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The Sims 3 Racks Up Over 180,000 Downloads Prior To Release 187

Posted by Soulskill
from the big-spenders dept.
Bloomberg reports that pirated versions of EA's The Sims 3 were downloaded over 180,000 times between May 18 and May 21. The game will not be officially released until June 2nd, and it does not make use of SecuROM for DRM. Quoting: "That outpaces the 400,000 downloads over three weeks for Electronic Arts' Spore, the most-pirated game of 2008. ... Copies of the game available on file-sharing Web sites aren't the full version, Electronic Arts said. 'The pirated version is a buggy, pre-final build of the game,' Holly Rockwood, a company spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed statement. 'It's not the full game. Half the world — an entire city — is missing from the pirated copy.'"
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The Sims 3 Racks Up Over 180,000 Downloads Prior To Release

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  • by Firkragg14 (992271) on Friday May 29, 2009 @08:31AM (#28137229)

    Ill just wait and pirate the full copy when it comes out then. Thanks for the heads up EA i wouldnt wanna pirate a substandard version.

    • by node159 (636992) on Friday May 29, 2009 @11:50AM (#28139617)

      Hmm so it sounds like they released/leaked what amounts to a demo, maybe company's could start getting back into the habit of releasing _realistic_, _representative_ demos of games. It would be nice, then I wouldn't need to get a pirated copy just too try and see if it sucks (which it usually does).

      • by bughunter (10093)

        Put another way, the folks who downloaded bootleg copies of this title but won't buy the retail copies boil down to three categories:

        1) people who won't ever pay for anything anyway,
        2) people who would have bought the retail version but are happy with a half-assed broken bootleg, and
        3) people who were going to buy the retail copy, and couldn't wait for an (illegal) taste, but then discovered it was crap.

        So the last two are categories that EA can count as "losses due to piracy." Group 1) ain't gonna gi

    • by cstdenis (1118589) on Friday May 29, 2009 @12:41PM (#28140179)

      The pirated version is a buggy, pre-final build of the game

      Sounds like the standard retail version to me.

    • by cstdenis (1118589)

      It's not the full game. Half the world -- an entire city -- is missing from the pirated copy.

      The entire world is only 2 cities?

      Don't worry, by the release date there will be another torrent that will patch your install of the other game and add the missing content.

  • by should_be_linear (779431) on Friday May 29, 2009 @08:36AM (#28137283)
    ... pretending you have a life.
  • "Holly Rockwood" -- awesome name.

  • The game's target audience (twelve-year-old girls) probably wouldn't even know how to pirate it, they'll just ask their daddies to get it from the mall. Those who have now downloaded it are probably the bunch who download anything new on TPB as soon as it appears and never pay for anything anyway.
    • I don't understand where you come with 12 year old girl argument but The Sims is really an adult game, adult doesn't neccessarily mean porn btw.

      I have seen 40-50 and even 60+ years old people play it, in fact for some people it was the first and only game they purchased. People still buy content for the game, even the first release still being played.

    • by aafiske (243836)

      Or maybe it's the dozens of people I knew in college addicted to various versions of the game and unwilling to pay money for most anything. So no, I don't think this is just some victimless leetness contest.

  • Propered (Score:5, Informative)

    by Spad (470073) <slashdotNO@SPAMspad.co.uk> on Friday May 29, 2009 @08:53AM (#28137435) Homepage

    Actually, the original release (referred to in TFS, which was beta code) was propered earlier this week [rlslog.net] - the "current" pirated release is the RTM code.

    • It does make me wonder where they're getting it from. Surely EA can plug the leak? (aka fire the leak)

      • by Spad (470073)

        The Beta probably came from a QA tester or maybe review code sent to magazines. The "current" release is almost certainly from a retailer - the game goes on sale Tuesday next week so it'll almost certainly have shipped out to stores late last week or early this week.

      • by Rogerborg (306625)

        Surely EA can plug the leak? (aka fire the leak)

        Once the Gold Master has been shipped to Whang-Dong Fisheries, Automotive and Lowest Bidder Disc Pressing Incorporated, it's out of their hands. The final physical boxed copies ship to and sit around in local distribution centres and storerooms for weeks before the retail release date - there's plenty of opportunity for some minimum wage sleazebag to set that information free.

        • Well true about the RTM version, but what about the beta?

          How can they NOT manage to keep the beta private, or know who distributed it?

        • Yes, but this isn't an issue of piracy per se. It is an issue of a lack of "security" of the game code prior to release. That is what allows this entire thing to happen. If you secure the code prior to the release date this doesn't happen. And by security, I don't mean DRM type security. I mean physical security of the data preventing it from being leaked.

  • by zolf13 (941799) on Friday May 29, 2009 @09:10AM (#28137617)
    Pirated copy is version 0.5 - it has half of the world. So the full version will be 1.0 - it has the whole world. When EA provides version 1.1 will I get 10% of world extra for free?
    • by Ilgaz (86384)

      Having The Sims (1) played for months which was just a small neighbourhood, I don't think "losing half of the World" will matter.

      They should come up with "It causes BSOD and disk corruption" argument, that is one thing Windows users fear. Blatant lie? Of course but will pirates sue them for spreading FUD about "their" product? :)

  • Yeah, I said it. This actually hurt sales of TheSims3 this time. I was going to pre-order it, then heard there was a pirate version before release. One of my friends tried it and she said it was awful. Not enough items, too small, buggy, etc etc. At that point, I decided not only to not pirate it, but not to pre-order it either.

    Now, if I don't hear rave reviews about it, I'm not going to buy it. And I'm not going to bother pirating it, either, for that matter.

    So it's quite possible they'd lost my sale

    • by Hatta (162192)

      This actually hurt sales of TheSims3 this time. I was going to pre-order it, then heard there was a pirate version before release. One of my friends tried it and she said it was awful.

      So it hurt EA about as much as a demo version would have. If they had put out a demo, people wouldn't have to pirate to try before they buy. Then the only people who would pirate are those who never would have bought it in the first place, so that can't be considered lost sales.

      Releasing a demo version should encourage peopl

      • Releasing a demo version should encourage people to buy the game. If it doesn't, the game must really be pretty bad, and you don't deserve those sales anyway.

        If the demo doesn't encourage people to buy the game, then it's a bad demo. The problem is most companies make demos off of their beta versions, and as such loose business for bugs not present in the main game.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      It hasn't necessarily cost them anything, except at launch time. They can roll out some patches and pick you up as a customer on the flip side with the "Special Edition". Early adopters always bear the brunt; these days you don't even get anything for free, just the opportunity to pay extra to get a Master Chief helmet or something. Which, let's face it, is only worth it if you can wear it and it will actually protect your head from something, not necessarily to include covenant weaponry (But that would be

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cliffski (65094)

      so they played a pre-release incomplete version with half the content missing, and bitched that it was no good.

      *sigh*...

    • by Zerth (26112)

      The real problem is that, while they have added features, they cut out 80% of the features added by expansion packs from the previous version and will rerelease most of those as expansion packs for this version.

      People I know who like this series have mostly said they'll just wait for the all-in-one version in a year or two, if at all, as they feel shorted having to buy it all again.

      I know better, they said that last time as well:)

  • I downloaded it and liked it. I'd like to buy a copy next time I'm at fry's but will probably download the full version when they have it up. It kind of made me miss the good days of shareware and demo's. Game makers stopped doing it because people would try out the game and not buy it because it didn't live up to the hype. Or the game just flat out sucked. This games lives up to the hype and I will buy it. For some it might not have lived up to the hype so they will not buy it. So the download numbe

  • I see it now-- the new business model for games will be to embed advertising in the game itself and then allow it to be pirated. Those billboards in Sim 4 won't interfere with your ability to play or copy the game, they're just there to sell you other stuff you don't need, non-digital stuff you can't download from PirateBay, like graphics cards, video monitors, faster motherboards and diet sodas...
  • I got nearly all the expansion packs for the original, (I think Makin' Magic was the only one I missed) and three for the Sims 2.

    The only two activities I ever really got out of the games were house designing, and trying to also create buildings which allowed the AI to perform optimally/doing stuff to mess with it. Trying to model the faces of famous people in the Body Shop in the Sims 2 and then upload said faces was a reasonably enjoyable method of wasting time, as well.

    Apart from that, the Sims really d

  • 'The pirated version is a buggy, pre-final build of the game,' Holly Rockwood, a company spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed statement. 'It's not the full game. Half the world -- an entire city -- is missing from the pirated copy.'

    So, EA decide to sell a game without making any demos available.

    Then an EA employee manages to get a pre-final build of the game, with half the data missing, and posts it on torrent sites.

    Then EA complain about piracy of a broken not-even-beta quality build ? I suspect a lot of peop

    • by DragonTHC (208439)

      I have to agree.

      Why would EA leak a pre-rtm build of sims3? This hardly seems logical.

      And we know that it was EA who leaked it. No one else had access to that build did they?

      So why would EA leak this build if not to test the waters by baiting the pirates?

      This is proof that EA leaks their own pirated games.

  • That's what they've always told us.

    Or is it the other way around?

    Time will tell...

  • I have seen the "Demo" out there and let me just say it is NOT worth the money they are charging. It is obvious that a lot of stuff was taken out of the game to be nickled and dimed to the public. If you buy it, you are getting ripped off big time, I suggest holding off a few years until they released a sims3 complete package for 20 dollars.
  • "Woops! We had someone steal the game from us... So - instead of charging you down the road for an expansion, we'll play dumb and just throw it in with the official release."

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