The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection goes free for all on Origin

Earlier this month, Electronic Arts announced that The Sims 2 was being "retired," and that to make up for the loss, anyone who owns it would be upgraded to The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection on Origin at no charge. But today that deal got a whole lot more Oprah, as EA is now offering the game to everyone, on the house—even thought it's not actually an On the House promotion.

As noticed by the fine folks at NeoGAF , the "How to get The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection" entry on EA's help site underwent a change today. It still implies that the offer is limited to Sims 2 owners, saying, "Because you're a passionate The Sims 2 player, we're making The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection available free of charge to download to your Origin library." But the code actually works for everyone. I know this, because I tried it, and I am now the proud owner of The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection on Origin despite not having the original release in my collection.

It's really quite a simple process: Fire up Origin, log in, select "Redeem Product Code" from the "Games" menu and then enter "I-LOVE-THE-SIMS," minus the quotes. Bam! You may not actually love them, but you now officially own them.

Interestingly, this is not one of EA's On the House offerings; Peggle is still filling that particular niche. So what's the deal? Perhaps it's the kinder, gentler EA in action, or maybe it's just trying to ramp up interest in the franchise ahead of the September launch of The Sims 4 .

Either way, it's free stuff, and since The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection is no longer available to purchase on Origin (which may be a big part of why EA doesn't mind giving it away), if you want it, this would seem to be the only way you're going to get it. One potential catch: This might all be a big mistake, and EA could pull the plug at any time. I'd recommend you don't dawdle.

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.