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EA cracks down on modders selling their custom Sims 4 content

Look, we had to see this shot from a <em>Sims 4</em> "male pregnancy" mod while researching this story, so now you do, too!

Enlarge / Look, we had to see this shot from a Sims 4 “male pregnancy” mod while researching this story, so now you do, too!

Last month, EA published an update formalizing its policy that mods for The Sims 4 “cannot be sold, licensed, or rented for a fee.” But the publisher tells Ars that there is still one important exception that should ensure many Sims modders can continue to make significant income from their game-expanding creations.

EA’s new modding policy, first published July 21, is pretty direct in saying that Sims 4 mods “must be non-commercial and distributed free-of-charge” and that they can’t “contain features that would support monetary transactions of any type.” According to the published policy, those who want to monetize their Sims modding work are limited to indirect methods like “passive advertisements and requests for donations” on their own websites (but not within the mods themselves).

Despite this recent formalization, this policy isn’t entirely new. In late 2017, former EA Community Manager Amanda Drake wrote on the game’s forums that mod creators “cannot lock content they make using our game behind a paywall.” But that post also carved out a specific loophole for creators who wanted to offer an incentive to encourage donations via sites like Patreon:

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