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My Problem with The Sims Spark'd

SimmerGeorgeSimmerGeorge Posts: 848 Member
edited July 10 in The Sims Spark'd
Hey guys, so a disclaimer: this is not a thread to bash any of the EA Gamechangers or the game in general, I just want to open a discussion about the new reality TV show called The Sims Spark'd that is coming out.

As you might have guessed from the title of this thread I am not 100% behind this project. It is not that I don't like reality TV or that this kind of show is not my cup of tea. The thing I am most dissatisfied with is the decision to create such a project and the way it is being executed.
There are 4 main problems that I personally have with this new reality TV show.

My biggest problems are:

-EA's priorities
-The investment of resources
-The contestants
-The competitive nature


First, I want to start with EA's business priorities in the moment. I think several members of the community, no matter if they enjoy or not enjoy The Sims 4, have expressed a wish for more content in The Sims 4. There have been a lot of requests for more features (ex. cars, farming etc.) but there is also a big amount of people asking for a revamp of certain very important features in a Sims game (ex. babies). However The Sims Team/EA seems to be prioritizing things nobody really ever asked for like this reality show over people's feedback.
And the people asking for those features are not just random "people". They are customers. We are all EA's customers and we are actively contributing to EA's financial well-being. However, EA doesn't seem to be willing to return the favor.
Personally I am all for trying new things but to me this is going way to far and it seems they are taking the focus away from the game and instead are trying to turn it into some kind of a brand.
Does the existence of this TV show mean the things we've been asking for are not coming? Of course not. Maybe they will eventually come, however some of the requests I mentioned have been there since Day 1 of the game's release and its been 6 years. EA creating a reality show while we've been waiting 6 whole years for certain features to be added to the game that actually should have been there in the first place feels a little like them showing us the middle-finger.

Secondly, I want to talk about something I have noticed regarding EA's investment of their own resources. My definition of resources in this context is the time and money a company possesses.
Last year EA proudly announced that The Sims 4 has created over 1 billion dollars in lifetime revenue (that means the base game and its DLC on all platforms except mobile). This is an enormous amount of money and some speculate that they have already passed the 1.5 billion dollar mark. So we can all agree that factually EA is making a lot of money from this game. So the question is where is this all this money going to? Nobody really knows exactly but judging by EA's moves lately it doesn't seem to be flowing into the gameplay but it seems to be going to things like ads and marketing projects like this reality TV show. To be fair EA did expand the Sims team after releasing articles of the game's revenue since it would have been fatal not to hire more people after telling the whole world how rich they've become, however that 1 billion dollars didn't just show up in their front door, they have been making this crazy amount for years now, yet The Sims team has had to step-up and share with the public that they don't have enough budget, time and staff for more of their ideas and our requests to make it into the packs.
So my question is where does all the money go to? Why doesn't the Sims team have more budget but we are now getting a reality TV show?
If EA has money for Instagram cooperations with celebrities like Vanessa Hudgens and that girl from Sabrina the teenage witch why don't they provide the Sims Team with more money for the development of the actual product?

Furthermore, I want to move away from finances and talk a little bit about the reality show itself, especially its contestants. Now, I am no expert in Youtubers and Twitch streamers but even I recognized at least 4-5 of these people on the show. It seems that EA has decided to make a competition show with people who are already rich and famous and awarding them with even more publicity and even more money. I feel like the 100k dollars for someone like Plumbella is like her yearly salary or something. I have to admit it is a smart move to have famous people competing since that way they can be used to make people watch the show. Also the Youtubers and Twitch streamers will probably be pushing the show on their channels as well.
But I am deeply dissapointed EA isn't giving all those awesome creators that nobody really knows a chance to show their creations and tell their stories. Almost every other competition show has random unknown people auditioning like "The Circle", "The Voice" etc. but The Sims Spark'd is only for the VIPs.
To me it is basically just a business move for EA to advertise their game and their packs and for the Youtubers and Twitchers to even gain more publicity and money. It's a pity 'cause this would have been a great opportunity to have everyday simmers from all around the world showcase their incredible and unique creations. The should have selected people based on "talent" and not based on their status.

Lastly I am very dissapointed with the competitive nature of the show and it worries me that this might the direction the Sims is heading. I think the competitive spirit contradicts the core of the Sims series which was always to create your own unique stories and play the way you decide to play. Everybody has a different playstyle and a desire to create stories unique to their liking. The game has no goal, you set the goal and you decide what happens. There is no better or worse in the Sims, there is only different!
This is where the issue lies. How are they going to judge the contestants on a game with no goal where everybody is free to do what suits them? And even if they do find criteria to judge the contestants the question remains as to "Why?" Why would you compare a Simmer's individual experience of the game with another Simmer? And why would you decide to punish a Simmer's way to play the game with an elimination process while rewarding the one you personally think is better? There is no better or worse, the Sims has no goal, has no rules, it is not about competing, it is about sharing!
And this is exactly where they went wrong. They should have simply provided random players from all-around the world with a platform to share their experiences and their way of playing the Sims, rather than turning it into this weird mix between competitive E-Sports and reality TV.

To sum it all up, I personally do not like the idea of this show and I am hoping that this isn't a sign of similar things to come. I personally do not want the Sims to turn into a competition. I play and support the game to do the things I want and to share them with other people and see what other people want to share with me. By giving me this amount of freedom the sims series has helped me go through some very difficult moments in my life and overcome the pressures and anxiety of a judging and competitive society.
However I want to add that as long as this show doesn't have an influence on the present or the future of the sims then I can simply ignore it but because a project like this one financially drains the actual game itself I felt I had the need to speak up, as a customer but most importantly as a long-time fan.
Post edited by SimmerGeorge on
Where's my Sims 5 squad at?

Comments

  • stilljustme2stilljustme2 Posts: 24,430 Member
    First of all, this isn't just an EA project, so they're not putting in all the resources. A lot of the money is likely coming from TBS (the network televising the show) plus sponsors. The money that EA is putting in probably comes from the marketing budget, and the goal is to attract more potential players. It's not like if this show didn't exist we'd get cars or liberated babies or any of the other content players want.

    The competitive nature: I haven't seen the show, but it sounds no different than, say, some of the cooking or home improvement shows where you have people (or teams of people) competing against each other to cook a meal or remodel a house. Maybe there'll be a challenge to build a house but you have to stick to the 20K Simoleon starting limit. We might get some great starter homes out of this. I also wonder if they'll have access to all the packs or if it will be solely basegame content. Certainly there will be no CC or mods (which would leave me out; I can't play without MCCC!).

    I don't see that the Sims will turn into a competition, any more so than it already is with people being able to Favorite items on the Gallery. I'd be more concerned about that if they ever added an online multiplayer component that some people in the community seem to want. I'm happy just playing in my sandbox, creating the occasional content to upload and share on the Gallery, and getting my Sims through their virtual lives.

    Check out my Gallery! Origin ID: justme22
    Fun must be always -- Tomas Hertl (San Jose Sharks hockey player)
  • SimmerGeorgeSimmerGeorge Posts: 848 Member
    The money that EA is putting in probably comes from the marketing budget, and the goal is to attract more potential players.

    @stilljustme2 exactly. EA decides how big the marketing budget and how big the development budget will be. When the marketing budget is so big that they can invest (even partially) on a reality show and Instagram ads with Vanessa Hudgens how come the development budget cannot be bigger so they can actually create new animations and stop reusing the same ones or delivering the features they should be? My question remains unanswered.
    Where's my Sims 5 squad at?
  • adduapinaadduapina Posts: 485 Member
    Well put @SimmerGeorge . I am personally deeply worried about the fact that EL bugged my game totally to the point where it's barely playable (like I actually _paid_ for that) and now it seems that the priorities of ppl in charge of the franchise lie totally elsewhere. I can't comprehend how can you publish something that obviously is having huge amount of issues unresolved? Sorry for the OT. I just feel so disappointed on this whole situation.
    "Though now long estranged, man is not wholly lost nor wholly changed."
    -J.R.R. Tolkien

    origin ID: adduapina
  • calaprfycalaprfy Posts: 2,584 Member
    Are these people only famous in the simming world? I live in the same town as Plumbella but hadn't heard of her until I played this game.
  • KaeChan2089KaeChan2089 Posts: 4,356 Member
    calaprfy wrote: »
    Are these people only famous in the simming world? I live in the same town as Plumbella but hadn't heard of her until I played this game.

    Yeah most of them.
    Lord Beerus and Lord Frieza's Queen.
    tumblr_inline_nkkfq81Dwx1r5ight.gif
  • telmarinatelmarina Posts: 2,559 Member
    I agree with everything.
    There's also something i can't stop thinking about... im not a builder, but there are so many talented builders that maybe would like to compete for small prizes but are mostly introvert and don't want to participate in a reality show... So many people left behind...
  • SimmerGeorgeSimmerGeorge Posts: 848 Member
    telmarina wrote: »
    I agree with everything.
    There's also something i can't stop thinking about... im not a builder, but there are so many talented builders that maybe would like to compete for small prizes but are mostly introvert and don't want to participate in a reality show... So many people left behind...

    Me too and listen I don't want to compare the game changers to those unknown builders and say who's better but even Youtubers like Plumbella and lilsimsie have said in the past that there are gallery builds out there much much better than their own. I wish those really amazing talented builders got a chance at the 100k as well.
    Where's my Sims 5 squad at?
  • Faith05201Faith05201 Posts: 244 Member
    Well said, Simmer George! I've been getting bored with Sims, and tired of things not working right in the game...been thinking about going back to Sims 2 or finding another game altogether to play :(
  • CAPTAIN_NXR7CAPTAIN_NXR7 Posts: 666 Member
    edited July 10
    I do agree that it all seems incredibly 🌺🌺🌺🌺 ways.
    Although I find the bunk bed situation to be more ‘bothersome’ than that whole reality show.

    I assume that the reason these ‘Celebrity’ Game Changers are involved, is that they serve as ‘bait‘ to attract viewers. Let’s be honest, having unknown simmers participate on the first Sims reality show doesn’t seem to be as appealing now, does it?

    I personally have no idea who any of these GC’s are, but their fans and those who recognize them from watching them on YT and Twitch can now see them all together on one stage, in one show, on (American) TV! Turn it all into a competition where some of their favorite Simgurus will be the judge and Bingo! These are all the perfect ingredients to make a great Sims show. That alone should be enough incentive for many of the GC followers to watch the first season.

    Will I watch it?

    Nope-Tee-Dope.

    Edit: I do agree that there should be a way for the more talented, but introvert simmer to participate in these challenges and get the same reward, without putting them too much in the spotlight.
    NXRVII.gif
  • ScobreScobre Posts: 18,643 Member
    I would have preferred a Sims musical over a Sims reality show. Bad enough we can't escape reality show influence in politics and now not even with the Sims.
    "The Sneetches got really quite smart on that day. The day they decided that Sneetches are Sneetches. And no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches. That day, all the Sneetches forgot about stars and whether they had one, or not, upon thars." -Dr. Seuss

    Everyone is a Simmer.
  • SimmerGeorgeSimmerGeorge Posts: 848 Member
    It is certainly dissapointing to see so many people arguing that the TV show will finally bring in the money to make the game better and fix the bugs because of the increase in sales when EA has been making billions from this game already and haven't taken time yet to fix their product.
    Where's my Sims 5 squad at?
  • popstarsleypopstarsley Posts: 794 Member
    Ya lad sadly I don’t think EA or Maxis is floating this. Typically, another entity purchases the TV or movie rights to a game, so it doesn’t “cost” The Sims much at all? At least we get to see @simguruninja on TV 😇

    Maybe they have to shovel a few schackles for the extra annoying Buzzfeed ads we might see.
  • SimmerGeorgeSimmerGeorge Posts: 848 Member
    edited July 11
    Ya lad sadly I don’t think EA or Maxis is floating this. Typically, another entity purchases the TV or movie rights to a game, so it doesn’t “cost” The Sims much at all? At least we get to see @simguruninja on TV 😇

    Maybe they have to shovel a few schackles for the extra annoying Buzzfeed ads we might see.

    @popstarsley However that's not the only issue I mentioned and also you have to admit it does leave a sour taste when you've been waiting for EA to fix their product the customers payed but they release a reality TV show to advertise the game, again...
    Also you don't know what financial agreements they made with the TV people, nobody really knows. This is the last nail in the coffin for me with all that advertising and no fixing the game. I have been noticing this for years now their ads are expensive but the game is still broken. Of course they have to advertise the game but they also have to fix it.
    Where's my Sims 5 squad at?
  • CinebarCinebar Posts: 31,855 Member
    edited July 14
    What is amazing to me is the fact EA and Maxis have decided this series has to be like any other genre out there to survive. EA Sports does a lot of this competitive stuff, Andrew Wilson literally believes (his background was in EA Sports) The Sims is about competition, and Maxis/EA and Marketing must feel in order for this series to survive all other type of mobile and shooter games they need to change The Sims into something it was never about. A multiplayer, or a competitive TV show to spark interest in it, or a mobile game filled with microtransactions, or an arm of political movements to gain those who would have never thought about playing it, and or strategy game with linear play with a beginning and an ending (SV).

    I think the series still had enough interest in it to not have to go down any of these roads, but it's now a 'brand'. What does that mean? it means it has a lot of clout in political realms, a lot of influence to nudge young people in a direction they want them to go. A Brand is not just a product anymore but a political machine, and those with eyes know why EA/Maxis wants The Sims to be a brand rather than just a fun life simulator. None of us with any wits are blind to this. Once you become a brand you can do almost anything to influence anyone to do anything. True 'brands' are all about billions but they are also more about shaping future policies in many different realms and using that influence to influence young ones who have no idea. (that's my opinion). It's no longer just about money.
    "Games Are Not The Place To Tell Stories, Games Are Meant To Let People Tell Their Own Stories"...Will Wright.

    https://forums.thesims.com/en_US/discussion/958714/cinebar-custom-content-clothes-updating-links/p1


  • ListentoToppDoggListentoToppDogg Posts: 2,080 Member
    I totally agree, especially on the competitive part. This is not a game that was meant to be competitve. If this was Fortnite or Mario Party, a show like this would make sense. But this is The Sims. You can't "win" in this game. There are no hardcore, intense Sims 4 gamers who stay up all night studying the ins and outs of the game, creating strategies with the goal of "beating" other players, because that's not how the game was meant to be. At all. This whole show looks ridiculous, honestly.
  • trophytrophy Posts: 75 Member
    I totally agree, especially on the competitive part. This is not a game that was meant to be competitve. If this was Fortnite or Mario Party, a show like this would make sense. But this is The Sims. You can't "win" in this game. There are no hardcore, intense Sims 4 gamers who stay up all night studying the ins and outs of the game, creating strategies with the goal of "beating" other players, because that's not how the game was meant to be. At all. This whole show looks ridiculous, honestly.

    Not hardcore but there are competitions, mainly with players who use alpha custom content and love building/decorating. I mentioned this on another thread but during the Sims 2-3 days there was a popular online magazine called Living Sims. It was created by players who loved interior design, it had articles about new custom content, interior design tips and photography. The forum had monthly contests and the winning entries would be featured in the magazine. One of longest running competitions is called Designer of the Year or more commonly known as DOTY. It is six weeks of demanding challenges (this year’s included designing a 1920’s bathroom and a solarium on Mars) until one winner remains. There were even contests back during the original sims.

    Players have always taken games and used them beyond what the developers intended, with the virus people are using online games like Red Dead Redemption 2 to have office meetings versus using Zoom and there is a screen writer who has a talk show using his avatar in Animal Crossing. I feel like there is a lot of gatekeeping going on, that if you like the idea of this show you are not a real “simmer.”

  • SimmerGeorgeSimmerGeorge Posts: 848 Member
    edited July 15
    trophy wrote: »
    totally agree, especially on the competitive part. I mentioned this on another thread but during the Sims 2-3 days there was a popular online magazine called Living Sims. It was created by players who loved interior design, it had articles about new custom content, interior design tips and photography. The forum had monthly contests and the winning entries would be featured in the magazine. One of longest running competitions is called Designer of the Year or more commonly known as DOTY. It is six weeks of demanding challenges (this year’s included designing a 1920’s bathroom and a solarium on Mars) until one winner remains. There were even contests back during the original sims.

    @trophy Yeah I remember those competitions as well but I don't remember a lot of people taking place.
    What I do remember however is how subjective the results for the winner were. Usually the person who created the competition would decide which entry he liked the best or the entry with the most likes would be picked. It was fully subjective and based on personal opinion.

    Because of that there was a lot of fighting in the comments between creators or fans of an entry that didn't win but "deserved" to win based on their personal opinion.

    The difference between this and let's say League of legends is that in LoL if you die nobody can deny you died or if you have the most kills nobody can deny your victory. However in the Sims who's to say which bathroom is the most well decorated? That's completely subjective.
    Where's my Sims 5 squad at?
  • DuvelinaDuvelina Posts: 1,127 Member
    trophy wrote: »
    totally agree, especially on the competitive part. I mentioned this on another thread but during the Sims 2-3 days there was a popular online magazine called Living Sims. It was created by players who loved interior design, it had articles about new custom content, interior design tips and photography. The forum had monthly contests and the winning entries would be featured in the magazine. One of longest running competitions is called Designer of the Year or more commonly known as DOTY. It is six weeks of demanding challenges (this year’s included designing a 1920’s bathroom and a solarium on Mars) until one winner remains. There were even contests back during the original sims.

    @trophy Yeah I remember those competitions as well but I don't remember a lot of people taking place.
    What I do remember however is how subjective the results for the winner were. Usually the person who created the competition would decide which entry he liked the best or the entry with the most likes would be picked. It was fully subjective and based on personal opinion.

    Because of that there was a lot of fighting in the comments between creators or fans of an entry that didn't win but "deserved" to win based on their personal opinion.

    The difference between this and let's say League of legends is that in LoL if you die nobody can deny you died or if you have the most kills nobody can deny your victory. However in the Sims who's to say which bathroom is the most well decorated? That's completely subjective.

    But why wouldn't that work? Take for example reality shows like America's Next Top Model, Love Island or even The Voice. Those are based on voters' subjective opinions as well. They may not be games in the traditional sense, but the voting aspect adds a game element to the mix. Those shows work perfectly fine, although there might be rage on social media as well when your preferred candidate doesn't win. With America's Next Top Model or The Voice it starts with the judges, based on their professional opinions, deciding but eventually the public gets mixed into it and those are just your average joe's deciding who is 'the best singer' of the competition. A lot of it is subjective, but that doesn't necessarily make it bad.
  • SimmerGeorgeSimmerGeorge Posts: 848 Member
    @Duvelina It's not bad that it's subjective. I just think it will divide the community in ways not appropriate for a game all about being yourself.

    Shows like the Voice or ANTM are shows about performance. Singing or dance competitions are judged by the audience because they are performing arts and their opinions matter. Gaming hasn't really ever been a part of performing arts and even if you night argue that the Gallery in the Sims 4 is a showcase of art as well and I will fully agree with you I think it still leaves space for you to be yourself and find your "audience".

    I think a competition just doesn't suit the nature of the game because suddenly instead of being yourself you end up doing something a "judge" or an "audience" might like. I'm pretty sure some of us would eventually even rely on gimmicks to impress other people.
    If you want to be a part of a competition that's up to you and you should have the option to do it. But The Sims has always been a game about being yourself and has built a huge fan base around that idea. It would be a shame if the Sims Spark's is a sign of things to come for the Sims 5 because all those people who like to express themselves without being critiqued on their creations will suddenly lose their voice.

    If the Sims Spark'd is just a side project, it can do whatever it wants but I still don't agree with the devs saying there has always been competition in the Sims because there hasn't. At least not with other people.
    Where's my Sims 5 squad at?
  • crocobauracrocobaura Posts: 1,164 Member
    @Duvelina It's not bad that it's subjective. I just think it will divide the community in ways not appropriate for a game all about being yourself.

    Shows like the Voice or ANTM are shows about performance. Singing or dance competitions are judged by the audience because they are performing arts and their opinions matter. Gaming hasn't really ever been a part of performing arts and even if you night argue that the Gallery in the Sims 4 is a showcase of art as well and I will fully agree with you I think it still leaves space for you to be yourself and find your "audience".

    I think a competition just doesn't suit the nature of the game because suddenly instead of being yourself you end up doing something a "judge" or an "audience" might like. I'm pretty sure some of us would eventually even rely on gimmicks to impress other people.
    If you want to be a part of a competition that's up to you and you should have the option to do it. But The Sims has always been a game about being yourself and has built a huge fan base around that idea. It would be a shame if the Sims Spark's is a sign of things to come for the Sims 5 because all those people who like to express themselves without being critiqued on their creations will suddenly lose their voice.

    If the Sims Spark'd is just a side project, it can do whatever it wants but I still don't agree with the devs saying there has always been competition in the Sims because there hasn't. At least not with other people.


    I think people who just like to express themselves without being critiqued can continue to upload their creations to the gallery like they always did. The issue with the gallery though, is that most of the time pictures are rubbish and don't really showcase the creations to their best advantage. This is why people who have youtube accounts or instagram and tumbler and showcase their creations and interact with their fan base regularly have more downloads and likes and are more known. Regarding the challenges, I wonder if they will end up being as crowded as the gallery is because of too many people participating and maybe uploading their entry more than once. As for votes being subjective, I guess that's the same as when people click the like or favourite button, or subscribe to your channel. Maybe there will be less room for bias if voting would be open to everyone, but voting would still be subjective.
  • SimmerGeorgeSimmerGeorge Posts: 848 Member
    @crocobaura I just think there is a difference between saying "oh I like that" and saying "oh your creation is the better one, you win" which is kind of what a competition like that has to do in order to eliminate people.
    Where's my Sims 5 squad at?
  • crocobauracrocobaura Posts: 1,164 Member
    @crocobaura I just think there is a difference between saying "oh I like that" and saying "oh your creation is the better one, you win" which is kind of what a competition like that has to do in order to eliminate people.

    @SimmerGeorge I suppose there will also be a technical part, with certain guidelines that people will need to follow, and will certainly help to narrow down the pool of entries to find a winner and, if the winner is a subjective choice, hopefully they will present their arguments for it. Kind of like beauty contests and home design shows. Not sure how the story fits into the competition aspect, are they supposed to judge the plot, the screen captures or what?
  • happyopihappyopi Posts: 1,131 Member
    So my question is where does all the money go to? Why doesn't the Sims team have more budget but we are now getting a reality TV show?
    Shareholders :)
    Capitalism believes revenue isn't to make product better, but to make rich people richer ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Also I'll be honest, I still have no idea what Spark'd is, but good thread nonetheless !
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