The Sims has the most confusing timeline in gaming

The Sims the series is not one that most gamers would expect continuity between main series entries. After all, games are about players creating their own stories with their custom Sims, so having any kind of cohesive plot built in feels largely extra and unnecessary. However, not only The Sims have a lot of traditions – it’s just rival The Legend of Zeldanotoriously convoluted timeline with how confusing it is.


Unlike the Zelda chronology, the fans were actually the ones who reenacted The Sims‘ timeline together using context clues left throughout the various games. Looking at the timeline of in-game events, fans were able to determine the order in which The Sims games take place. Although the way players put them together is quite simple, looking deeper reveals some serious contradictions that make The Sims incredibly confusing timeline.

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How fans pieced together the Sims timeline

bella goth the sims

The fans gathered The Sims timeline by looking at the various townspeople stories that have been sprinkled throughout the games. The history of the Goth family is of particular importance thanks to their influence around the world The Sims. For example, it is stated in The Sims 3 that Gunther Goth founded Sunset Valley after the Goth family left what is only known as “Old Country” in the game. This puts The Sims 3 at the very beginning of the timeline.

There’s another set of details that help back up some of these storyline observations: the fact that some Sims appear as children in other games. Bob Newbie from the first game appears as a child in The Sims 3, providing further proof that this game is the first in the series’ timeline. As for The Sims 2fans were able to use Bella Goth’s Alien Abduction Story ofThe Sims 2 to set this game after the events of the original. This makes The Sims 3 the first game in the series, followed by The Sims and The Sims 2.

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The Sims 4 takes place in an alternate universe

While previous games were quite simple, The Sims 4 makes things incredibly complicated. This shatters a ton of assumptions regarding the series’ timeline, indicating that the game is set in an alternate universe. Looking at the history of some notable families, the Landgraab family’s backstory differs greatly from previous games. For example, instead of moving to Sunset Valley as they did to The Sims 3the family is mentioned as having explicitly left to move to Oasis Springs.

The biggest detail supporting the theory that The Sims 4 takes place in an alternate universe is the fact that Bella Goth was never abducted by aliens. While Bella Goth disappeared after the events of The Sims and is revealed to have been abducted by aliens in The Sims 2none of this seems to have happened to the Bella Goth featured in The Sims 4. The developer even confirmed The Sims 4 takes place in an alternate timeline, with a the producer tells fans on Twitter When the game launched, it was “the most flexible way” to bring back fan-favorite Sims.

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Technology is retreating in The Sims

The Sims 3 Cars

Even with The Sims 4 being separated from the canon of the other games, there are still a ton of questions about how the first three games fall on the timeline. For instance, The Sims 3 take place first in the timeline implies that modern technology like smartphones disappeared before the events of The Sims. While this makes sense on some level given the games release date, it does create some weird timeline questions.

technology in the world of The Sims should have actually gone back between the events of The Sims 3 and The Sims to explain why the world has moved from smartphones to landlines. A possible explanation is that The Sims 3 update which added smartphones, which released alongside the Show time expansion, occurs later in the timeline. However, placing each expansion pack on the timeline separately from the base games only further complicates what is already a wild and confusing timeline.

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