I'm looking into starting a project on RMMV; a medieval fantasy with a heavy focus on storytelling. For part of that storytelling, I was hoping to include "cutscenes" composed on images and text to illustrate important events. I could hire an artist online but I would need a lot of images to accomplish my ends. Now, I've watched my wife play "The Sims" franchise for awhile now, and that game is heavily and widely modded by its fanbase, and a large focus on that is historical in theme. If I were to use a posing mod to illustrate scenes from my game in "The Sims 2" and then edit them to my liking, would I be facing any legal troubles from EA Games? I would certainly credit the game and any modders, but I wonder if that would be enough, especially if I were to attempt a commercial release.


1 Answer 1


Yes, you can face legal issues.

You should talk to a lawyer to review the specific details of your specific scenario, but the assets in The Sims 2 are protected by copyright, and some (such as those relating to product or brand identification) may further be covered by trademark as well.

Copyright, in particular, is the right of an author of a work to determine who can make reproductions and derivative works and how. In particular, that means "giving credit" is irrelevant. Copyright is not the right to be credited, it's the right to have the say over who uses the work. Also note that non-commercial distribution doesn't save you either; it simply makes it less likely you'll be seen, but it doesn't make it any less illegal.

Using assets from The Sims 2 to create your game would be a violation of that copyright unless you obtain permission from the rights holder. If there are any trademarks involved, such as logos or sub-licensed trademarks like Pepsi logos on shirts, you'd be further in violation.

Modding a game is quite different from taking assets from a game (which may happen to be more easily accessible due to the game being designed for modding) and re-using them elsewhere. In particular, the EULA for a game explicitly supporting mods usually permits you to use the game's assets for the limited purpose of creating a mod, but restricts your ability to effectively do anything else with those assets (like take them out to another game).

The cost of hiring an artist is negligible compared to the cost, stress, and time/work lossage that results from a legal battle. Hire the artist, or get a tool like MakeHuman (which is free!) and learn to do it yourself.


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