According to new EA guidelines, creators of Sims 4 content are no longer allowed to promote mods “in a way that suggests they are endorsed by or affiliated with The Sims, Maxis, or Electronic Arts.” As such, creators are prohibited from using “any game logos or trademarks, including versions of plumbob, or master artwork” to promote their creations.
While this may be an inconvenience to depositors, the second set of terms is proving to be more controversial. According to the post, all content created by moderators should now be distributed to the public for free. Modifications can no longer be “sold, licensed, or rented for a fee”, nor can they contain features that support “cash transactions of any kind”. EA added that creators are free to “recover their development costs” by displaying ads on their websites to generate revenue and donations – only as long as any in-game content they create is not behind a paywall.
Shortly after the announcement was released, content creators began speculating about whether this would affect the community’s popular early access payment model, where creators offer custom content and edits on sites like Patreon to pay subscribers for a set amount of time before opening them up for general access. Earlier today, Twitter user MarlynSims96 shared a conversation he had with a member of EA’s support team stating that this is the case.
While EA hasn’t added any clause explicitly banning the early access model, this tweet – along with new “non-commercial” requirements – means that it likely will. While some community members celebrate the decision, which will essentially make all modded 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,” famous architect The Sims 4 and EA creator KawaiiFoxita told GameSpot. “Using Early Access as a way to secure some money for the work these creators do is, to me, a much better approach and I fully support creators who pay for early access to their creations. I don’t think EA should take it down. People deserve some kind of compensation. about work and the time they spend, so getting there early is a good way to do that.”
For some, this compensation has proven vital in their daily lives. In their Patreon post about the policy changes, creator JellyPaws wrote that funding Patreon was part of what enabled them to pay rent, medication, and other necessities.
JellyPaws writes: “The early access to Patreon is one of the only reasons I can afford medication, food, pet care, and my own apartment so I can live above my disabled parent to care for him.” “It’s really annoying to see Early Access has been wiped out but I hope you all can continue to support my work, even without Early Access.”
JellyPaws is one of The Sims 4’s most popular creators who used Patreon and the Early Access model as a means of income, but is now canceling the feature as a result of new EA policies. Another person, ChewyButterfly, found himself in the same situation.
“Patreon has helped me buy the least amount of groceries in the last few months when my job continued to deteriorate,” ChewyButterfly wrote on Patreon. “I really hope EA releases another statement explaining early access, since they didn’t mention especially It is not allowed. But even then, there is no more early access.”
The Sims 4 community on Reddit largely praised creators like JellyPaws and ChewyButterfly, who chose to pivot with EA’s new regulations — even if there was frustration with those who “abused” the paywall protocol, thus putting the creators in this position.
If many content creators don’t abuse, make a permanent firewall, put virus/malware trackers to modify/copy, harass, leak personal information…if they don’t, this won’t happen…
– Ginie62 (@Ginie62) August 1, 2022
However, there are quite a few creatives who choose to maintain current business practices. Felixandre, one of the most popular creators of The Sims 4, hasn’t mentioned the policy changes on Twitter or Patreon. Currently, Felixandre has a whopping number of sponsors of 4,433 beneficiaries, each of whom contribute at least $5 per month to the creator. Likewise, AggressiveKitty (which sits at 649 patrons paying at least $6 a month), HeyHarrie (4,293 patrons paying at least $2 a month), and Sixam CC said no intention to stop. MaxisMatchCCWorld and ADeepIndigo shared their thoughts on EA’s new policy on Patreon, but said they will continue business as usual until it is clarified that the early access model is prohibited. Finally, CowPlant and PixelVibeSims have come under fire on Reddit for finding “holes” in EA’s terms. Both creators have stated that they sever any connection with The Sims 4 franchise and the 3D models they make are their own.
Ultimately, this issue is divisive, with members of the The Sims 4 community finding themselves in various places on a wide range of thoughts on the matter.
“As someone who primarily creates personalized content, I can understand why people are not satisfied with the paywall.” KawaiiFoxita said. “At first it didn’t really bother me because I was of the mindset that those people who create these amazing networks and assets deserve to be paid for the time and effort they put in. They are artists at the end of the day and I support artists’ work wherever I can. However, I also understand how they can It’s for those who can’t afford it and also those who think these people were breaking the terms of service.”
However, KawaiiFoxita also brought up another good point. The Sims 4 community has largely credited mods for being among the first to respond when there are bugs in the game, and they’ve also brought more players to the franchise with their largely free add-ons.
“A lot of people using mods and CC feel that the game would not be playable in its current state without them. So, removing income for many depositors, this could mean that they are no longer making – and if they don’t after creation, you risk losing a significant portion of the player base,” KawaiiFoxita said. “EA should consider what is happening within the mod and custom content communities and consider hiring these creators to help implement these features/assets within the game itself, so that they can be deployed to more PC players and those people can be rewarded for everything they do.”
Modernization: In an email to GameSpot, EA confirmed that The Sims 4 modifiers are allowed to continue using Early Access periods.
“The Sims team has just updated the FAQ about The Sims 4 Mods to make it clear that all users should be able to access Mods completely for free,” an EA representative told GameSpot. However, content creators may continue to operate a reasonable early access period for their content.
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