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Sims 4 "mosaic bug" turns out to be surprise anti-piracy measure

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After a lengthy and satisfying sit-down on the SimCan, your Sim stands, hikes up his drawers and turns to flush. But something odd happens: The "nudity blur" protecting your sensitive eyes from the on-screen SimJunk don't disappear, but instead expand to cover the entire screen—and it doesn't go away. What happened? According to the internet, you're playing a pirated version of The Sims 4 .

A number of Sims 4 players have reported what they believed to be a bug, but which is apparently a bizarre form of copy protection that makes unauthorized copies of the game very difficult to play. EA hasn't confirmed that this is the case and a few users of sims4forum.com insist that it's happening to legitimate copies, but a Sims 4 crack torrent warns, in imperfect English, "Villain in the WC or bath, Mosaic will not disappear." One Sims 4 forum user also acknowledged pirating the game before purchasing a key, and said the mosaic bug only appeared in the pirated version.

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Image source: Player Attack

I'm all for creative copy protection, but the confusion surrounding this particular example illustrates how it can be problematic. Failing to make it explicitly clear that this is in fact copy protection leads to the assumption that it's a bug, a major disincentive for anyone who might actually be considering a purchase. Croteam did something similar in Serious Sam 3 with an immortal pink scorpion , but that was a bit more obvious in its purpose; but less amusingly, copy protection that was widely mistaken for a crash bug (and loudly complained about as such) has often been cited as a major reason for the commercial failure of Titan Quest and, ultimately, the closure of developer Iron Lore Studios.

We've reached out to EA to confirm that this mosaic glitch is actually copy protection, and will update if and when we receive a response. In the meantime, why take the chance? If you want it, pay for it.

Andy Chalk
Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.