It looks like The Sims 3 has been leaked onto torrent sites a full two weeks before its scheduled release.
Rumors of the leak were first reported by GamePolitics and while the story is still unconfirmed, Casualgaming.biz says it has identified "a number of trackers" linking to the file, 4.9 gigabytes in size, as well as comments on some trackers discussing Sims 3 gameplay. Several users on The Pirate Bay have claimed that this is in fact the real deal.
Response to the leak from gamers has ranged from disappointment that the game was pirated so early despite EA's greatly softened stance toward DRM to joy that the publisher is being victimized as punishment for its past transgressions. Websites are similarly divided; Casualgaming calls it a "painful and unjust blow" while Romanian site SoftSailor appeared to take a more celebratory approach, saying, "It can't get any better than this for gamers."
EA's recent moves toward DRM detente apparently haven't made much of an impression on the pirate community, although given the high rates of piracy experienced even by vociferously anti-DRM publishers like Stardock, it's not terribly surprising. Despite the high-minded claims of many file-sharers, at the end of the day piracy is about little more than greed and an overinflated sense of entitlement.
Electronic Arts has not yet commented on the alleged leak.