This is what happens when you illegally download The Sims 4
Piracy of video games is nothing new to the industry, but over time developers have become keen on combating it in, well, rather amusing ways. Red Alert 2 had your base blow up after 30 seconds of play; Earthbound spawned an insane amount of enemies, making the game nearly impossible to play; and Game Dev Tycoon, after a few hours of play, would present a message actually warning about pirates stealing your virtual game by downloading a cracked version rather than buying it legally (so meta).
The latest example of clever ways to fight off piracy comes from The Sims 4 which apparently pixelates the entire game screen. According to several users who claim to have cracked versions of the game, it begins when they send their Sim to go to the bathroom or take a shower. Usually, the pixelation only covers the nudity; however, in the illegally downloaded version that pixelation spreads and eventually blurs out the entire game. These pirates then post about the "bugs" on EA's forums, Reddit and other social media sites, essentially outing themselves.
As I mentioned, this isn't the first time we've seen developers resort to tricks when it comes to combating piracy. Earlier this year, Lab Zero hid a message in Skull Girls that would only pop up when you beat the story with both Para and Cere in a pirated copy of the game. Dan Hibiki took to Twitter to tell the developer about the "bug," when Lab Zero told him he "should probably buy the game instead of pirate it." Hibiki attempted to justify his actions by saying he wanted to try it out before actually buying it, but... yea.
In the case of The Sims 4, I suppose pirates could use the excuse of lack of reviews. Since review copies were sent the day of release, many sites were not able to get a full review of the game prior to its launch. As a result, we have rushed reviews and "reviews in progress," like the one I started yesterday.