Once again, there is trouble in the land of The Sims 4. Months of relative silence from the development team prompted by parent company Electronic Arts has led to increased tension in the fanbase. Those tensions finally seem to have reached a fever pitch.
According to SimsVIP, popular Germany fansite SimFans.de closed on May 15. In a public statement, SimFans.de staff revealed that Electronic Arts terminated their cooperation agreement with the fansite. Reportedly, EA accused SimFans.de of leaking information and violating their non-disclosure agreement. Fans wondering what information SimFans.de leaked are scratching their heads. Though SimFans.de allegedly violated the non-disclosure agreement, it is still in effect. As a result, SimFans.de staff members are unable to tell fans what information was allegedly leaked.
One commenter on SimsVIP suspects that the split between EA and SimFans.de stems from this photograph.
While the computer screens are not the focus of the photograph, maps from the expansion pack The Sims 4: Get Together are clearly visible. For years, popular The Sims fansites have relied on information from EA and Maxis. The most popular fansites frequently tour the development studios associated with The Sims 4 in Redwood City, California. Without the backing of EA, SimFans.de felt they could no longer compete with other fansites, which led to the decision to close.
EA’s reaction to what fans perceive as a small infraction has only added salt to the wound opened during the Spring of 2016.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, communication between the development team behind The Sims 4 and fans of the franchise has been poor as of late. Both parties acknowledge the breakdown of communication; but, so far, there’s been no thaw. Teaser videos touted as a new way for developers to open the lines of communication have failed satisfy fans.
To make matters worse, Electronic Arts recently announced that The Sims 4 will not appear at EA Play. The three-day EA Play is scheduled to run from June 12 to June 14 at Club Nokia in Downtown Los Angeles, one block from the location of the E3 Expo. Despite the proximity in timing and location, EA Play is not connected to E3. The exclusion of The Sims 4 from EA Play is a particular blow to fans, considering EA’s earlier statements that two releases to the long-running franchise are due over the next four months.
EA’s continued reluctance to announce content for The Sims 4 ahead of time appears to have created an odd culture around the game. With official updates from the development team being few and far between, news-hungry fans have relied on leaks. When the leaks are discovered, EA and Maxis clamp down on information, heightening the hunger for leaks.
One example of the cycle occurred last week. According to Sims Community, Smyths Toys posted a pre-order notice for a bundle which included The Sims 4: Dine Out. The Sims 4: Dine Out appears to be the official title of the next game pack. While the link and image to the bundle were quickly removed, the website listed the release date as May 26. If the release date is accurate, fans of The Sims 4 are expected to purchase content in ten days which hasn’t officially been announced yet.
Ironically, EA’s policy regarding information about The Sims 4 seems to be jeopardizing the thing they most want to protect, The Sims 4. According to the Entertainment Software Association, The Sims 4 was the best-selling computer game of 2015. The Sims 4 beat out Fallout 4, the highly-anticipated sequel to the Bethesda role-playing game released in November 2015. But, with Fallout 4 releasing a seemingly unending string of expansions and EA’s well of goodwill with fans running dry, it seems hard to imagine that The Sims 4 will come out on top again.
Electronic Arts will kick off EA Play with a press conference on June 12. For now, fans will have to wait until then to learn the fate of The Sims 4.
[Image via EA]