Sims 3 64-bit is almost here for Mac

Such a flurry of excitement since a second copy of Sims 3 started appearing in user’s Origin  games libraries on the 20 October! It seems that we now don’t have too much longer to wait. In preparation, and to confirm what we do and don’t know, here are a few pointers:

Will my Mac run the 64-bit version of Sims 3?

  • Your Mac must support Metal and be running macOS 10.13 High Sierra. This is most likely because Apple updated to Metal v2 in High Sierra and from issues reported in the Sims 4 Mac forum we know that it improves performance. These Macs support Metal:
  • You must also read the system requirements posted by EA_Leeloo here to check processor and video card requirements.
  • If you are running 10.11 El Capitan or 10.12. Sierra you can upgrade via the Mac App Store. You can also find the direct download link for High Sierra here.
  • If your Mac is a 2011 model or earlier (excluding the Mac Pros mentioned above) this updated version is not for you. Carry on playing the original 32-bit version you have.

How do I install the 64-bit version?

  1. You should uninstall your current installation of the original game but make sure to back up your saves first. By now I’m sure you’re probably aware this is not an easy task and has to be done manually. Full instructions on how to do this can be found here.
  2. Once the updated version shows as available for download in Origin simply click and download as normal.
  3. If you have never registered the game in Origin but have the codes from the disc version you must download and install Origin and redeem the product codes in your account. Instructions here.

EA_Leeloo posted a FAQ here on Answers HQ and MaxisJoe posted his monthly update here. Both are definitely worth a read. They don’t answer all the questions I have such as:

  • Will a new Sims 3 folder be created in the Electronic Arts folder or will the newly installed game successfully read the current folder (that you should have backed up before uninstalling the game)?
  • Will installing Sims 3 Store content actually properly work now or do we still need to jump through hoops to get it installed into the Launcher?
  • Has the 2Gb RAM cap been ripped off now the updated version is 64-bit (in theory yes)?

It’s REALLY important that people understand this updated version of Sims 3 is a compatibility version. It is not a bug fix, it does not add additional features. The game is no longer in development and has not been for years. It is so Apple users running 10.15 Catalina and later versions of macOS can once again play the game.

I’ll post again once it’s been released and I’ve had a chance to play around and check things out. In the meantime, feel free to ask any questions below if you need clarification on any of the above points 🙂

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.