The lights are on
This morning at EA's Gamescom press briefing, we got our first look at The Sims 4's new gallery in action. The feature is an evolution of the Exchange that integrates Sim and room sharing into the experience.The Gallery also creates an easier way for creative fans to focus on the part of the experience they enjoy the most. The Exchange, which was a separate website for sharing and downloading creations wasn't the easiest of tools to use. "It was a totally separate experience. It took you completely out of the game," says executive producer Rachel Franklin. "Despite that, which was frankly was quite cumbersion, we had a staggering number of downloads. We're over 500 million."
With a newly integrated creation system, it seems obvious that Maxis and EA would monetize the Gallery and, perhaps, profit share with users. Franklin isn't committing to that, suggesting that she and her team want to hear from the community.
"The Gallery is about sharing creativity," she says. "I want to see what players want. I want them to tell us how they want to use the gallery. I'm curious to see what they do with it."There are great examples of monetized item shops that share profit with users. Sony Online's Player Studio and Valve's Steam Workshop are two thriving economies that are driven (and benefit) the community.We wouldn't close the book on this form of monetization for The Sims 4 just yet (especially since the game will evolve after its September 2 release). But if this is something you want (or, conversely, a feature you'd rather not be implemented), Franklin and her team are listening.