Having your main moneymaker
roughly 200,000 times weeks before its release should be no laughing matter, but that’s not stopping Sims 3 publisher EA from
having the last laugh
while ostensibly losing thousands of dollars.
"You identified our secret marketing campaign!" EA boss John Riccitiello said jokingly of Sims 3’s recent theft. "That was a very large scale – concentrated on Poland and China – demo program."
"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 explained. "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".
The hope, then, is that pirates will chomp onto EA’s lure and get hooked into spending money on the features they’re missing. So basically, it’s like a bigger demo.
Not a bad idea, either – and not unlike the moneymaking strategies free-to-play MMOs tend to employ, where the game costs jack, but the good content costs George, Abe, and a bunch of other presidents. Also, some unsolicited advice for EA -- Let pirates’ Sims live as kings, with the exception of two items: swimming pools and swimming pool ladders. Or just remove the ability for things to catch on fire. We don’t know about you, but those features alone would make us drop the full 50 bones.