Official SimCity Mod Guidelines Are Highly Restrictive

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Official SimCity Mod Guidelines Are Highly Restrictive

SimCity (2013)

Nine months after its release, EA has finally given modders the go-ahead to make SimCity mods.

EA, which previously did not take too kindly to SimCity (2013) mods, has finally come around and eased up on its "no mods" policy - a full nine months after the game's release. Hooray! The bad news (because there is always bad news) is that the list of rules regarding mods is incredibly restrictive, and making any mod for the game gives EA the right to use it, modify it, and even sell it without your permission.

The five golden mod rules are as follows:

  1. Mods must not jeopardize the integrity of the gameplay or harm the experience of others. Mods that affect the simulation for multiplayer games and multiplayer features, such as leaderboards or trading with other players, are not allowed.
  2. Mods must not infringe any copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret or other intellectual property right of any third party and will not include content that is unlawful, tortious, defamatory, obscene, invasive of the privacy of another person, threatening, harassing, abusive, hateful, racist or otherwise objectionable or inappropriate. SimCity has an age rating of ESRB Everyone 10+ and PEGI 7, and similar ratings from other ratings boards around the world. EA requires that Mods not include any material that would not be allowed under these ratings.
  3. Mods may not modify any .com, .exe, .dll, .so or other executable files.
  4. The terms and conditions of SimCity EULA and EA's Terms of Service are specifically incorporated into this policy by this reference. In the event that the terms of this policy are in conflict with the terms of the SimCity EULA or EA's Terms of Service, the terms of this Policy shall supersede and govern over any such conflicting terms.
  5. To maintain the integrity of SimCity and ensure the best possible gaming experience for our players, EA reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to revoke permission to use, distribute or make Mods at any time, to disable any Mod within SimCity and to take disciplinary action against players who harm the experience of others.

Any hardcore modder would look at this list and chuckle, the "may not modify any .com, .exe, .dll, .so or other executable files" clause, combined with the "must not jeopardize the integrity of the gameplay" clause, flies in the face of what most mods are all about.

On top of this, "Distribution of your Mod in any form constitutes a grant by you to EA of an irrevocable, perpetual, royalty-free, sub-licensable right to use, copy, modify and distribute that Mod (and derivatives of that Mod), and use your name if we choose to, for any purpose and through any means, and without obligation to pay you anything, obtain your approval, or give you credit."

In other words - your mod is our mod.

Source: SimCity Blog

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Nope, still not worth it. Too many rules and regulations to even bother doing anything for it.

Very few people are going to mod the game, and even then the mods that people want to see are the ones with huge maps and turn the game into a single-player experience.

Maybe EA should look into pulling the game and creating a "Simcity Redux" version?

Modders aren't allowed to make changes to Simcity 4's exe either, and look how that turned out. People are inventive.

Still not buying this game though.

I'm sure there'll be a big 'ol pile of great EA-sactioned mods coming now, after a list like that.

I gotta say, they sure has a wonderful sense of humour. Practically everything they say is laughable.

It's like they don't want to build up any lasting goodwill with their consumers.

Whenever it gets a little better, they make it worse again.

Modding should not be monitored and regulated like this. These idiots are missing the point again. It's all just for fun. How can you trust someone who doesn't even get something that simple?

EA:
To maintain the integrity of SimCity and ensure the best possible gaming experience for our players, EA reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to revoke permission to use, distribute or make Mods at any time, to disable any Mod within SimCity and to take disciplinary action against players who harm the experience of others.

This is not a right you can reserve EA. What you're saying is you have the right to stop people making their own code and sharing it.
Your collective head is several miles up your arse a this point I'm pretty sure.

It's like you actually want to get voted worst company in America again.

'Mods may do nothing to fix our intentionally broken game.'

If a modder decides to grace your presence and make something that makes your game sell more copies, you're very lucky.
You will have none of those with guidelines like that.

EA's too big for their own good, if they have to worry about being sued for modded content an so their image continues to falter and is headed towards another "Worst company of the year" award.

That last part, is pulling an actiblizzard. Any maps you make for SC2 is also owned by Blizzard, thereby limiting good content and custom maps. You might ask yourself, how does this really harm anyone?

Well, DoTA was originally a custom map and lead the way to several of the most played games in history; League of Legends, Heroes of Newearth and DoTA 2, which each have lead to some of the biggest esports events and created a genuinly interesting gaming scene, outside of South Korea.

Blizz effectively hopes to steal the next big thing by exploiting people who make free content for others to enjoy.
How this has never been on the Jimquisition, Extra Credits, Cynicalbrit or questioned in any big way anywhere(of what I know), is almost terrifying.

I know I'd like to protect my franchises, too, but then I remember that adding value to a product helps sell itself. All you can blame is corporate thinking of a very large company with a real lack of leader involvement. Or in other words, nobody at EA has a clue how to do anything outside of what their lawyers tell them to do!

Nah, if i want a mod that makes all the buildings into towering dongs, your not going to be able to stop me from doing it.

You are not better then your customers, and continuing to try and treat them like peasants will not help your image.

Dammit, EA. If you didn't restrict file manipulation and didn't have that "We Own Your Mod" crap, you could have taken another step away from the Worst Company award.

You could have kept the "Leave Multiplayer Alone" clause in there, and we would have worked with it! Really! D:

Aw well. If you're not going to let us fix your game, then I'm going to continue not playing it.

Soooooo, what this means is that all the content and models have to be made by the player, and after they have made that content it becomes the sole property of EA? How generous of you EA! It's basically a way of customers to pay you tribute in the form of game resources. Meaning that any mod content or models a player makes could end up in Mirror's Edge 2 or Battlefield 5.

I'm still genuinely hoping EA chokes on that lawsuit and dies. It's only what they deserve for being sadly ignorant of EVERYTHING.

Smilomaniac:
If a modder decides to grace your presence and make something that makes your game sell more copies, you're very lucky.
You will have none of those with guidelines like that.

EA's too big for their own good, if they have to worry about being sued for modded content an so their image continues to falter and is headed towards another "Worst company of the year" award.

That last part, is pulling an actiblizzard. Any maps you make for SC2 is also owned by Blizzard, thereby limiting good content and custom maps. You might ask yourself, how does this really harm anyone?

Well, DoTA was originally a custom map and lead the way to several of the most played games in history; League of Legends, Heroes of Newearth and DoTA 2, which each have lead to some of the biggest esports events and created a genuinly interesting gaming scene, outside of South Korea.

Blizz effectively hopes to steal the next big thing by exploiting people who make free content for others to enjoy.
How this has never been on the Jimquisition, Extra Credits, Cynicalbrit or questioned in any big way anywhere(of what I know), is almost terrifying.

Im not sure why you brought up the Blizzard thing? The only time the ownership thing ever came up was when Valve decided to pull a dick move and trademarked the name DoTA after it had been in use for over a decade as both the mod name and as a general term for the genre. Even then it only was an issue because Blizzard was fightin to keep the name for public use (yes, because their mods name was DoTA as well, but at the same time they still wouldn't own the name) instead of only Valve bein allowed to use the name.

Hell, the only time Blizzards ownership of mods in SC comes up is when people try to solicit donations in game with links to outside sources or when someone puts outside ads in their maps. Blizzard is perfectly fine with people gettin money and bein paid for their work, you just cant do it in game.

Well, that's unfortunate news from very shitty people[1]. We await news of the winner of this year's 'Worst Company in America' award with bated breath.

[1] EA, not Steve. Steve seems cool.

So basically don't fix any of the stuff we don't give a crap about and won't bother fixing and if you do fix them by creating whole new assets we reserve the right to steal your work wholesale and tell you to fuck off after we ban your account for infringing on the other rules...

Is it just me or are these people just bent on self destructing everything great about Sim City? They already made the new game a trainwreck that got boring less than 15 minutes in when I noticed the regions don't work and never will and that you can fill a city space in the same time it takes to realize you need about 4 times the space to ever build a properly functioning city.

Darn it. Sounds like we will still have to do without a dick-shaped EA tower in the center of our various metroplexes.

Naqel:
It's like they don't want to build up any lasting goodwill with their consumers.

Whenever it gets a little better, they make it worse again.

This. I could not have said it any better myself. The current leadership at EA needs to be thrown out the nearest window and replaced with people that actually know what they're doing. Alas, this will never come to pass.

Kajin:

This. I could not have said it any better myself. The current leadership at EA needs to be thrown out the nearest window and replaced with people that actually know what they're doing. Alas, this will never come to pass.

EA just barely got a new CEO too, back in March of last year, and it's good to see that nothing changed except for the name on the office door and the parking space. :P

OT: Man, I mean I get that modders can fix your game better than you could ever hope, but come on it's like you don't want anyone to buy this game at all.

wow, brilliant use of reverse psychology from EA, they don't want people to mod their game so they tell people they can following restrictions so now no one will out of spite. Well done

Barbas:
Well, that's unfortunate news from very shitty people[1]. We await news of the winner of this year's 'Worst Company in America' award with bated breath.

They have bigger dreams ... they want 'Yahtzee' Lifetime award for 'Worst Company in America', they are still totally annoyed that 'Ride to Hell: Retribution' wasn't one of their games.

[1] EA, not Steve. Steve seems cool.

This raises a simple set of questions

Can a modder make the game offline single player?
Can a modder take away the city limits and allow us to build all over the map as one big city?

Or do these restrictions.... Restrict that?

So EA is basically daring the 2 or 3 people still playing that wretched always online abomination to try and salvage it for them creatively. Oh dear.

Especially that last clause "We own your creations, suckers".
EA, or anyone at Maxis: I know you aren't reading this...but you do realize that by NOT claiming ownership of the work of modders you can't be held liable for anything they do, right?

Though I suppose that was a foolish question; of course you want to claim ownership of everything that passes through your shitty ass DRM system. That way you can clean house creatively without lifting a finger and legally prosecute anyone who steps on your toes.

And not a single person, anywhere, was surprised.

R.Nevermore:

Can a modder make the game offline single player?

Yes. It was done not too long after launch.

Huh? Some people not given up on this game in favor of its predecessors yet?

EA: people are starting to forget how stupid we are. Best remind them.

Isn't modding something that companies can't stop but for the most part politely ignore? I don't see why. . .well I do but it's like with napster. We're a bunch of theiving whores and get pissy when the people we're robbing get fussy about it.

Wait, so if you make the mod they own it?

What happens if you make something patently illegal, like a pirate copy of naked children making bombs for the KKK or something?

So by their own EULA they own the mod and are thus in possession of something really illegal!
Sure they ban the user, but they still own the mod.

image

Hello, gamers, look at your mods, now back to EA, now back at your mods, now back to me. Sadly, EA is not me, but if EA stopped using evil corporate moves and switched to sane business practices , EA could be popular like me. Look down, back up, where are you? You're on Steam with the man who treats you as a customer not a drone. What's in your hand, back at me. I have it, it's that game you wanted, on sale and with mods! Look again, the games are now on an even steeper sale! Anything is possible when your company cares about your business and not just your money.

I just tried to count to three
image

It sounds like they want their players to make their DLC for them to sell back to their players.

Yeah no thanks.

sounds like at most you are limited to things like retexturing objects, etc

So in summary:

1. Don't remove the DRM fantastic social features or make the game singleplayer and offline sad and lonely.
2. No dicks
3. Don't mod the game
4. These rules are better than our other rules
5. We're going to take your hard work and creativity, compile it in to a DLC pack a few months from now and call it our own work without giving you a penny, you dirty prole scum. And don't you dare sue us!

Good work EA, I was beginning to think you changed a tiny, little, miniscule bit. Fingers crossed for that Golden Poo hattrick!

Sounds more like they're shooting for a straight third thorn crown.

Weird.

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