IndustryGamers: The Sims 3 was illegally downloaded something like 200,000 times prior to its actual release, outpacing the most pirated title of 2008, EA's Spore. Normally, you'd think this sort of rampant piracy would really be quite upsetting to a publisher. Ironically, however, this kind of leak for Sims 3 essentially served as a "demo program," EA CEO John Riccitiello told us as part of a larger E3 interview.
Although Riccitiello was being facetious, and EA says it did not deliberately leak the code, he noted that the result was basically an inadvertent demo program, encouraging illegal downloaders to make a purchase to play the full game.
"You identified our secret marketing campaign!" joked Riccitiello. "That was a very large scale – concentrated on Poland and China – demo program."