‘Sims 3′ Already Released — In The World Of The Sims

I had a business breakfast with the head of EA’s “Sims” label, Nancy Smith, yesterday. While I ate pancakes, she told me about some of “The Sims” success, including the company’s announcement that it has now sold100 million copies of games in the series.

That’s impressive, but what I found even more extraordinary is that, in the world of the Sims, the next game in the series, “The Sims 3” is already out.

In the February-released expansion “Free Time,” an event happens within the first five minutes: Sims studio lead designer Rod Humble arrives at the player’s Sims house and delivers a large box. In it is a computer that plays “The Sims 3.”

The new game’s Wikipedia page explains this too. And a German site has video, though it doesn’t show the Sims 3 logo that Smith said appears during the event.

How did I miss this?

“The Sims 3″ — already virtually released…