The Sims 4 pixellates pirate copies

The Sims franchise has always been a favourite among software pirates, so it’s no surprise that Maxis has tucked a little something special into The Sims 4. Rather than simply locking pirates out of the game, or implementing digital rights management that causes more problems than it fixes, the studio’s opted for a more creative approach.

An illegal copy of The Sims 4

An illegal copy of The Sims 4

If you’ve ever played any game from The Sims franchise, you’ll know that your Sims like to protect their modesty by hiding behind a cloud of blurry pixels when they use the shower, toilet or bathtub. This is also the case in The Sims 4 – as long as you’ve paid for the game.

Pirated versions also apply the pixel censor cloud to naked Sims… but then doesn’t remove it once they’ve put their clothes back on. Instead, the cloud expands and grows, until the entire game screen is permanently blurred and blocked out.

The fun doesn’t stop there: Gamers who are affected by this apparent pixel “bug” have been swarming The Sims 4 forums as they scramble to work out what’s caused the issue and if there’s any solution. Of course, merely experiencing the problem is enough to point out the pirates.

Garry’s Mod developer Garry Newman took a similar approach back in 2011, where the bug “unable to shade polygon normals” started appearing on pirated versions of his game.

The Sims 4 is out now for PC – stay tuned for our review as soon as we can tear ourselves away from it.

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