Sims 3 64-bit update from EA

Update 24 September – MaxisJoe has posted another update confirming they are still working on it.

MaxisJoe has posted an update in the ongoing thread in the Sims 3 Mac forum at Answers HQ:

“Hey macOS The Sims 3 players!

Just popping in to give my monthly update to you. First is the tl;dr version:

  1. Yes, we’re still working on it
  2. Yes, we’re adapting to work-from-home. I can’t say that this is a core factor in things not going as fast as we’d like, but it sure isn’t helping.
  3. Yep, that switch to ARM processors is exciting. Like all macOS developers, we’re frantically assessing what this means to us and our games.

The longer version of things:

I’m sure most of you have heard of the 80/20 rule. That’s the old developer’s truism/joke that 80% of the development happens in the first 20% of the budgeted schedule, and then the remaining 20% of work fills up that other 80% of the budgeted schedule. It’s a cheeky way of noting that the big low hanging changes happen quickly but then fiddly detail oriented stuff end up taking really big blocks of time. Guess which part of the schedule we’re in. Go ahead. Guess.

Part of the challenge is that some components The Sims 3 depends on were deprecated (“are no longer supported and won’t be updated to address compatibility, security, or stability issues”) in the intervening decade or so since the game was released. It’s been a challenge identifying these components and re-writing the integration points to work with the replacement components. Anyone who says “I migrated from Foobar 5.7.12 to Barfaz 7.12.58 and it only took a day” is not being entirely truthful.

As noted above, these are historical times. We’re adapting to doing work in the midst of a global pandemic and a societal reckoning. We’re learning new skills and new attitudes across the team and across the company.

No conclusions have been reached about the ARM/x86 transition. WWDC is still happening right now! Give us a chance to digest it all. We’re looking at the options available to figure out the best path forward.”

So yeah, they’re still working on it. Isn’t it lovely having someone at EA who actually bothers to take the time out and update us? Such a breath of fresh air.

The Sims 2 now 64-bit, compatible with macOS Catalina

Woohoo! Thanks to those lovely folks at Aspyr, Mac users running 10.15 Catalina will now be able to run  The Sims 2.  First SimCity and now Sims 2, all we’re waiting for is EA to release their promised 64-bit upgrade of Sims 3 and we’re all done.

Just open the App Store and search for Sims 2. Alternatively, here’s the direct link.

The upgrade is free if you have already purchased the game through the App Store, otherwise you will need to pay for it, the price is currently £28.99 in the UK.

Sims 3 for Mac to get a major update in early 2020

These really are exciting times for Mac Simmers! After EA_David’s announcement that Sims 4 is dropping support for Lion this week, he’s just announced that the Sims 3 is getting a big update. In a nutshell:

  • Sims 3 for Mac will be updated to support 64-bit (finally!)
  • It will also be updated to support Metal (yay!)
  • The update will be through Origin and will require existing users to uninstall their current game and install the new version
  • The update will be free to all users with a currently registered copy of Sims 3 and add on packs in Origin
  • The update is expected to be available in early 2020 although no exact date has been announced yet.
  • Requirements will be a Mac running macOS 10.9 Mavericks or later and be Metal supported.

64-bit information
The upgrade to 64-bit means that Sims 3 will run in macOS Catalina, the first macOS to completely drop support for 32-bit apps, which Sims 3 is. It will hopefully also mean the game should run much better than it ever has. This is because there is virtually no limit to the amount of RAM a 64-bit app can use whilst 32-bit apps can only access up to 4Gb RAM. The current version of the Sims 3 for Mac has only ever been able to use 2Gb RAM and is part of the reason for the frequent crashes and inability to run the game

Metal information
Metal is the graphics API introduced by Apple to replace OpenGL. For more in-depth information have a look at this Apple article. However not all Macs support Metal. The following Macs will be able to run the upcoming version of Sims 3:

  • MacBook models introduced in 2015 or later
  • MacBook Air models introduced in 2012 or later
  • MacBook Pro models introduced in 2012 or later
  • Mac mini models introduced in 2012 or later
  • iMac models introduced in 2012 or later
  • iMac Pro (all models)
  • Mac Pro models introduced in late 2013, plus mid-2010 or mid-2012 models with a recommended Metal-capable graphics card.

If your Mac is not listed above you will not be able to update to the new version of the Sims 3 but will still be able to play the current version.

I’ll keep this site updated with more information as it is released but this is really FANTASTIC news 😀