Last month, EA announced new rules and restrictions on paid mods, early access, and how creators can advertise their creations. And that led to many disgruntled responses and continued controversy within the sims community.
The Sims 4 may have been released in 2014, but the life simulator continues to receive massive official updates and has a large active community of modders who regularly produce user-created content for PC gaming. Some of these creators make a living selling mods or receiving donations from players who love their work. It’s no surprise, then, that EA’s July 26 policy update – which stated that selling mods or locking them behind a Patreon sub would no longer be allowed – sparked an online firestorm. .
In the update posted on the official EA The Sims 4 help website, the company explained that mods cannot be “sold, licensed, or rented for a fee” and that mods cannot add or support “currency transactions of any type.” This means that you cannot stick your own digital store inside of The Sims 4 and sell NFT shirts or sell your mods through a website.
EA has recognized that developing a mod takes time and resources and allows creators to sell ads on their modding sites and receive donations, but creators cannot include these items in the game itself. .
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But when this support page first went live, the part mentioning the paid early access permission was not included. This has resulted in significant backlash, as many content creators and modders use the Early Access model to release mods to dedicated fans who are willing to pay before everything works properly or is complete. The idea is that once the mod is finished, the developers release it for free and this paid period helps them support them while they work on finishing the mod.
EA apparently coming after this quite old system which was mostly accepted by the community went as well as expected. It’s also quite a turning point because the publisher usually supports his sims community of modders. play area talked to some content creators about the situationwith some explaining that selling access to mods was how they were able to survive.
“Early access to Patreon is one of the only reasons I can pay for my own medicine, food, pet care and apartment so I can live above my disabled dad to take care of him” , The Sims 4 modder JellyPaws Told play area.
After a lot of backlash from players and bad press, EA has now changed course and earlier today updated help article to include a specific exclusion for paid early access. While selling mods directly or locking them behind a paywall is still a no-no, this new update enables the community-approved Patreon system.
Here is the text added by EA to confirm that everything is fine with this type of paid mod system.
Offer an early access incentive for a reasonable amount of time. After a reasonable early access period, all users should be able to access all Mods for free, whether or not they donate.
However, although it helped extinguish some of the fire, others still worry about the vagueness of this new rule. How long can a mod stay in Early Access before EA says it should be removed and released for free? EA only says a “reasonable time” but doesn’t specify it, which will likely give the publisher some leeway when evaluating mods on a case-by-case basis.
Kotaku contacted EA about the early access rule and asked for clarification.
For the moment, sims fans and creators like KawaiiFoxita seem cautiously optimistic about the situation. Of course, if EA reveals that a “reasonable time” is five days or a week, it’s likely to end up in another mess.
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