The latest patch for The Sims 4 seemed to be just a round of bug fixes at first. A few travel issues were patched, beaches can now be used for weddings and tiny homes will be properly converted to rental lots when placed in vacation worlds. However, there were a couple of things snuck into the update that has caused some upset in the community, including a new, more aggressive approach to selling DLC.
The patch claims to have added “some small visual and functional improvements to the Main Menu.” For many simmers the changes weren’t obvious. Those who own all of the DLC packs hadn’t seen the change, which has taken the form of popups that must be manually closed, advertising DLC packs. However, simmers who aren’t so fortunate soon started posted screenshots on social media sparking outrage in the community.
Players could already see the packs they were missing on the main menu by the icons being dulled out for unowned packs. These icons had also displayed small red tags such as -33% when sales were active on Origin. Sales have also begun to be highlighted on the menu itself, alongside maxis curated items and game-related news.
The unobtrusive nature of these visual prompts for sales was and is a great way to highlight offers without feeling aggressive. However, the popup approach has upset a large number of players.
Simmers are reporting that when starting the game popups keep appearing that are trying to sell missing DLC. Previously these appeared if players clicked the icon of an unowned pack. Now they are being shown on startup and must be manually closed.
While it’s understandable that this is a time of uncertainly for gaming studios, with production disrupted as the world is encouraged to stay at home, the timing of it is ruffling feathers. Many gamers are playing more but a large number are also facing financial uncertainty due to current economic issues.
The general feeling seems to be that for a game that has always provided an engaging escape from the real world, the sudden aggression feels out of place and unwelcome. It also feels very much at odds with the team’s ongoing generosity in giving away game codes through social media and via Game Changers as part of EA’s Stay Home Play Together campaign.
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