Where Nexus Mods and EA should meet
I am a big proponent of companies partnering to help create compatibility across products to enhance user’s experiences. This is one of my biggest complaints about Apple products. However, those products still allow for solid compatibility features within its own brand. In the gaming industry there is one company that has received a lot of backlash over the years and that is Electronic Arts.
After the protest from some consumers about EA’s use of micro-transactions one question remains, are they still using micro-transactions? The short answer is yes, and the FTC is still looking into whether some transactions such as loot boxes are a form of gambling that people, especially children, should be protected from.
I personally have never liked the “pay to win” or “loot box” model in some gaming companies. These models are blatant money grabbers without much concern about how it affects its users. Star Wars Battlefront 2 was a perfect example of this. An absurd amount of time was originally required to unlock a large amount of customization components and character options, so the alternative, just pay some extra cash to unlock it. These tactics feel like those that are similarly used by shady mobile game developers. Except those mobile game companies do not have nearly the same kind of funding backing them.
So how does this bring us to The Sims 4? For players who know this game may understand that there are many mods available across the ocean of the internet. While modding the Sims 4 is easy once you understand how its file system works, you would think with a game with such a long lineage would celebrate their modding community. One example of a company doing this, Bethesda, it’s supported modders for its elder scrolls and fallout series for years. Now I do not know the exact details about Maxis being acquired by EA, but about 23 years later you would think that EA would at least create a mod manager for its consumers. Many modders have stayed with the games for so long because of the interesting designs one can create for the game.
After doing some research, there are two larger websites people go to for downloading mods for the Sims 4. But youtubers and bloggers have all expressed that there are high chances of getting viruses from these websites and downloads. Seems kind of risky, and I am sure it’s frustrating for the more legitimate modding community too. So, I will jump ahead and assume as to why EA has not pushed for easier and safer mods, DLC galore.
Now it is safe to say that maybe the company has just overlooked the unintuitive process for modding within the Sims, but with the company’s history, it’s easy to think it’s because they can make more money with DLC’s. I am not writing this to delve into the quality of DLC’s and how they should be used. Indie companies often use this tactic to help keep funding to update their games, so labeling DLC’s as something negative may be unfair to some developers. But who is to say that EA cannot benefit from continuing to make DLC’s and support their modding community at the same time?
One thing that supporting the community creates for a company is loyalty. This support is then given back to the game developers. I have one suggestion for EA, which is to study Nexus Mods. This website has given me years of easy and safe downloading of mods for many of the games I have spent hundreds of hours playing. While EA does not necessarily have to partner with another company to do this, they should look at Nexus’s model to create a safer and unified community for its patrons.
-Thoughts of a Writing Freak