The Sims 3, one of EA's major 2009 releases, has seemingly been leaked online two weeks before its official US launch on June 2.
Torrent tracking site The Pirate Bay is currently carrying a number of Sims 3 files weighing in at around 5GB. Numerous users claim to have downloaded the files and have vouched for their authenticity.
The news comes shortly after Sims Division head Rod Humble said that the game wouldn't require online activation to play.
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"The game will have disc-based copy protection - there is a Serial Code just like The Sims 2. To play the game there will not be any online authentication needed," he noted back in March.
"We feel like this is a good, time-proven solution that makes it easy for you to play the game without DRM methods that feel overly invasive or leave you concerned about authorisation server access in the distant future."
Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey said recently that he thinks the game could sell four million copies this year, although the emergence of the title on torrent sites could potentially damage sales.
It wouldn't be the first time EA has run into such troubles. Spore was reportedly illegally downloaded some 1.7 million times during the last three months of 2008, making it the most pirated title of last year.
We've contacted EA about this report and are awaiting an official comment.
Article supplied by Edge-Online