While many The Sims 4 custom content creators were concerned EA’s new policies would prevent them from monetizing their creations through early-access periods, the company has confirmed this is not the case. In an email to GameSpot, an EA representative stated that early-access periods are not prohibited under the company’s new policies regarding monetization.
“The Sims team has just updated the The Sims 4 Mods FAQ to clarify that all users must be able to access Mods in full for free,” an EA representative told GameSpot. “However creators may still run a reasonable early-access period for their content.”
The new statement adds clarity to The Sims 4 recent policy update, which was shared on July 21 and stated that The Sims 4 custom content creators are no longer allowed to promote mods “in a way that suggests they are endorsed by or affiliated with The Sims, Maxis, or Electronic Arts,” or utilize features that support “monetary transactions of any type.” Many creators suspected this included running early-access periods on Patreon, which places custom content behind a paywall for a small period of time before opening it up for all players.
In recent years, some The Sims 4 modders have come under fire for “abusing” these early-access periods and keeping content paywalled for an unreasonable period of time. The Sims 4 community largely thought these methods were the reason for EA’s policy update.
— marlynsims (@marlynsims96) August 1, 2022
If several mod creators didn't abuse, doing permanent paywall, putting virus trackers/malwares in mod/cc, harassment, leaks of personnal infos… If they didn't do that, this wouldn't happen…
— Ginie62 (@Ginie62) August 1, 2022
However, as of now, EA is permitting modders to keep monetizing their custom content via “reasonable” early-access periods, donations, and advertisements. EA has encouraged The Sims 4 players to report creators violating these terms–as well as any creators making obscene content–to the company.