EA drops support for OpenGL and goes with Metal for the Sims 4

EA Mai announced today that from June 2019 EA will no longer support OpenGL for the Sims 4, instead they will be upgrading the game to support Metal on compatible Macs. For those using a Mac that doesn’t support Metal, you will still be able to play the base game and all packs up to and including StrangerVille (all releases to February 2019) but will need to download and install a new legacy edition of the game which will be made available in June. Some important things to note about the Sims 4: Legacy Edition:

  • It will not receive any bug fixes
  • It will not receive any new content
  • The Gallery and social integrations within the game will no longer function
  • It will not be possible to add any further Expansion/Game/Stuff Packs to the game released after February 2019
  • Your installed game will not be automatically upgraded to the legacy edition if you are using a Mac without Metal support
  • Your saved games can be transferred to the legacy edition, EA will provide further instructions on how to do this nearer the time

Apple have a page on their website explaining Metal and listing supported Macs. They also have a page on their Developer site explaining it in more depth.

The following Macs all support Metal:

To find out which exact model Mac you have click on the Apple in the menu bar then About This Mac. If you’re unsure about your Mac, leave a comment below 🙂

This is great news from EA and should improve game performance for all those with supported Macs. Metal enables the CPU (processor) and GPU (graphics processing unit) to work together more efficiently to improve overall performance when playing games.

One last thing, you can ignore the other announcement made about EA dropping support for 32-bit for PC. The Sims 4 has only ever been 64-bit for macOS.

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Apple dropping support for 32-bit apps. Sims 2, Sims 3 and SimCity will no longer work in macOS

Apple announced last year that macOS 10.13 High Sierra will be the last version of the OS to support 32-bit apps. You can read this article which explains why they are doing this and what it means. Most apps produced in the last few years are 64-bit so there is no cause for concern but for most of our beloved Sims games this most likely means that it will be the end. This does not affect Sims 4 as it is already 64-bit.

If you have updated to macOS 10.13.4 you should have started receiving this notification when launching 32-bit apps:

Until we can download the beta of the next macOS we’re not going to know when 32-bit apps will be rendered completely obsolete. I hoped to wait until we had the beta before posting this but I’ve received so many messages asking about it I thought a post now may help.

The following Sims games are currently 32-bit:

The Sims 2 Super Collection (Aspyr)
The Sims 3 (EA/Maxis)
SimCity 4 (Aspyr)
SimCity 2013 (EA – Origin; Aspyr – Mac App Store)
Sims Medieval (EA/Maxis)

If you would like to carry on playing these titles after 32-bit support is withdrawn there is a workaround. You can install High Sierra on a bootable external drive and install your 32-bit games on this drive. You would then simply boot up your Mac from that drive when you want to play. For those who haven’t done this before, it really is a very simple process – don’t be scared! I will upload a tutorial soon showing easy step by step instructions on how to do this.

Aspyr have announced that they hope to update their 32-bit games to 64-bit so they are still playable on future releases of macOS. You can read their support statement here, together with a full list of affected titles.

EA have yet to confirm or deny whether they will update their titles.

If you would like to see whether your apps are 32-bit or 64-bit read Apple’s article for instructions on finding the info in System Report. You can also check when the app is running by opening Activity Monitor: