You know, I’ve always wondered what the revenue breakdown was like between games that allowed modding and games that didn’t. Do games that provide a closed system with no modding (like Battlefield 4) have a statistically higher sales rate than games that allow large amounts of modding, like Skyrim?
I tried to do a quick Google search on the subject, but was unable to find anything even remotely close to a study on the subject, just a bunch of “modding is awesome!” websites.
Like pre-ordering, I understand why some publishers don’t allow modding – it’s a way to lock down the system, and incentivize players to buy premium DLC. I get that, it’s a legitimate business model. But I think many of these games are missing out on another crucial aspect that many large publishers are just now beginning to grasp – community involvement and long-term community sustainment.
I’m sure it’s with that in mind that Maxis announced today it was beginning to look into how to make modding available to SimCity gamers. Believe it or not, SimCity players have actually already created mods for the game, although they are very rough around the edge, and completely unsanctioned by Maxis/EA.
On their official forums, Maxis revealed it’s intentions to potentially change that going forward:
Maxis has a long tradition with User Generated Content (UGC) and supporting the UGC community. As is seen with the Sims 3 Exchange and tools we’ve released in the past for SimCity, encouraging the creativity of our players is an important part of what we do. As a matter of fact, there is quite a bit of UGC created for this SimCity by our community and many conversations happening around modding.
We would like to have a discussion with our fans regarding UGC and the creation of “mods” in SimCity under our new forum section called “User Generated Content”. Our goal is to ensure that we provide a place for all of our players to have fun while assuring them that the gameplay experience is safe and has integrity. It’s difficult to determine what makes a “good” or safe mod and what mods cross the line. Clarifying guidelines for UGC will help players understand where that line is and protect both our UGC and non-UGC community. Ultimately we want everyone to have fun with the game, no matter how you play it.
We want to have an open discussion with our community about what you want out of UGC SimCity and hear your thoughts about the first draft of UGC guidelines. The discussion will result in a clear set of final guidelines about the do’s and don’ts to UGC in SimCity.
The forum thread there is filled with SimCity haters (some of them have a right to be angry), and it seems like Maxis/EA are only interested in cosmetic mods at the moment, not gameplay mechanics mods. But, hey, at least it’s a start, right?