By now, most gamers should be aware of the existence of the online games platform STEAM. Am not bothered to go into details, save to say that these days, most games are on Steam. Digital copies via Steam generally cost significantly cheaper than retail copies, and prices can get really attractive during certain sale periods (i.e. Christmas). Needless to say, being a frugal person, am always looking out for the best deal though admittedly, I don’t buy games often. FYI, that’s not cos I pirate them (I don’t, honestly)… I just don’t play that many games to begin with!
[Steam Store, Credit: Wikipedia]
The Sims 3 is no exception, and here’s my story.
Years ago, when The Sims 3 was released (before I even heard of Steam), I got hold of a Limited Collector’s Edition Retail copy – yep, that means I’ve got the box & that lovely plumbob thumbdrive o(^_^)o tbh, I didn’t take to the game right at the start. I can’t remember the reason why but it might be cos I’m so darn busy on WoW (those were my hardcore days afterall). I did play a little here and there, but mainly when I needed my Sims fix, I reverted to playing the Sims 2 which felt more interesting with all those expansions. World Adventures came out, I didn’t buy it. Then came Ambitions, Late Night, Generations… blah blah. I resisted. I only eventually bought World Adventures when I saw it sold at the bookstore downstairs my block for S$10.00. Installed, and started playing again. This time, with more hours on my hand to explore the game, I got snagged.
However, I was sooOOOoo many expansions behind that I balked at the thought of purchasing them all at once. Expansions generally retail for like S$39.99 here. By then, I am aware of Steam. Hence I decided to wait for a sale. Sales came and went. I kept putting my purchase off, telling myself that it’s 1-2mths to a new expac so might as well wait. I procrastinated, and procrastinated… and procrastinated till FINALLY during the Black Friday sale last year, I said f**k the wait and bought everything. The base game, World Adventures + all the other expansions till Seasons. EVERYTHING, via Steam.
Yes, you read that right. I bought the base game & the WA expansion twice. Just why the f**k did I do that? Well, at that point of time, I was under the impression that I am unable to ‘combine’ the retail copies with the Steam copies cos of the different installation methods. Hence, I thought that if I were to purchase only the expansions via Steam, I won’t be able to play anything w/o having the base game on Steam as well. Checked with 3 other gamer friends, seasoned users of Steam, and they all told me the same thing. Look, I am a Steam n00b, so I took their word for it. After calculating the costs of base game + 8 expansions on Steam vs 6 expansions retail, Steam was still the more economical option, thus I decided and I bought.
Till date I have yet to install the new stuff I bought as I was hoping to finish up my challenges first – was worried that I’ll somehow lose my saved game data when switching platforms. My current base game + WA has since been installed via EA Origin. Did that when my DVD drive refused to read my WA DVD to run my game.
[Origin Store, Credit: Wikipedia]
Yesterday, in my Sim-state of mind, I was contemplating purchasing SimCity and was making comparisons via the Origin Store prices vs retail store prices here. S$81.90 for SimCity Deluxe via Origin looks like the best bet, but I eventually decided that since I’m in no hurry to play it, might as well wait for a Sale. There might be one to encourage sales, considering the issues that have plagued the game since release.
Anyway while searching & comparing prices for SimCity, I ventured into Steam Users’ Forum and chanced upon peeps asking about registering Sims 3 Steam CD Keys on Origin. The thought that flashed across my mind that if I am able to link my Steam purchases to Origin, I should be able to download the games via Origin and with that I will be able to ‘combine’ my retail copies with my Steam expansions! Not that it mattered, since I’ve already bought the entire bundle on Steam but I was curious enough to try when I get home, and eh, it worked!
Firstly, I had to obtain the CD Keys from the Steam copies that I bought. After that, register them on The Sims 3 Official page under my EA Account. When I logged on to my Origin account later, everything is in my games library! All the expansions I bought via Steam are listed along with the option to “Download” them. Pretty sure that means the games bought via various CAN be combined, contrary to what my 3 friends told me when I first asked them last year! Idk whether the option was unavailable then, or the 3 of them simply didn’t care enough to really help me check… but meh, the deed is done. Glad that I checked, cos now I know better >_<
Note to self: whenever I have any queries or concerns in the future, I’ll DIY the research and not rely on the responses of others anymore 😛