EA considers Sims 3 leak as “demo program”

Sims 3 Leak

More stuff on the Sims 3 leak from the website, Softsailor.

Before The Sims 3 even launched, it suffered from a staggering scale of piracy at the hands of Bit Torrent users. So how is EA’s CEO John Riccitiello taking it? Surprisingly well, actually; in fact he even went so far as to jokingly refer to it as “our secret marketing campaign.”

The Sims 3 GameSeeing The Sims 3 following in the footsteps of Spore, 2008’s most pirated game, must leave a publishing giant like EA feeling many things. ‘Magnanimous’ wasn’t the one we were expecting though.

Given that EA has deliberately loosened its anti-piracy measures after the backlash that followed the launch of Spore and Mass Effect on the PC, you’d almost expect the publisher to be loading up every new game with the DRM equivalent of Fort Knox. Instead, Riccitiello sees a change in approach as the solution to piracy.

“If you see what we’re doing with Madden Online, FIFA Ultimate Team or Sims 3, and Dragon Age is probably a 100-hour game by itself, but what comes post-release is bigger still,” the EA boss told IndustryGamers. “And here’s the trick: it’s not the answer because this foils a pirate, but it’s the answer because it makes the service so valuable that in comparison the packaged good is not.”

The Sims 3 LeakedHis generous feelings were no doubt helped by the fact that the copy of The Sims 3 doing the rounds ahead of launch was not a full copy. It is missing a whole city and pirates aren’t eligible for the “massive amount” of extra content made available once you register your legit copy.

In a sense then, it has helped that the pirated version came so far ahead of the final one. It’s enough to make you wonder whether future games may be deliberately leaked ahead of time to ensure the publisher retains some control over how much real game content makes it into the hands of software thieves…

The Sims 3 Leaks Online!

EA Games has suffered in the last few years, with its games getting less buzz and making fewer sales. So it probably comes as a harsh blow that the third installment of their hugely popular “The Sims” game has been leaked online a full two weeks before its official release date. Popping up on download and torrent sites, the game and its creators must now contend with fans who couldn’t wait to buy the CD, or just wanted to snag it for free and hope that their game fares as well as the also-leaked X-Men Origins: Wolverine film, which suffered little for the piracy. Of course, it’s a different ball-game for them: the Wolverine was a workprint and thus not at the level of the theatre experience, but being able to download the complete Sims 3 leaves very little reason to then purchase a copy.

The major changes to the Sims 3 can’t be found in the graphics, which, while streamlined, aren’t that different, but rather in the composition of the Sims themselves. No longer are they mechanical and relegating to feeling using a number system (e.g. A sim is 40% hungry, with a 90% need to pee), but rather they will be more intuitive, more responsive and emotionally layered–in a word, more human. Definitely an exciting prospect for the series’ millions of fans, who were frequently limited by the previous games’ rigidity.

Of course, time will tell whether the leak will affect sales and if the new system will offer the same amount of fun as the old, but the Sims 3 will be released June 2nd and we can all keep our fingers crossed that it provides a worthy entry to an awesome franchise.