This site (I have not confirmed this data) claims 4 million people were "tech-savvy" enough to download Game of Thrones from torrent sites. Downloading a cracked game is literally just as easy, the instructions for each crack are included in the torrent that you get from the same site using the same search function.
So if 4 million people downloaded Game of Thrones, I think it's safe to bet that over 3 million would have downloaded something like SimCity.
Of course, whether those downloads equate to lost sales is a different matter - I think most of those 3 million would have bought the game if that was the only way to access the online social functions. If EA had simply offered them as a feature instead of a requirement, I don't think they'd have any problems right now.
All the bitching, bad reviews and angry gamers in the world don't mean a thing to the business people at EA. All they care about are the sales figures. Numbers.
SimCity is a legacy seller, casual buyers will still be picking it up from Wal-Mart shelves in five years, and EA knows that. A few weeks of internet tantrums don't mean a thing to them. You have to show them, with your wallet.
Every angry gamer who actually bought a copy of the game and then bitched about it just made it better for EA and worse for the gamers. We all knew better, and many of you bought it anyway.
Your bitching doesn't matter. Your buying it did.
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