Last month, EA announced new rules and restrictions for paid mods, early access, and how developers can promote their creations. And this led to many disgruntled responses and constant internal arguments Sims community.
The Sims 4 may have been released in 2014, but the life simulator continues to receive massive official updates and boasts a large, active community of modders who are constantly producing user-generated content for the game on PC. Some of these developers make money by selling mods or receiving donations from players who like their work. So it is not surprising that on July 26 EA’s policy update stating that selling mods or locking them behind a Patreon secondary will no longer be allowed has caused an internet firestorm.
In an update published on the official EA The Sims 4 help site, the company explained that the mods cannot be “sold, licensed or rented for a fee” and that the mods cannot add or support “any type of monetary transaction”. This means you can’t paste your digital store The Sims 4 and sell NFT shirts or sell your mods on the site.
EA has acknowledged that creating a mod takes time and resources, so developers can sell ads on their mod sites and accept donations, but developers can’t include these things in the game itself.
However, when this support page was first published, the section that mentions allowing early access was not included. This caused a lot of backlash, as many content creators and modders use the early access model to release mods to dedicated fans who are willing to pay until things work properly or are not finished. The idea is that once a mod is made, the developers release it for free, and that paid period helps support them while the mod is finished.
EA seemingly coming after this fairly old system that was mostly accepted by the community went over about as well as you’d expect. It’s also quite a turn as the publisher is typically supportive of its Sims modding community. Gamespot spoke to some content creators about the situationsome explained how they managed to survive by selling access to mods.
After a lot of player backlash and bad press, EA has now reversed course and earlier today updated the help article include some provision for paid early access. While directly selling mods or locking them behind a paywall is still a no-no, this new update allows for the community-approved Patreon system.
Here is the text added by EA to confirm that it is suitable for this type of paid mod system.
Offer an early access incentive for a reasonable amount of time. After a period of reasonable early access, all users should be able to access all mods for free, regardless of whether they donate.
However, although it helped extinguish some fire, others are still worried about how vague the new rule seems. How long can a mod stay in early access before EA declares it to be removed and made free? EA only mentions a “reasonable amount of time” but doesn’t specify, so the publisher will likely be given some leeway as they evaluate mods on a case-by-case basis.
my box contacted EA regarding the Early Access rule and asked for clarification.
now, Sims fans and developers like KawaiiFoxita seems cautiously optimistic about the situation. Of course, if EA reveals that a “reasonable amount of time” is five days or a week, it’s likely to find itself in another mess.