Electronic Arts, or EA Games, is not Maxis. They own the sad remains of what used to be one of the true icons of video gaming, but they possess none of its charm or ability. I've heard Star Wars referred to as "George Lucas' accidental masterpiece" and that description applies quite well to EA's work on The Sims 2. It's beautiful in spite of the intentions of its creators. It was released in beta format masquerading as a finished product, and would be almost totally unplayable without the efforts of the modding community, but at its core it's a fantastic product.
Which makes it all the more maddening that most of its satellite products (the expansion and "stuff" packs) were created by the most inept and repugnant entertainment giant trafficking in electronic media today. Games made by EA install exceptionally aggressive copy protection software which flies under your computer's radar and systematically destroys your hard disk and disc drives while collecting information and beaming it home for further diabolical study. They are routinely so riddled with bugs that it's become obvious that they rely on technologically-savvy gamers to fix their mistakes for them. And god forbid you should ever need the assistance of their support team, who treat you like an infant and never seem to understand even the simplest of problems.
Today, for instance, I downloaded a combined Expansion and Stuff Pack Collection to replace one of my aging CD copies. It downloads, then tries to install itself without being asked to (?!?!). This installation actually doesn't do anything at all, except tell the game that the Expansion and Stuff packs are now installed. Worse, the downloaded files disappear once the Collection is "installed"; "uninstalling" the not-really-installed Collection just means you have to downloaded over a gig of files again (if they were ever really downloaded in the first place).
What did the gibbering apes at EA have to tell me after I politely and patiently explained that the program I had just bought from their company existed only in the realm of make-believe?
KIETH: Did you install all games of the sims 3 in order?
Grugly: This is The Sims 2. And I have only installed one game so far. I haven't even gotten up to the Fun with Pets Collection. I usually download the games and then install them one by one, but this one decided it wanted to install itself... and then failed to even do that.
KIETH: I am providing you an installation order
Grugly: I do not need one.
Grugly: I know the installation order.
KIETH: Please install your game in that correct order
Thanks "Kieth." Sometimes I forget that my favourite game is owned by a satanic cult hidden under the front of a software company.
Assholes. If you need to buy an EA game, get it used. Don't put another penny into their greedy franchise-fucking pockets.