TorrentFreak has released a report on the Top 10 Pirated PC Games on 2008 and their numbers put EA's Spore at the top of the pile with 1.7 million illegal downloads since its release in September.
While these numbers aren't anywhere near scientific as not all torrent traffic is trackable, it's a good sample to examine as it most likely shows the trend of piracy in general.
Second place went to the 4 year old Sims 2, which just goes to show you that people love The Sims enough to keep stealing the game to this day.
By publisher, EA saw 5 titles in the top 10, while Ubisoft took 2 spots. Activision, Bethesda, and Konami all took 1 spot to round out the list.
Hit the jump for the list along with estimated download totals.
Game - Downloads - Release Month
- Spore - 1,700,000 - Sept. 2008
- The Sims 2 - 1,150,000 - Sept. 2004
- Assassins Creed - 1,070,000 - Nov. 2007
- Crysis - 940,000 - Nov. 2007
- Command & Conquer 3 - 860,000 - Mar. 2007
- Call of Duty 4 - 830,000 - Nov. 2007
- GTA San Andreas - 740,000 - Jun. 2005
- Fallout 3 - 645,000 - Oct. 2008
- Far Cry 2 - 585,000 - Oct. 2008
- Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 - 470,000 - Oct. 2008
Spore, as you know, had a brief scandal over the game's DRM, which some are claiming led to the number of pirated downloads. I disagree. Spore was a high-anticipated, hyped title from the creator of The Sims (#2 on the list after 4 years of release), which sported low system requirements and ran on both PC's and Macs.
Publishers like to look at these numbers as lost sales, but I feel that most of these downloads came from people that weren't going to make a purchase anyway. I've also noticed the practice of using illegal copies of games in the place of a demo increase among the PC gaming community. Maybe companies should start releasing demos again.
Longtime PC developers like id Software and Epic are increasingly moving toward consoles because of the lower risk of piracy.
What effect do you think piracy is having on the industry.