E3 2019: Sims 4 expansion pack goes tropical with 'Island Living'

One word: Mermaids.

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Shelby Brown (she/her/hers) is an editor for CNET's services team. She covers tips and tricks for apps, operating systems and devices, as well as mobile gaming and Apple Arcade news. Shelby also oversees Tech Tips coverage. Before joining CNET, she covered app news for Download.com and served as a freelancer for Louisville.com.
  • She received the Renau Writing Scholarship in 2016 from the University of Louisville's communication department.
Shelby Brown
4 min read

The new Sims 4 expansion pack is full of tropical beaches.

Jovan Jovic/Sims Community

At the EA Play publisher's press event for the E3 2019 gaming confab, Origin confirmed the next Sims 4 expansion pack: Island Living. 

The pack includes new colors and tropical beach fashion. Origin is also introducing open-water gameplay. Origin introduced the sunny location named Sulani where your Sim can take part in some rest and relaxation, work in conservation to protect the island, discover folklore or get into water activities. 

You might run into a mermaid and a few friendly dolphins, and you can live near an active volcano (the developers mentioned that neighbors are keen to help each other put out fires).

An added bonus is that the Sulani changes over time. If you're taking care of it, you'll see the fruits of your labor. If you're not, that'll be evident too. Origin also experimented with more odd jobs for your Sim to pick up some extra Simoleons. 

The pack was confirmed Saturday after a leak showed up on Sims Community and was spotted by PC Gamer. The leak, posted by community founder Jovan Jovic, suggested that the release date would be June 21.

In addition, Origin announced a partnership with the It Gets Better Project, an LGBTQ+ youth support service. Now you can access pride content for your Sim starting June 18 and expanding across Sims Freeplay, the Sims mobile app and the Sims 4.

Origin had a third surprise too. It briefly teased the Sims 4: Realm of Magic expansion pack, expected this fall.

The E3 video game conference in Los Angeles is expected to yield announcements from Electronic Arts, Xbox, Bethesda, Ubisoft, Square Enix and  Nintendo You can stream the conference online from a variety of platforms if you don't plan on attending. 

The big press conferences

Many of the biggest announcements happen before the show even opens, during a weekend of press conferences from the industry's biggest names. All except Sony, which this year said it won't be holding a press conference during the show, nor will it have a booth.

The rest, however, will still be planning big announcements just before the show. 

Saturday, June 8

Sunday, June 9

Monday, June 10

  • PC Gaming Show -- This annual PC Gaming Show is held at a theater a short walk from the Los Angeles Convention Center, but still draws a large crowd, filling the 1,700-person capacity Mayan Theater in downtown Los Angeles. Inside, the usual suspects, from Halo to Doom, were nowhere to be found. Instead, the crowd cheered for PC-centric games including Zombie Army 4Baldur's Gate 3 and Terraria: Journey's End. (No, the game sequel problem isn't any better on PCs.) The highlight was a brief on-stage appearance by legendary game designer Yu Suzuki, responsible for classic such as Hang-On and Virtua Fighter. His long-awaited Shenmue 3 is expected in November, 18 years after Shenmue 2. 
  • Ubisoft -- The French gaming giant announced its next big dystopian hacking adventure game, Watch Dogs: Legion, launching March 2020. The new game is set in near-future post-Brexit London, where the economy is failing and government is breaking down. The company also announced a new television show, called Mythic Quest, that will launch on Apple TV Plus. And it celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Just Dance party games. 
  • Square Enix -- 6 p.m. PT (9 p.m. ET)

Tuesday, June 11

  • Nintendo (livestream only) -- 9 a.m. PT (noon ET)

First published June 8 at 12:03 p.m. PT.
Update, 2:02 p.m. PT: Adds more details about E3's other press conferences.

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