Personal lives are being affected. And destroyed. All over illegal The Sims 4 Custom Content.
Please note that this story is still in development. Until then, be careful when downloading CC / Mods. Keep things fair. Don’t ruin this for actual talented people who are trying to make a living. Lastly – don’t steal personal information, threaten and harass people.
I also want to remind you that no one from The Sims Team is responsible for this situation getting out of control. Do not harass and set expectations from the developers and people working on this franchise. There are multiple factors involved in this situation. This situation has just recently been brought up to attention at this scale and cannot be resolved overnight.
In the meantime, please be respectful to everyone who wants to do right by this franchise and this community. Supporters of creators, the creators themselves, the Sims team, reporters and other rightful groups who are on the frontline of all of this. We just want to make this community a safer, better and more welcoming space than what it is right now. Thank you!
Custom Content. Mods. They’ve been around for as long as video games have existed. It’s no surprise that the biggest life simulation game that lets you create and build anything allows for custom creations and gameplay modifications. After all, this has been the staple of The Sims Community since the first day The Sims 1 was released.
Will Wright, the creator of The Sims, SimCity and Spore has always been a huge advocate for the CC / Mods community. And even gave a lengthy interview about it for TechTV in 2001.
Video Games simply wouldn’t have the longetivity that they have right now without amazing creators that keep making the franchise more interesting on a daily basis.
I might’ve started this article a bit dramatically from what you’re usually used to reading here on Sims Community, but it definitely fits the situation that players and modders are dealing with at the moment.
The Sims 4 and Custom Content
The Sims 4 has a huge community of Modders and Custom Content Creators. Some of them even make a living out of it through Patreon / Early Access and tipping platforms that support their passion to keep on creating new content for the game. This is all rightfully so, considering that the game simply wouldn’t last for this long if it wasn’t for passionate CC creators and Modders who break the vanilla mold of The Sims 4.
The first Custom Content Pieces for the game started out way back when The Sims 4 Create A Sim Demo was released, allowing for players to create their custom T-Shirt Prints and even dabble with custom meshes and designs that create a whole new clothing piece.
This all started back in July 2014 – just two months before The Sims 4 Base Game would officially be released.
Fast forward to 2022 and we have Custom Content creators who create entirely new CC Sets both for Create A Sim and Build Mode – sometimes that even look better than the official content we get in The Sims 4!
6 Maxis Match Sets by myshunosun
The Modding Community has also gotten extremely creative with new ideas to rewrite the existing code that’s in The Sims 4 and create something different. From gameplay improvements to new game mechanics created from different parts of The Sims 4 game code. Yes, to even new animations that make the game realistic and lifelike to players who prefer to play the game that way.
Realistic Childbirth Mod by PandaSamaSims4
Both communities, along with creators that upload their creations to The Gallery, go hand-in-hand in making The Sims 4 a sandbox game that it is today.
EA’s stance on Custom Content and Mods
Electronic Arts and Maxis have always been indirectly supporting Mods and Custom Content for their games. Luckily, The Sims 4 is no different.
The game has its own Mods folder in the Documents settings that allows for players to paste any .package or .ts4script created by a CC / Mod creator and play with the unofficial content in their games. Sure, there’s always been a silent rule from EA to never promote custom content creations on their socials often as the 3rd party community always has unexpected creations that include stuff that’s way above the 12+ rating that The Sims 4 has in most countries. At the time of writing this I was mostly thinking about WickedWhims and the Extreme Violence Mod that I must stress out, are not for anyone below the age of 18.
The Sims 4 even has its own settings in the Game Options that allow you to enable / disable CC and Mods. Even more so, Maxis has started embracing the CC community by hiring talented creators to create custom stuff for their game. From makeup and clothing to new furniture.
The Sims Team seems to have still continued this tradition, with the latest collaboration being with ComplexSims. The creator brought new robes as well as durags and bonnets to Create A Sim just 2 months ago!
Some creators have taken the opportunity of Custom Content and Mods to turn it into their career, with Early Access releases and exclusive periods for their supporters.
This method has been used widely since 2017 when creators started utilizing the Patreon platform more and more. EA’s Terms of Service regulate that User Generated Content is still in sole property of EA, considering that .package and .ts4script files are all appropriated for their product. Which in this case is The Sims 4.
You are responsible for your UGC. You may not upload UGC that infringes a third party’s intellectual property rights or that violates the law, this Agreement or a third party’s right of privacy or right of publicity.
EA may, in its sole discretion, remove, edit or disable UGC for any reason, including if EA reasonably determines that UGC violates this Agreement. EA does not assume any responsibility or liability for UGC, for removing it, or not removing it or other Content. EA does not pre-screen all UGC and does not endorse or approve any UGC available on EA Services.
When you contribute UGC, you grant to EA, its licensors and licensees a non-exclusive, perpetual, transferable, worldwide, sublicensable license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works, publicly perform, publicly display or otherwise transmit and communicate the UGC, or any portion of it, in any manner or form and in any medium or forum, whether now known or later devised, without notice, payment or attribution of any kind to you or any third party. You also grant to all other users who can access and use your UGC on an EA Service the right to use, copy, modify, display, perform, create derivative works from, and otherwise communicate and distribute your UGC on or through the relevant EA Service without further notice, attribution or compensation to you.
In November 2017 the Global Community Manager for The Sims who worked at that time – SimGuruDrake, has clarified what CC creators and Modders are allowed to do when releasing their content. At least when it comes to temporary monetization.
Maxis and EA has granted permission through this latest (and only statement so far) from November 2017 for creators to earn money through Early Access periods. The only catch is that creators need to make their content available and free for everyone after the period of 2-3 weeks.
- CC/Mods Locked Behind Paywalls – Creators cannot lock content they make using our game behind a paywall. While we do not police this content (there is no way we would create a team simply to monitor this) we do take reports sent to us seriously and action accordingly.
- Patreon – We understand that folks who make CC / Mods for others to enjoy are doing it in their free time and may desire to offset costs to create the content by using this service. As long as the content is still made available FOR FREE we do not mind these types of pages. Folks who have a Patreon page are welcome to provide folks with “early access” incentives for their content but it should be made available to the general public within 2-3 weeks of it being given to folks early.
So what’s the problem then?
Throughout the last few months (and even years) more and more creators have started extending the trial periods from maximum 21 days to a month, two months – and sometimes never making their content available for the public. Unless they pay for their stuff.
I first started doing an article on this topic a few months ago when mack3030 published their Anti-Permpaywall Directory, including a list of .package files made by creators who never released their stuff to the public.
As if violating EA’s Terms of Service wasn’t enough, a certain group of Custom Content Creators who don’t release their content to the public have started putting “trackers” in their CC downloads. All to find out who is avoiding their permanent paywall. Which, I should remind you again, is against Terms of Service.
Player and creator ladysimmer94 has pointed out the new issues and concerns that mack3030 raised a few months ago about the recent incidents. Where real people got harassed, doxxed and bullied. All for downloading content that should be free for everyone.
We don’t want to contribute to any additional harassment or disturbing stories shared by many community members who have been affected by this – however, if you want to know the full story and how to protect yourself from these awful people, you can check out the Anti-Permpaywall Directory linked below. With real stories. Real people, and real lives almost ruined.
All over Sims 4 Custom Content.
Creator simbelene has posted a thread on their tumblr, including information on how these creators were tricking other people and collecting personal information. All illegally. All while trying to destroy their personal lives.
The Reddit thread linked below also explains perfectly the situation that’s going on. Including real people affected and a list of creators who practice doxxing and stealing personal information.
We will continue to develop this story if new information surface. We’d like to remind all the players out there to keep things fair, be careful when downloading CC and Mods, and not ruin the wonderful community that we have.
Also, if you are one of the people who puts your content behind permanent paywalls, destroys personal lives and ruins an amazing experience that is this game and the community – please seek professional help and stay out of people’s personal lives!