are gridless construction, curved walls, a color wheel and the ability to have stackable furniture that can be resized.

A lot of fans of The Sims 4 have already thrown their support behind Paralives in order for it to be all that The Sims currently isn’t. The constant comparison of the two can be quite frustrating for the developers, who have the ongoing pressure to meet all of their fans’ expectations and build a better game. Despite this, they have been responding positively to the comments that fans have been leaving on all their social media sites.

Is One Truly Better?

The Sims developers are fully aware of the competition that is pulling away all of their customers. On May 19, a date that was announced in advance and circled around social media, the Paralives team revealed what their Parafolk would look like. An hour beforehand, the Sims team uploaded a new gameplay trailer for their upcoming expansion pack, Eco Lifestyle. It could have been a complete coincidence, but this was one occasion when the two games were pitted against each other, perhaps marking the start of an open rivalry between them. As to the score, the Paralives video has amassed more likes on YouTube than The Sims video has.

Since there is such a competitiveness between the two games, with one still unreleased, there might be some interesting marketing strategies in the near future. Regardless, both teams of developers will continue to improve their respective games for their users. Although Paralives and The Sims will be going head to head in the market, both are ultimately different and will have different fan bases; one will not be truly better for everyone to buy. It’s really all about preference, and that’s the beauty of the gaming industry: All games are made for different people to enjoy.

Kayla Placide, University at Buffalo

Writer Profile

Kayla Placide

University at Buffalo

Hello! My name is Kayla and I’m a freshman who is trying to pursue a future career in publishing YA books and fiction. My hobbies include reading, writing, gaming and playing music.

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