An Open Letter To EA Games - Why We Will Not Be Supporting You sign now

For nearly five years now, the community surrounding The Sims 2 has been creating content to customize their game experiences, and in most cases building tools from the ground up in order to facilitate this. Without this amazing community support, there is no doubt in my mind that The Sims 2 would not have the success it has had.

There was no tool available to create objects, so the SimPE team was born. They built an entire program, FOR FREE, to enable objects, modifications, recolouring of Maxis objects and various other projects. They've maintained this program and user-support for this program for many years, always offering it for FREE to anyone who wanted to create.

There were numerous programs and tools made to complement, enhance and repair our games, from talented creators such as Numenor, Jfade, Delphy, Mootilda, Inge and Peter Jones, Quaxi, Theo, Dizzy2, JM Pescado and many others. Each and every one of these people have donated their time and energy and considerable skills, ENTIRELY FOR FREE, for the community. Not only did they create the programs that are essential in modding this game, they also donate their time to assist and educate the rest of the community in using these programs and fixing our game bugs. They've long been ignored when invites were issued for creators to visit and preview upcoming EA Games releases.

When the bugs showed themselves as an inevitable part of each game and expansion, it was members of the community who worked out the kinks, releasing fixes for the often game-crashing flaws in Maxis programming before official patches were ever released. The University EP was bugged to the point of unplayability for months, resulting in anger and frustration all over the Sims 2 community from members who had simply had enough. It was not until Nightlife was released (amidst intense peer pressure from the community) that there was finally a first patch for Uni, but at that point it was laughable since the problems had long since been fixed by the community.

The EULA itself, a legal document, states specifically that all custom content creations are owned by EA Games as long as they are in the .package format, which is of course the only format the game will accept for custom content, and that while users are perfectly welcome to create content for The Sims 2, they may not make a profit from said enterprise. The program creators have abided by these EULA terms and conditions, but there are always those who want to make a profit off the hard work and sweat of others, even when they have contributed NOTHING to the betterment and advancement of the community.

EA Game has long since buried their collective head in the sand on the issue of pay vs. free sites and specifically filesharing amongst the community, though debates and arguments have been raging throughout the community for YEARS. Certain creators and sites have taken it on themselves GROSSLY violate privacy, sharing personal information of suspected filesharers with others, including phone numbers, home addresses and real names, which is against the law in many areas of the world, including Canada.

In order to receive some sort of clarification on the EULA, many people in the community have sent emails and letters to the EA Legal Team requesting written proof that allows various paysites to charge and make a profit from their creations.

They've received letters back stating that this practice is SPECIFICALLY against the terms of use, which you can see here: http://www.simscave.com/index.php?topic=223.0

There is NO REASON a site can't exist solely on VOLUNTARY donations, advertising, and various other tools made available for free to site owners. Mod The Sims 2 and the Wicked Nouk Family of sites (which hosts approximately 40 free sites) are two prime examples of this, asking only for donations if one is able to help support their venture. Neither site demands any sort of required payment or subscription.

The most evil of all paysites, The Sims Resource (TSR), has bullied site owners into closing (the former ReflexSimsForum, now BlackPearlSims) just because they dared to allow debate into their dubious and illegal practices of sharing PRIVATE and PERSONAL information about its subscribers. They've embedded bits of code into their files, which will, upon removal, CRASH the game of the user, and if it's not removed will act as a spyware tracker if a subscriber dares to share the file with friends. This is AFTER the user has paid for the privilege! This appalling practice is not only known about, but seems to be ACCEPTED by EA Games, which I would not be surprised to learn was aided by the exchange of funds between TSR and EA Games, though this of course has never been confirmed and disclosed. TSR's website includes the obligatory and mandatory statement at the bottom of every page that it is NOT affiliated with EA Games, though recent posts by MaxoidDrea have seemed to imply that there is an agreement and/or affiliation in place.

Even when incontrovertible proof is supplied in the form of screenshots into the heinous practices of TSR and its administrators, Maxoid Drea moves to stifle discussion in the hopes that they won't be discovered.

http://bbs.thesims2.ea.com/community/bbs/messages.php?threadID=0f1dd9af503281f06d1eec811b515bc3&directoryID=2&startRow=1&openItemID=item.2,item.43,item.61,item.104,item.41,item.127,item.23

The recent post, again by MaxoidDrea, does not say the EULA has changed whatsoever, only that paysites SHOULD be respected by players. It's clear that this is merely a request and not a mandate or change to the terms and conditions agreed upon by each and every custom content creator and fansite owner.

http://bbs.thesims2.ea.com/community/bbs/messages.php?threadID=17989d983b8aa06886b13273b94f2387&directoryID=2&startRow=1&openItemID=item.2,item.43,item.61,item.104,item.41,item.127,item.23

The Sims Store is yet another slap in the face to the thousands of players who have spent their hard-earned money purchasing expansion packs, and later stuff packs. It's clearly and obviously an attempt on EA Games' part to cash in on custom content, though many pieces are buggy and poorly made and executed, AGAIN requiring fixes by the creators and modders of the community.

SecuRom is another debacle, resulting in lawsuits stemming from broken computers from users who did nothing more than purchase and install the latest release in The Sims 2 line. For those who do not want to aid and abet the spyware practices of this software, they're FORCED to find technically illegal means to run their games to prevent it, though their games are legally purchased.

How many voluntary, unpaid SimMasters have quit in frustration at the double-sidedness of EA Games on these and other related issues? How many sales will you fail to make before you see what you're doing to destroy the very game and community you helped create and encourage?

It's disgusting that it isdiscouraged to outright post URL's (interestingly, they do not ban mere mentioning) to sites that attempt to educate and make available information and content, so no one will be excluded based on lack of money in these troubled economic times.

Upcoming EA Games release, The Sims 3, appears so far to be hard-coded UNMODDABLE, which, I have to say, will certainly inhibit, if not downright halt, sales and interest by a vast majority of the community who currently plays The Sims 2. We rely on modifications being available in order to customize our playing experience, and I know I can speak for many who would never have continued playing and purchasing games in this franchise without being able to customize it to our tastes. I have no doubt that the many talented programmers and modders will attempt to modify the game, though it's unclear whether success can be achieved.

This letter and petition will be sent to EA Games in Redwood City, California on March 31, 2009. If you disagree with EA Games and their lack of enforcing the EULA and tacit agreement in sharing the personal information of subscribers by their secret allegiance with The Sims Resource, then please sign your name to this petition.

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Latest Signatures

  • 02 January 2016600. Rachel B
    I support this petition
  • 31 December 2015599. Dawn Lewis
    I have been an EA Supporter for years, purchasing both PC and console games. As my own houehold boasts one or more of every console dating back to the NES, I have invested a considerable amount of money into gaming, and I will continue to do so - with oth
  • 26 December 2015598. Carla Cline
    I support this petition
  • 26 December 2015597. Michael G
    I support this petition
  • 25 December 2015596. Megan M
    I will not be paying for The Sims 3. A waste of money considering how you're treating the Sims 2 community.
  • 23 December 2015595. Francis Rodriguez
    I support this petition
  • 23 December 2015594. Vicci Jarvis
    Get your heads out of TSRs arses and start focusing on your customers!
  • 20 December 2015593. Bella D
    This is ridiculous, Sims 3 and EA can kiss my ass.
  • 16 December 2015592. Katherine T
    I support this petition
  • 14 December 2015591. Elly B
    Poor service does not beget my cash.
  • 13 December 2015590. Matthew R
    Ban Pay Sites
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  • 08 November 2015582. Marisa Klein
    bravo!
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  • 06 November 2015580. Christine Frost
    Wheres the love EA !!!
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