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I have bought the Sims 3 (and some expansions) discs from GameStop, and I'd like to buy the Sims 3 Seasons from Steam.

However Steam won't let me download the game because I don't have the Sims 3 installed on Steam.

Is there any way I could install the Sims 3 onto Steam without rebuying it?

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  • You might be able to activate the game on Origin, EA's version of Steam. If so then you can buy the expansion directly from EA through Origin.
    – user86571
    Aug 17, 2015 at 1:51

2 Answers 2

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According to the list of supported retail games on Steam, you can not activate The Sims 3 with Steam, if you have purchased it from a retail store.

Some games are accepted, some games are not. As it is, I have found a few forum posts, complaining about how unreliable Sims 3 keys can be, while finding sources for this answer. One user reported not needing a key to play, but not being able to activate their key with the EA, themselves. This may have something to do with it; Valve would be hesitant to honour a CD key where even the developers appear to have issues identifying legitimacy.

This is also confirmed on the Steam forums, and on Yahoo! Answers.

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This feature that you're looking for is available within Steam.

However it's only for some games and unfortunately The Sims 3 is not one of them.

So there is no way to do what you are trying to do.

Your only options are to;

  • Buy the game again through Steam
  • Continue buying them from GameStop (or another retail shop)
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  • Generally speaking it only works with retail boxed games that include a Steam key needed to activate the game on Steam in order to play it. So if you have retail boxed copy of a game that you can play without Steam, you probably can't add it to your Steam library without buying a second copy.
    – user86571
    Aug 17, 2015 at 1:57
  • @RossRidge, this is not true. There are many games that do not need Steam to play. This is why they have a list of compatible retail games. I personally have quite a few games that I activated with Steam years after my original purchase and play through. In my experience, retail games that still require Steam are much rarer then games that simply support it.
    – user106385
    Aug 17, 2015 at 3:08
  • @Timelord64 Most of the games on the list are Steam only games. There are a number of exceptions, but the fact that many of the key formats are the same is not a coincidence. They're the format used by Steam keys.
    – user86571
    Aug 17, 2015 at 4:02
  • @Ross Ridge, most, but not all.
    – user106385
    Aug 17, 2015 at 4:11
  • @Timelord64 I never said all.
    – user86571
    Aug 17, 2015 at 4:15

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