So you may be asking, what’s the deal with The Sims Resource? What is the deal with the site? Well, I had those questions myself, and I didn’t realize the rabbit hole I had just pulled myself into.
The Sims didn’t offer variety in their game back in the day in terms of character and environment customization. In 1999, a group of players (Steve Bonham, Thomas Isacsson, Johan Icacsson and Mikeal Sundberg decided to create The Sims Resouce (TSR), where artists can create custom content (CC). CC allows a player to modify the game (The Sims) by adding user-generated objects from different clothing, items, etc. They quickly became popular among players with their forums and guides. It became the go-to place for Simmers (What players called themselves) to congregate. Read Why CC is so important to the SIMS.
Maxis takes notice
Electronic Arts (EA) owns The Sims, and their subsidiary Maxis manages them. Back in the early 2000s, EA’s End-User License Agreement (EULA) stated that one could create custom content but not charge for it. TSR was rapidly expanding, and they should have been punished for doing so. They were charging for custom content that should have been free. Simmers complained to EA, but nothing was done. Instead, EA partnered with TSR because they saw an opportunity to capitalize on their popularity among The Sims fans. They gave TSR early access to the game as well as other advantages that no other CC creator had.
You either die a hero or live to become to the villian
This partnership was chugging along, and TSR was making money. It was estimated that they were bringing in more than $10,000 per month. This was the case until the infamous Doll Virus occurred. During the peak of The Sims 3 in 2010, the virus would attach itself to save files, corrupting them and slowing down the game. The only solution was to reinstall everything from scratch. As a result, many players lost hours of gameplay that they would never be able to recover.
This was the final nail in the coffin for EA and TSR. The company severed the relationship, resulting in a change in the TSR. They began to increase the number of ads and popups on their site in addition to their membership fee. TSR has become diligent in monitoring their files for potential viruses, an attesting to the doll virus’ impact.
Treatment of Artists
The TSR would not have existed if it had not been created by a large number of people. The TSR, on the other hand, has a history of mistreating its creators. Previously, creators had to pay a fee to be featured and recognized. They appear to have stopped the practice now.
However, that is only the surface of the conflict between the creators and TSR. Some artists were dissatisfied with their lack of payment and support for creators. Some left, but TSR didn’t like it when creators posted on other sites and demanded exclusivity from them. As a result, attacks ranging from posting porn on personal blogs to hacking e-mail accounts and websites, removing all of the creator’s items from hosting sites, and so on were carried out.
To put it mildly, TSR has not been kind to its creators.
Greed Takes Over
TSR progressed over time, and the number of advertisements on their free sites grew. Furthermore, they have used adfly links, which add to the wait time. This has resulted in numerous complaints of slow downloads, clogged wait times, and malware. The site has become unusable for some users due to the volume of advertisements. The only way to remove the ads is to pay for a subscription. Consider the following screenshot of what users would see.
New leaf turned?
TSR was acquired by Enthusiast Gaming Holdings in 2019. The magnitude of the transaction is mind-boggling. TSR was bought out for $18 million in cash and $2 million in stock, for a grand total of $20 million. Since its inception, TSR has generated over $7 million in revenue. Advertising accounted for roughly 60% of revenue, with monthly recurring subscribers accounting for 40%.
The site has been revamped in 2022, and there are fewer advertisements on the site. It remains to be seen how TSR will fare in the future under new management.
Credits: Many thanks to Reddit users and forums for sharing their insights into the saga of The Sims Resource.