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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