EA Using The Sims 3 DLC, Community to Curb Piracy

The pre-release leak of The Sims 3 essentially served as a "demo program" for Electronic Arts to test its focus on "disc-enabled" services like community and downloadable content, CEO John Riccitiello recently postulated to IndustryGamers.

After jokingly referring to the leak as a "secret marketing campaign," Riccitiello noted that "Sims 3 has a massive amount of content, and a lot of it is downloaded once you register with EA." For example, registered users get an extra city as a free download.

"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. [The piracy] was only concentrated on Poland and China, but I think of it as not being that different than a demo," the CEO added.

Use of free downloadable content as a piracy and used sales deterrent is a growing trend amongst the development community, which has been extremely vocal about the lost revenue that both piracy and used game sales can cause.

The key, Riccitiello claimed, is to offer "disc-enabled" services, not just packaged goods. As an example, he mentioned that BioWare's upcoming Dragon Age: Origins "is probably a 100-hour game by itself, but what comes post-release [for the games] is bigger still." BioWare has stated that it could support Dragon Age with DLC for up to two years.

"I think that's the answer [to piracy]," he explained. "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. So you can only deliver these added services to a consumer you recognize and know...I think the truth is we've out-serviced the pirate."

Riccitiello concluded by asking the site to "please encourage [pirates] to pirate [free-to-play titles] FIFA Online, NBA Street Online, Battleforge, Battlefield Heroes...because what's in the middle of the game is an opportunity to buy stuff."

"While we don't want to see people pirate Warhammer Online, if they're going to give us a year's subscription it's not exactly a total loss."

Chris Faylor was previously a games journalist creating content at Shacknews.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    June 22, 2009 6:44 PM

    Sims games are really the last fucking games to worry about piracy.

    • reply
      June 22, 2009 6:50 PM

      I think John Riccitiello would disagree. Revenue is revenue, and The Sims is a cash cow.

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        June 22, 2009 6:53 PM

        For more cash its logical to defend it, but really the market for Sims games probably don't know how to pirate music to save their lives. Also, its a cash cow its going to make money, other new franchises are the bigger risks when it comes to lost piracy sales.

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          June 22, 2009 8:39 PM

          When my brother was in 3rd grade, a girl he was friends with offered to burn him several games on discs (and included cracks). Music piracy is threw the roof.

          At least in my experience, piracy doesn't seem to vary significantly with gender.

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            June 22, 2009 9:27 PM

            I don't think he meant girls. i assumed he was talking about more casual players.

        • reply
          June 23, 2009 3:28 AM


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