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joecrompton

Are we SC fans about to be Viacomized?

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First of all, I'm not a newbie, just someone who hasn't posted much.  I've been around since SC2000 and am an avid player of SC4.  I've downloaded many mods and have greatly enjoyed Simtropolis.  I've been a through a number of game developer vs fans battles before.

 

Given the level of PR shenanigans by EA/Maxis and accusations of censorship of criticisms of EA on this board and others, it may be time to ask ourselves if we are about to be Viacomized?  The reference, for those who may not know, is how Viacom reserved to itself all use of the Star Trek copyright in the mid 1980s after fans had kept ST alive for the previous 17 years (1969-86).  What this means is that at some point, will EA decide that we the fans should not be modding the game or at least distributing said mods freely?  Think how the music industry despises music downloading.  Our City Journals could be construed the same as fan-fictions were to Star Trek (i.e. as copyright infringement).  The corporate lackeys may decide its better to shut down discussion, and insist on controlling the copyright to the fullest extent under the law, than to acknowledge and deal with a mob of unhappy customers. 

 

And ultimately folks as much as we are fans of this or that game, we are their customer base.  Thats a fact EA/Maxis unquestionably still seems eager to ignore.

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EAs shareprice has actually tanked in recent years, so I can't imagine the shareholders are all that happy. 

 

I guess anything is possible in regards to future communications. While I don't think EA will ever become a team player, or become one with the modding community in any significant relationship, I similarly don't think they'll pull the pin entirely and start calling in lawyers. Shutting down all communications between corporate and end user doesn't deal with the problem, it just creates more. It also doesn't sell games. In the age of social networking, consumers don't simply want to be lectured to, or pitched to with open ears and a closed mouth. They want open dialogue with the developers and publishers, as has been painfully evident from the start of this trainwreck. 

 

City journals, screenshots etc, when shared in a positive light (as most are) ultimately benefit EA. It's free publicity. Even better - it's publicity that the author has paid for out of their own pocket, by buying the game in the first place.

 

Mods is a different kettle of fish, in my opinion. DLC is the fetish of now. What would Sims 2 or Sims 3 be without their expansion packs? EA can potentially make more money per consumer in Simcity 2013 expansion packs than they would have with the base game, it's a proven model. EA may see mods as a threat, especially if they eclipse the in-house work that they're doing. 

 

Steve Jobs had the right idea with the App Store on iOS devices - rather than feel the burn of indie developers and their applications, he gave them the opportunity to make a profit from their creations - with a cut going to Apple. There's no reason why EA couldn't develop a similar store, offering modders the chance to publish their works and turn a real profit at the same time, with a cut going towards EA. This makes everyone happy, and in my opinion, it would coax some truly great modifications out of this community. And all the while, EA can continue publishing their own megapacks at $20 a pop. But as I stated above, this doesn't seem likely. 

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It's a simpel thing actually.


Give people money or power.

 

And they will do ANYTHING they can to ruin your life.

 

Copyright should be banned, getting sick of it, it's not being used the way how it should be used anymore.

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