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Why True Modding will never come to SimCity 2013

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True modding in SimCity 2013 won't ever come. I'm sad to say this, but at the rate that EA is pushing out these DLC packs, i don't think they are gonna allow any modding capabilities. For one thing, if there was modding, nobody would buy the DLC. and second, EA likes money so they would be losing money. Let's hope we can find a workaround.

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If Maxis continues to work on SC2013 I think they might eventually allow modding.  But probably that modding will be things like new buildings or props but not things like NAM or game influencing or changing mods.  Essentially just filler content.


However look at what's going on now.  I complaint I read about often is being unable to claim a city because of missing DLC even when all the available DLC is purchased.  If there is syncing problems like that now, I really really really really really doubt Maxis is going to spend the time to work out how this is going to work on the backend when I already see signs the player base isn't as large as they would have hoped as well as I can't see how that would help Maxis make more money.

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Right now the only thing that stands in the way of "True Modding" is the server-side validation that's being done to prevent cheating on the leaderboards. If we can convince Maxis that it's worth putting development time into removing this restriction, the possibilities for modding will increase exponentially.

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A reminder to keep on topic. Our opinions about the game are varied. Let's avoid it being another SC13 vs SC4 debate. Thanks.

Also as mentioned, statistics can be useful, but only when backed up with factual evidence. False claims or information isn't going to help any discussion, and nothing valid can be learnt from them. That's why it's always best to cite our sources. On the other hand, let's not prejudge or call people down for not citing their sources of information.

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Aaaanyway, I hope people will forgive me for taking the topic on-topic again. :)


As Oppie has mentioned: modding is not possible because it allow cheating and/or trolling. The game is protected through it's always online mode.


Does this mean modding is impossible? Complete modding yes, but that does not mean custom content is impossible. Game developpers such as Blizzard, Bethesda and Valve have supported custom content for their games. This does mean that it is Maxis themselves who need to open up Simcity for modding. It would involve releasing tools for modding that only allow mods to be used in sandbox mode to avoid cheating. Such a thing is not impossible (Stacraft 2 is also always online and has such a tool).


The developers have mentioned modding and shown that they are both open to and interested in supporting modding somewhere in the future:


What we know about modding so far:



"GlassBox was built from the start with the idea of modding in mind." 

source: Jasen Haber (http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/03/06/simcity-producer-jasen-ha_n_2818561.html)



"From a development perspective we're not anti-mod. We've actually brought in some of our modding community before launch. We've talked to the modding community for both SimCity and the Sims, so it's one of those things that, we need to get the core product out the door."


"Valve's Steamworks didn't happen right away, these things take time and so we're already watching what people are doing"


"We're just not in a position right now to talk about modding in any real way just yet. We want to get the game solid and we'll move foreward from there."

source: Kip Katsarelis (http://www.incgamers.com/2013/05/simcity-interview-with-maxis-kip-katsarelis)



"Below is a list of features that could be included in SimCity.Please indicate how interested you are in having each feature included in the game"


"SimCity Exchange: Download millions of creations to plug into your city from the SimCity Exchange. Build your own content using the same tools as MAxis, then upload your creations for millions to use. Buildings, Vehicles, Lots, Cities, Region Maps and more are available."

source: Reddit post of Maxis survey (http://www.reddit.com/r/SimCity/comments/1hjg25/potential_feature_changes_in_simcity_survey/)


Modding, like NAM did, where you change the basic of the game like pathfinding is indeed unlikely to come to Simcity 2013. However, just how powerful the tools are that the developers worked with themselves is unknown. It is also unknown how much they want to and in what time frame they think of releasing the modding tools. 


Many gamers believe modding harms DLC sales. It's likely many people within EA think this as well. However if you look at modding games in the past, modders have always used extra content as extra tools for their creations, thereby making the extra content a requirement for these mods and thus adding value to them. NAM doesn't work without Rush Hour I believe. DOTA doesn't work without Frozen Throne. Is EA aware of this opportunity or are they afraid of it? EA has obviously changed their strategy on games since SC4 as they seem to want to support their games longer and release more DLC. In previous games they released the modding tools with the first and only expansion. They are not doing this now but they are interested in more expansions. I hope we get them soon, but honestly couldn't tell you when. I do think the tools will be released and they will add a lot to the game. The description of the 'Simcity Exchange' sounds awesome and it's addition in the survey suggests the developers are serious about modding.


On another note: Maxis is obviously aware of the mods such as the overpass and build-outside-the-box mods and has done little to stop them despite obvious advantages to the leaderboard. Their reaction has been to implement one of them into the game themselves instead. Those are good signs. I wish Maxis would be more open about their future plans though. 


Serious question: how has the Sims series handled modding?

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Severe cleanup of this topic... In spite of a moderator's suggestion to keep it on topic, it was taken in directions totally unrelated to the original post. Comments directed at others and not the topic are not welcome in these forums. If there's a problem with a post, report it or ignore it, don't respond.

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If we can convince Maxis that it's worth putting development time into removing this restriction, the possibilities for modding will increase exponentially...


Sorry but I can not see the point.


Why are the developers would invest in thing opposite of the concept that guided the development of the game?


Even if it were to allow moding  possible only in sand box this only  would encourage the use "off-MMO" of the game which is in complete opposition to the concept.


Allowed for  multyplayer would certainly have to be distributed by the developer to avoid precisely the point that you mentioned then what would be the advantage of them to invest in new developments paid?


I think the comparison with other developers that allow or even encourage moding for their games have to take into account this business plan behind this game and it seems to me at least that it did not consider moding.

Two small corrections


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I think that the online game setup disables the level of modding possible in this game for the above stated reason that this allows people to "cheat" or even worse, make whole cities incompatible with each other. Imagine a friend of you uses a mod in your city that you don't have. What will happen? Will the game crash because it looks for missing data? Will you city or your friend's city do quirky things because he uses a mod that alters something like the demand? I can foresee severe consequences...




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