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EA: Pirated versions of Sims 3 are a demo

EA: Pirated versions of Sims 3 are a demo

EA boss John Riccitiello claims that pirated versions of The Sims 3 are really more of a demo than anything else.

When pirated versions of The Sims 3 were leaked online a full week before the game was even available to buy, you'd imagine that sales would be hugely affected and that Electronic Arts would be pretty annoyed.

In fact though, according to Electronic Arts boss John Riccitiello, the pirated version of The Sims 3 has actually worked in the publisher's favour - and certainly didn't prevent it from hitting the top of the sales charts.

"That was a very large scale – concentrated on Poland and China – demo program," Riccitiello jokingly said in an interview with IndustryGamers.

Riccitiello goes on to point out that, since the pirated version cannot be registered with the EA servers and isn't fully content-complete, it's actually more like shareware than a legitimate threat to sales.

"In the game that was pirated there's [only] one city [out of two]... and Sims 3 has a massive amount of content, and a lot of it is downloaded once you register with EA... and join the online community," he elaborated.

"So you get that content in addition to the second city [which is downloadable for people who register], and that's a major component... A huge amount of the gameplay is an overlay for the community, where you are sampling assets created by other people. So for the pirate consumer, they don't get the second town, they don't get all the extra content, and they don't get the community. It was only concentrated on Poland and China, but I think of it as not being that different than a demo."

There are obviously a few things wrong with that idea and we get the feeling that Riccitiello is only being half-serious, but it's still nice the publisher stay positive, isn't it? Check out our Sims 3 PC review for more information and let us know your thoughts in the forums.

22 Comments

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ry@n 23rd June 2009, 14:56 Quote
He's just keeping his chin up, nothing will stop pirates from allowing the additional content to be downloaded/accessed. Im sure a lot of people treated leaked copies as demos anyway, untill it was realeased.
DragunovHUN 23rd June 2009, 14:58 Quote
What they don't realize is that most pirates don't do research on the games they download. They probably don't even know about that second city, and just think the game just doesn't have all that much content.
The_EXorcist 23rd June 2009, 15:09 Quote
or thats what pirates do with all their games anyway... if its good they buy it, if not, they didnt waste any money on a crap game
liratheal 23rd June 2009, 15:13 Quote
I'm ****ing amazed.

I was fully expecting a "Our sales were negatively affected" stance.

Hats off to the guy.
Veles 23rd June 2009, 15:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragunovHUN
What they don't realize is that most pirates don't do research on the games they download. They probably don't even know about that second city, and just think the game just doesn't have all that much content.

Except for the popup at the start that says something along the lines of getting a new city if you register a legitimate copy of the game.
UrbanMarine 23rd June 2009, 15:41 Quote
It doesn't matter now. If EA did their research, they'd find that there are complete versions of the sims 3 on torrent sites.
I-E-D 23rd June 2009, 15:48 Quote
I give it two weeks from now until someone includes the second city and extra's in their torrents.

But yeah, at least EA are staying strong.
Sombrero 23rd June 2009, 16:38 Quote
Actually, all that extra content (second city, new objects, etc) has already been available in torrent sites since BEFORE the actual game was released.
delriogw 23rd June 2009, 16:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by article
"In the game that was pirated there's [only] one city [out of two]... and Sims 3 has a massive amount of content, and a lot of it is downloaded once you register with EA... and join the online community".


the massive amount of content that you have to buy from the ridiculously overpriced online store you mean.... the same content that is also available on torrent from all over the place so people can get hold of it regardless.

while he's right that the initial leak wasn't the final release of the game, i doubt the more recent pirated copies doing the rounds are this early version.

i also suspect that a lot of people are going to be pirating this extra content as it really is exhorbitantly priced relatively speaking
Skiddywinks 23rd June 2009, 18:01 Quote
Even without the content, you get all the gameplay, and that is what really makes a game. At least that's how I feel.
naokaji 23rd June 2009, 18:23 Quote
The real reason revealed why they don't care:

they believe the average soccer mom ehh sorry sims player is too stupid to fidn the full version for free

Seriously though, Sims have a different target audience than most games, one that doesn't really know all that much about computers, so they most likely just shrug off the couple pirated copies and just cash in on the non gamer market.
perplekks45 23rd June 2009, 19:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by naokaji
The real reason revealed why they don't care:

they believe the average soccer mom ehh sorry sims player is too stupid to fidn the full version for free
QFT and rep++
p3n 23rd June 2009, 19:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by liratheal
I'm ****ing amazed.

I was fully expecting a "Our sales were negatively affected" stance.

Hats off to the guy.

Yeah right, hes just proud of his horrible 'internet required' DRM techniques...
Nicb 23rd June 2009, 20:35 Quote
I think sometimes even thou piracy is wrong it can end up positive for the maker. We had a article on that a few months ago with "World of Goo" and how he was flattered by all the piracy and it really got the word out. He ended up making more than he originally thought.

But Yeah right Riccitiello! Common sense tells me from playing Sims 2 is that you can download the game and extra content with out ever using their server. In Sims2 you saved the "Extra Content" file when you had to backup or reinstall the game. So, I imagine that some ZipperHead out there zipped up that content and put it up on a torrent.
Ross1 23rd June 2009, 20:37 Quote
it wasnt a demo, and all the content from online, second city etc was available on pirated version early on.

but it doesnt matter what the truth is, all that matters is these days you can manufacture to truth to what you want people to believe.
smc8788 23rd June 2009, 20:52 Quote
It just sounds like he's trying to save face to me. He knows they can't beat the pirates, and he's just trying to convince those 'casual pirates' that they have to buy game to get all the features. Although this is a little strange considering to get all of the features from Sims 2 you had to buy nearly 20 expansion packs (how can people spend almost £200 on one game, just to get some new virtual tables and chairs?!).
Skepsis 23rd June 2009, 22:04 Quote
<PIRATE> The Sims 3 content (including the extra town) has been floating around the net since the game was released. </PIRATE>
frojoe 23rd June 2009, 23:14 Quote
this is funny because normally developers claim it hurt sales, and then everyone on the forums says it doesn't at all. This time he says it helped, and everyone claims it hurt sales. What do you want them to say?
docodine 24th June 2009, 00:10 Quote
Not really, my friend's been playing for weeks, and it's pretty much the full version... someone even cracked their store thing apparently.

I'm not a Sims fan, so I don't really care.
Faulk_Wulf 24th June 2009, 05:03 Quote
Proof that demos are a good idea? I miss free demos. I found some really cool games I'd never have played otherwise on Xbox360 because of it. (CrackDown for instance)
Combinho 24th June 2009, 17:10 Quote
I love these comments. If someone complains about piracy, they're just trying to cover up the real reason for poor sales, but if they say it's no big deal, they're just trying to save fgace. Wow, there are a lot of hypocrites on the interwebs.
Xir 24th June 2009, 20:43 Quote
Is there an official demo?

Not that I really care, but if an EA exec learns that demo's are good...thats a step in the right direction
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