Former Marvel's Midnight Suns dev wants his debut life sim to focus more on storytelling than similar games: "we feel ourselves drifting off into our own little bubble"

Marvel's Midnight Suns
(Image credit: Firaxis Games / Marvel)

The newly formed Midsummer Studios, fronted by Marvel's Midnight Suns and XCOM developer Jake Solomon, is aiming to create a new next-gen life sim that will exist in its "own little bubble" thanks to its focus on storytelling. 

Made up of a veteran team including former Sims director Grant Rodiek and Firaxis developer Will Miller, Midsummer Studios revealed its aim to "revitalize" the life sim genre by creating a new experience that lets players tell their own stories in a small town setting. While The Sims 4 is still the biggest game in the genre, we've seen a hearty helping of upcoming competitors in recent times, with the likes of Paralives, InZoi, and the near-future release, Life By You

Speaking to GamesRadar+, Solomon touched on the growing number of life sims, saying that "more games in this space is not a bad thing", and "it hopefully raises the profile" of the genre. Ultimately, though, the team at Midsummer Studios hope their story-led focus will help them stand out. 

"For us, the idea is that with us being so focused on story and narrative - other games that I've seen, like Paralives looks awesome, I love the look of that game, and Life by You - but those feel like they're definitely hewing closer to The Sims in terms of features," Solomon says. "It feels like they're very much like The Sims. And for us, because we want our characters to be part of interesting stories, we start deprioritizing features, and we start elevating other features and inventing new features like the drama, like pre-seeding the town with your relationships. We're doing things that are very different just because we want interesting stories. And so we feel ourselves kind of drifting off into our own little bubble, which is good.

"InZoi [developer] Krafton is actually one of our investors," Solomon adds. "And so I didn't know about inZoi until after they invested in us then that came up, I was like, 'okay, inZoi looks f**king great'. But, yeah, for us, it's a case of we feel like the story thing continues to push us off into our little bubble. So it's great to have more life sims. And then as long as we kind of stay off in our own lane, then we feel like we're in a good place." 

As Solomon detailed in our interview, the as yet untitled new life sim the team are currently prototyping will let you tell your own stories in a modern life, small town environment. By indicating what kind of story you want to tell, the game will then generate characters with relationships to your created character to "pre-seed a drama-rich environment" you can then steer and play your own way. 

It's still early days for the newly formed studio and its debut life sim, but it'll be interesting to see how it shapes up. 

See what future releases await us with our roundup of new games for 2024 and beyond. 

Heather Wald
Senior staff writer

I started out writing for the games section of a student-run website as an undergrad, and continued to write about games in my free time during retail and temp jobs for a number of years. Eventually, I earned an MA in magazine journalism at Cardiff University, and soon after got my first official role in the industry as a content editor for Stuff magazine. After writing about all things tech and games-related, I then did a brief stint as a freelancer before I landed my role as a staff writer here at GamesRadar+. Now I get to write features, previews, and reviews, and when I'm not doing that, you can usually find me lost in any one of the Dragon Age or Mass Effect games, tucking into another delightful indie, or drinking far too much tea for my own good.