EA Planning to Only Allow Visual Mods in SimCity

simcity-headerSimCity 4 has long had a healthy modding community. The game might be ten years old but modders were still making new content for the game into this year, even with the release of this year’s SimCity. This is thanks in part to a fairly open attitude toward modding by Maxis.

However, EA isn’t planning to be as open to full-scale modding when it comes to SimCity 2013. The first draft of their user-generated content (modding) guidelines are going to put some tight limits on what modders can do.

The first draft of EA/Maxis’ modding guidelines is four bullet points long and is more about what can’t be done than what can be done by modders. The long and short of it is that no mod can affect the gameplay or alter the experience for other users.

This is likely a result of the connected cities inside a region that constitutes multiplayer in SimCity. Of course, that and “cloud computing” were the reasons to legitimize the always-online DRM this game has.

Even though you can still have cities in private regions without having to have any direct or indirect impact on their games, EA, for now isn’t interested in giving modders carte blanche.

The only acceptable mod that was cited in the UGC guidelines was swapping art assets.

Here’s the UGC guidelines in full:

User Generated Content Guidelines – first draft:

  • Acceptable UGC and mods do not jeopardize the integrity of the gameplay or harm the experience of others.
  • UGC that effects the simulation for multiplay games and features are not allowed.
  • Examples of acceptable UGC include swapping art assets, like buildings and vehicles.
  • Maxis reserves the right to take disciplinary action against players who break the rules.

Like I said, there’s not much detail here but what little there is seems to be very restrictive. I don’t recall this being an issue in the past at Maxis so one assumes that this is an edict passed down by Maxis’ corporate overlords at EA. Well, we hope that it’s EA’s meddling that has caused the SimCity franchise to go from beloved treasure to an underwhelming cash grab.

Source: EA Forums


About Steve Murray

Steve is the founder and editor of The Lowdown Blog and et geekera. On The Lowdown Blog, he often writes about motorsports, hockey, politics and pop culture. Over on et geekera, Steve writes about geek interests and lifestyle. Steve is on Twitter at @TheSteveMurray.

Posted on October 3, 2013, in Games and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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