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Saturday, August 13, 2022

The Sims publisher cracks down on all paid mods

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THE Sims publisher, EA, has banned mods that are behind any form of paywall.

Paid mods have always been banned via the game’s terms of service, but recent changes have expanded the definition.

The Sims 4 has many unique characters without mods including werewolves.

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The Sims 4 has many unique characters without mods including werewolves.Credit: Maxis

The Sims has a keen modding community – essentially, hobbyist game developers who add fan-made content to existing games.

EA appears to want to crack down on people modding the game, saying modders can only recoup development costs via passive advertisements and links for donations on their websites.

The update to The Sims’ terms of service states:  “All users must be able to access the mods in full for free regardless of whether they donate.

“Mods must be non-commercial and distributed free-of-charge. 

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“Mods cannot be sold, licensed, or rented for a fee, nor can mods contain features that would support monetary transactions of any kind.”

Many modders use creator support services such as Patreon to earn money for their work.

Players who wish to gain access to a creator’s mods can then pay a monthly fee which allows them to download the software weeks in advance of a free release.

The inclusion of the term “rented for a fee” has led some to believe that EA is now targeting the community who release content this way.

EA has not clarified whether those who offer early access to mods which will later be released for free will also be affected.

Speaking previously on the issue, a Sims community manager said that offering players early access to mods in exchange for payment was acceptable. 

However, since the terms of service have been reworded, many in the modding community have been left confused as to what this means for them.

Some modders have decided to pause early access until EA clarifies the changes.

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If stricter guidelines are being enforced, it could mean that fewer mods for The Sims will become available.

Additionally, EA has also banned the use of official The Sims assets, such as logos or promotional images, to advertise mods

Written by Georgina Young on behalf of GLHF.

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