Under EA’s new guidelines, The Sims 4 custom content creators are no longer allowed to promote mods “in a way that suggests they are approved or affiliated with The Sims, Maxis or Electronic Arts.” As such, creators are prohibited from using “any in-game logo or branding, including plumbob versions or key graphic design” to promote their creations.
While this may be a drawback for modders, the second set of terms is proving to be much more controversial. According to the post, all content created by modders must now be distributed to the public for free. Mods can no longer be “sold, licensed, or rented for a fee,” nor can they contain features that support “monetary transactions of any kind”. EA added that creators are free to “recoup their development costs” by placing ads on their websites to generate revenue and donations, as long as any game content they create is not behind a paywall.
Shortly after the announcement, content creators began speculating that this would impact the community’s popular early access payment model, where creators offer mods and custom content on sites like Patreon to paying subscribers for. a certain amount of time before opening them ready for public access. Today, Twitter user MarlynSims96 shared a conversation she had with an EA support staff member indicating that this was the case.
While EA hasn’t added any clauses that explicitly state that the early access model is prohibited, this tweet, along with the new “non-commercial” requirement, means this is likely to be the case. While some community members are celebrating the decision, which will essentially make all edited content free for all players, others are concerned about the new policies.
“Early access pricing is now being targeted by EA when it wasn’t an issue before,” KawaiiFoxita, renowned architect of The Sims 4 and creator of EA, told GameSpot. “Using Early Access as a way to secure some funds for the work these creators are doing is, for me, a much more enjoyable approach and I fully support paying creators for the benefit of having early access to their creations. This is something I don’t think EA should remove. People deserve some form of compensation for their work and time, so Early Access is a great way to do that. ”
For some, that compensation has proved vital to their daily life. In their Patreon post on policy changes, creator JellyPaws wrote that funding Patreon is part of what allowed them to pay rent, medicine, and other necessities.
“Early access to Patreon is one of the only reasons I can afford my medicine, food, pet care and apartment so that I can live above my disabled father to take care of him.” , wrote JellyPaws. “It’s really shocking to see Early Access wiped out, but I hope you all can continue to support my work, even without the early access benefit.”
JellyPaws is one of the more modders of The Sims 4 who used Patreon and an early access model as a means of earning, but is now taking the lead out due to EA’s new policies. Another modder, ChewyButterfly, found himself in the same situation.
“Patreon helped me buy the smallest amount of groceries in recent months when my jobs kept failing,” ChewyButterfly wrote in Patreon. “I really hope EA will release another statement that clarifies early access, since they have not stated this in particular that was not allowed. But until then, no more early access. ”
The Sims 4 community on Reddit has widely praised creators such as JellyPaws and ChewyButterfly, who have chosen to follow EA’s new regulations, although there is frustration with those who have “abused” the paywall protocol thus putting creators in this situation.
If several mod creators didn’t abuse, making a permanent paywall, putting virus trackers / malware in mod / cc, harassment, personal information leaks … If they didn’t, this wouldn’t happen …
– Ginie62 (@ Ginie62) 1 August 2022
However, there are some creators who choose to keep current business practices. Felixandre, one of The Sims 4’s most famous content creators, didn’t mention the policy changes on his Twitter or Patreon. Right now, Felixandre has a whopping 4,433 supporters, each contributing at least $ 5 a month to the creator. Likewise, AggressiveKitty (which sits at 649 customers who pay at least $ 6 a month), HeyHarrie (4,293 customers who pay at least $ 2 a month), and Sixam CC didn’t mention their intention to stop. MaxisMatchCCWorld and ADeepIndigo both shared their views on EA’s new policy on their Patreon, but said they will continue business as usual until it is clarified that the early access model is banned. Finally, both CowPlant and PixelVibeSims have been criticized by Reddit for finding “loopholes” in EA terms. Both creators have stated that they are severing any connection with the Sims 4 franchise and that the 3D models they build are theirs.
Ultimately, this issue is divisive, with The Sims 4 community members being in various places with a broad spectrum of thoughts on the subject.
“As a person who primarily creates with personalized content, I can understand why people weren’t happy with the paywalls.” Kawaii Foxita said. “Initially this didn’t really bother me because I was convinced that these people who create these wonderful shirts and resources deserved to be paid for the time and effort they put in. At the end of the day they are artists and I support the work of artists where I can. That said, I also understand how this can be for those who can’t afford it and also for those who believe these people are breaking terms of service. ”
However, KawaiiFoxita also raised another positive point. The Sims 4 community has largely credited modders with being some of the first to respond when there are bugs in the game and has also brought more players to the franchise through their largely free additions.
“Many people who use mods and CCs feel that the game would not be playable in its current state without them. So, with the removal of an income for many modders, this could mean that they no longer create and, if they don’t, more. you create, you run the risk of losing a large part of your player base, “said KawaiiFoxita. “EA should really take note of what’s happening within the modding and custom content communities and consider hiring these creators to help implement these features / assets within the game itself, so that they can be implemented to more than PC gamers and these people can be rewarded for everything they do. ”
UPDATE: In an email to GameSpot, EA confirmed that The Sims 4 modders can continue to use early access periods.
“The Sims team just updated The Sims 4 mod FAQ to make it clear that all users must have free access to mods,” an EA representative told GameSpot. “However, creators can still grant a reasonable early access period for their content.
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