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Lab Assistant
#151 Old 13th Jul 2020 at 3:35 PM Last edited by thesims1depot : 13th Jul 2020 at 5:06 PM.
Eh, let me see if I can weigh in on the debate.

On one hand, I understand the anger and frustration that some people may feel at some creators going over the top with paywalls and such. And I do feel that creators shouldn't be pushy or overly obnoxious asking for money with guilt tripping or a sense of entitlement, as in, "I put in all this hard work; you should pay me." People should be given a choice to donate; it shouldn't be mandatory.

On the flip side, there's a lot of intellectual dishonesty on both EA's and the community's end when it comes to creators and compensation, one that has resulted in exploitation. For example, I remember for years how players would bitterly snipe at having to pay for Sims DLC because of how "bad" it was. "Oh, the hair looks horrible, the clothes are tacky, the TS3 worlds are buggy, the game is glitchy, etc." And then they would always point to modders' work as being so much better and more professional. But ironically, when some of those creators started asking to be compensated, they all of a sudden got written off as hobbyists and amateurs who don't deserve anything and are just craven opportunists leeching off game assets that don't belong to them.

It wasn't always this way. Once upon a time, modders were seen as invaluable partners of development and the gaming community to such an extent that both would volunteer donations on a regular basis without having to be asked (not necessarily in money, but free DLCs, job offers, perks, etc.). But over time, gaming companies realized creators could be exploited for free development and content. So, what they started doing was hire a skeleton crew of devs to put out the barest content, then encourage talented amateurs to flesh out the rest of the game for them. So, essentially, even though amateurs were being enticed as "hobbyists" to showcase their abilities, they were sneakily being recruited as volunteer devs.

To further the exploitation, both the gaming company and players forced creators into some kind of intellectually dishonest, creative limbo where on one hand, it's very clear that both are highly reliant on all of these mods and CC for development and playability, yet on the other, keep dismissing or invalidating creators for some reason or the other as an excuse to no longer compensate or reward them. This creative limbo has resulted in a win/win situation for everyone except creators. The gaming companies gets all of these unpaid devs to expand their content for free (and retain players), and players get DLC that surpasses official content--all for free.

So now, years down the line--after everyone was freely donating, gifting, etc. out of their own volition--creators are getting nothing at all. They're not even getting job offers from companies say, "Wow, your work is awesome! Can we purchase some from you to put in the game?" or, "Would you like to work on our next EP as a guest dev?"

I suspect that this issue is why creators are getting pushy in asking for compensation. It was a non-issue for them getting compensated in the past because back in the day, people were nice enough to volunteer compensation without being asked. Now, no one is doing it. To make matters worse, when creators put their content on a site where they can earn a little pocket change from ads, players will visit with ad blockers, download to their heart's content and then file share against the site's TOS so their friends won't have to visit their sites, either.

All of this is why so many modders are getting angry with other modders for giving away their work for free. If someone tells you you shouldn't give away your work for free, you shouldn't be offended. You should be flattered. The reason why is that if your work was garbage, no one would really care one way or the other if you gave it away. But the reason why they're so upset is that your work is probably too good/professional for a company and playerbase that is way too exploitative and unappreciative of creators, as opposed to years ago when they would've been happy to volunteer something as a show of appreciation.
Lab Assistant
#152 Old 13th Jul 2020 at 4:11 PM Last edited by thesims1depot : 13th Jul 2020 at 4:54 PM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoozyFoozy
It's not too surprising that veteran creators who have been making Sims CC for 15 years at this point have begun to use Patreon. Every artist is different, but I can't imagine creating hundreds of hair meshes for 15 years just for the fun of it.


I talk a little bit this issue here: https://www.modthesims.info/m/showt...394#post5656394. I went very long in that post, so maybe I can write a shorter summary of the issue in your response.

A long time ago, as a modder, you used to be rewarded for your contributions (not just money, but even job offers, free stuff, etc.). Companies and players would do this as an incentive to keep creating new mods and content. So, in the past, those veteran creators probably got something once in awhile that made it all worthwhile For example, when I first started building worlds, I was gifted wonderful stuff from the TS3 as a show of gratitude. I am sure that better and more professional creators than me got more than that--maybe money, maybe job offers, maybe advanced copies of future game, a tour of the gaming studio, etc. I know that for the first Sims game, some of the outfits created by CC creator made it into the Deluxe pack. I don't know if the creators got paid but even if they didn't, if they were hoping to get hired by the gaming industry, having a creation in the best selling game of all time was payment enough to get their foot in the door.

What's happened now is that this entire system has become a form of exploitation by both companies and players across the gaming industry, to where creators don't even get anything anymore. It's gotten so bad that whereas with TS-TS3, creators were constantly getting rewarded, with TS4, they're not getting anything at all. EA and players are just expecting them to crank out all of this content without even so much as a, "thank you," so now they have to beg where they didn't have to before.

Making matters worse is this practice of ad blocking. I can understand using those for sites that are over the top obnoxious with ads, but it's another thing if all anyone has is a few Adsense blocs or other forms of unobtrusive advertising. If people are going to refuse to give contributors anything, at least give them some pocket change. But no, they're not even being given that, either. People will download gigs of content off their site with ad blockers and then share/archive files against the TOS so that the creators lose even more visitors.
Mad Poster
#153 Old 13th Jul 2020 at 4:52 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by thesims1depot
A long time ago, as a modder, you used to be rewarded for your contributions (not just money, but even job offers, free stuff, etc.). Companies and players would do this as an incentive to keep creating new mods and content. So, in the past, those veteran creators probably got something once in awhile that made it all worthwhile For example, when I first started building worlds, I was gifted wonderful stuff from the TS3 as a show of gratitude. I am sure that better and more professional creators than me got more than that--maybe money, maybe job offers, maybe free EPs/DLCs, a tour of the gaming studio, etc. I know that for the first Sims game, some of the outfits created by CC creator made it into the Deluxe pack. I don't know if the creators got paid but even if they didn't, if they were hoping to get hired by the gaming industry, having a creation in the best selling game of all time was payment enough to get their foot in the door.

What's happened now is that this entire system has become a form of exploitation by both companies and players across the gaming industry, to where creators don't even get anything anymore. It's gotten so bad that whereas with TS-TS3, creators were constantly getting rewarded, with TS4, they're not getting anything at all. EA and players are just expecting them to crank out all of this content without even so much as a, "thank you," so now they have to beg where they didn't have to before.

I think one of the issues is the emergence of the Influencer class, aka the Game Changer program- which didn't really exist to the extent it does now in the previous titles. While some are creators, the most privileged of the group are primarily social media figures who are chosen for their ability to promote the game via early access and videos.

The focus on promotion has ended up resulting in less attention paid by EA to modders, or even lot and sim creators IMO, even though they're the ones actually giving the game its longevity. I.e. is there really any official EA recognition given to felixandre or littlemssam?
Lab Assistant
#154 Old 14th Jul 2020 at 12:30 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeasabird
I'm a creator and I don’t know if other creators have experienced it but almost every real life person who knows what I do has told me I must be mad for giving it away for free. The favourite approach, when they realise I have tuned out, is to try and shame me into selling stuff by telling what I could buy if I did charge. And almost instantly they become experts in virtual graphic design and the business of selling it.


No one has the right to tell you what to do with your work. By the same token, you're giving away work for an industry that has become exploitative, which is why people are complaining about you giving your work away for free. I know how they must sound like (like greedy, opportunistic pigs). But I don't think that's where they're coming from. I think they probably feel that your work is probably so good that it's too valuable to give away on the cheap and that in so doing, you're selling yourself short.

Let me try to tackle this issue from another angle. Creators should be commended for putting their "all" into their work to the point where it's heads and shoulders better than what a development team put out. But there does come a point where you can put so much "all" into a creation that you're being exploited without realizing it.

For example, for the longest time, people bitched and moaned about there being not enough decent specific hairstyles or clothing. So, what happened? Some very talented creators spent time and effort to create them, and did some stuff that far surpassed anything the game put out.

Now, some creators saw this as a bragging right, to be able to "upstage" the devs/art team. But is it something to brag about, though? If you had put in an average amount of work into a CC and given it away, that would've been fine. But here you got paid nothing, and you made something that you put 5X the skill and craftsmanship that a paid member of the art team never did. You, in other words, produced "premium" content for the game. And worse yet, this thing you created had market value, in the sense that you gave something for free that players would've more than happily paid for in an EP or DLC if EA had given it to them. As if that weren't bad enough, EA is financially benefiting, because people who decided to quit TS3 or TS4 or not have gotten an EP yet may like your stuff so much that they're encouraged to pick up these games again or maybe even buy a stuff pack, EP or Sims 3 store item to be able to use it.

My thing is that it's okay to do mods and create "for free" as long as you're not putting more effort and craftsmanship into it than what a development team did. But if you're going above and beyond what even they're doing--and you're not even getting compensation, job opportunities, gig, or even some recognition--you're putting yourself in a position to be exploited.
Mad Poster
#155 Old Yesterday at 3:34 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jje1000
I think one of the issues is the emergence of the Influencer class, aka the Game Changer program- which didn't really exist to the extent it does now in the previous titles. While some are creators, the most privileged of the group are primarily social media figures who are chosen for their ability to promote the game via early access and videos.

The focus on promotion has ended up resulting in less attention paid by EA to modders, or even lot and sim creators IMO, even though they're the ones actually giving the game its longevity. I.e. is there really any official EA recognition given to felixandre or littlemssam?


More on this: https://wildlyminiaturesandwich.tum...changer-program
Quote:
Originally Posted by wildlyminiaturesandwich
Need some examples? We were told in no uncertain terms by the CM that only “High Value” creators (meaning a select group of Youtubers) would ever be given opportunities such as paid sponsorships, event invites and the like because they alone were worth the investment. He also told us that the Game Changer program has “nothing to do with the community”, which is a stark contrast to what most of us were told by the previous CMs and the reason some of us joined the program.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wildlyminiaturesandwich
So, in conclusion, if you’re a Simblr and you are thinking about joining the program next time applications are open (if they ever are)… Don’t. They don’t care about us, they don’t view us as equals within the community even though Simblrs provide 90% of the CC and mods they use in their games; they never have and they never will. Simblrs have been part of the program for over 3 years and they still don’t even have a way for us to submit our early access content to EA (we have to DM it to the CM who no doubt just ignores it) or accurately measure our ROI, even though several of us have given the CM literal novels worth of information on how it could be done. The only way Simblr GCs have ever been acknowledged was if they started a Youtube channel or collaborated with one of the “high value” creators. Ever seen a single Simblr at an EA event, get a paid sponsorship or even simply get mentioned in a Sims official Twitter tweet? No. Why? They. Don’t. Care. About. Us.
Lab Assistant
#156 Old Yesterday at 5:01 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jje1000
I think one of the issues is the emergence of the Influencer class, aka the Game Changer program- which didn't really exist to the extent it does now in the previous titles. While some are creators, the most privileged of the group are primarily social media figures who are chosen for their ability to promote the game via early access and videos.


I didn't know about this program until you mentioned it, but it explains a lot. One of the reasons why I quit TS4 was that I was getting this feeling that unless you had a heavy online social media/forum presence, EA just didn't care about you. I didn't know why I felt that, but now I do. BTW, this whole Influencer Class phenomenon is happening across the board, too, which is why in 2019, I pretty much became disenchanted with the gaming industry and community. You're right that a large part of this has to do with this whole influencer/social media star nonsense, be it YouTube, the forums, Twitch or otherwise; it's all about people who spend their entire lives on these social media platforms.
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