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
- Electronic Arts -- The game maker showed off 15 minutes of gameplay for its upcoming adventure game, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. It also announced new features for its free-to-download Apex Legends last-man-standing battle royale game, offering a new character and weapon to play with. The company also showed off a new paid update for The Sims 4, called Island Living, that brings the series to a tropical beach. Finally, the company did discuss drama over the mixed reviews for its Anthem action adventure game, saying it "learned a lot" and had more updates and features planned soon.
Sunday, June 9
- Microsoft / Xbox -- The gaming giant's biggest news was Project Scarlett, its next-generation Xbox, coming in 2020. The new device is up to 4x more powerful, the company said, and like the next-gen PlayStation it'll include a fast non-mechanical SSD hard drive, and it'll be powered by custom innards built with the help of chipmaker AMD. The company also announced that Halo Infinite will launch alongside Project Scarlett next year. Meantime, Microsoft is starting public tests of its Project xCloud streaming service in October, promising people the ability to play high end games on their mobile devices while away from home. While fans wait, Microsoft announced an update to its Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 as well as a slew of new games. And action star Keanu Reeves, fresh off the success of John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum, was on stage to announce his involvement with Cyberpunk 2077, which is coming next year.
- Bethesda -- Bethesda kicked off its event with humility over the mixed response to Fallout 76, but quickly went back on the offensive. Fallout 76 got a new Battle Royale mode, Wolfenstein Youngblood received a new trailer and a co-op mode. We got a new game called Deathloop from the clever folks behind Dishonored and Bethesda introduced us to Orion, a piece of tech from ID Software designed to make game streaming better on services like Google Stadia. The lion's share of attention, however, went to Doom Eternal, which looked fantastic in both single player and multiplayer.
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 4, Baldur'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.