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Top 10 torrented games of 2008

Top 10 torrented games of 2008

Spore was easily the most pirated game of 2008 according to TorrentFreak, beating the competition soundly.

TorrentFreak has posted a list (via Kotaku) of the top ten games which were copied and shared over BiTorrent alone this year and if you're one of those piracy-deniers who thinks the number of pirates can't be all that big then the figures below make for some interesting reading.

Interestingly, the number one torrent title of this year is Spore - a game which drew much criticism for having invasive DRM and copy-protection systems.

Spore isn't the only Electronic Arts game to make the top ten either - The Sims 2, Crysis and Command and Conquer 3: Red Alert have ensured that only one game in the top five is not published by EA.

1. Spore (1,700,000, released Sept. 2008)
2. The Sims 2 (1,150,000, Sept. 2004)
3. Assassins Creed (1,070,000, Nov. 2007)
4. Crysis (940,000, Nov. 2007)
5. Command & Conquer 3 (860,000, March 2007)
6. Call of Duty 4 (830,000, Nov. 2007)
7. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (740,000, June 2005)
8. Fallout 3 (645,000, Oct. 2008)
9. Far Cry 2 (585,000, Oct. 2008)
10. Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 (470,000, Oct. 2008)

TorrentFreak is again taking these results only from BitTorrent and claims that it's trimmed out all the malicious and bot-generated results to come up with an accurate figure.

Is there any way to tackle game piracy on the PC? Let us know in the forums.

34 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Jordan Wise 8th December 2008, 10:29 Quote
Ouch, Spore hasn't been out long either. But that DRM was a joke
mclintox 8th December 2008, 10:36 Quote
There''ll always be someone cleverer out there who will crack whatever security these publishers see fit to impliment.
Tulatin 8th December 2008, 11:03 Quote
I just find it funny that San Andreas was on there. I suppose that with the release of GTA4, and PC users being left in the frosty world at the time of release, nostalgia was the order of the day.

Seeing the Sims 2 on there is no surprise whatsoever.
Sathy 8th December 2008, 11:15 Quote
Only way to fight piracy is to continue to develop more accessible distribution methods for the consumers and ideally finding another model for how games produce income in order to be able to lower their prices and make piracy less appealing.

So far DRM has done exactly the opposite of what it should do, in many cases preventing legitimate owners from practicing their rights of using the software the way they see fit. Either the rights of the consumers need to be adapted to fit with the current limitations DRM seems to be about - yeah, right, not very likely - or DRM developers need to wake up and start thinking about doing some heavy developement into how to make it less obtrusive.

Or we can go to war - like the one against the concept of terror - with the Pirates, call the Ninjas and Samurais, fax the Autobots and use your lights-on-roofs to get your local super heroes out of hiding and lets go show that piracy that we're not afraid!
Sathy 8th December 2008, 11:20 Quote
Good point Tulatin, though at first the list was for overall...but now that you mention it, finding it hard to see how Sims 2 can be there, that high. I mean, who wouldn't have Sims 2 by now? =]
wuyanxu 8th December 2008, 11:28 Quote
you sure that's the latest, last time i checked piratebay top 100, GTA4 and NFS Undercover are topping the list.
Tris 8th December 2008, 11:30 Quote
its a shame theres no way to find out how many of those downloads were "try before buy", how many were just download addicts who grab everything and never play them, and how many were actually fully played by the recipients (which are the "lost sales" i guess).
The_EXorcist 8th December 2008, 11:50 Quote
CoD4 was also one of the highest selling games too, so piracy doesnt kill sales, Pirates dont buy games, its not a lost sale if they wouldnt buy it anyway
Kúsař 8th December 2008, 12:14 Quote
It's all about good offers - and EA is currently making the worst offers ever. Price of Crysis didn't drop during this year, not a little bit(in my country, the best offer I found is 45$ w/o tax in some shady on-line store). EA don't understand that most PC gamers won't buy PC games for consilified price. I can get Fallout 3 or L4D(on the way!!!) cheaper then most of "older" EA games. And guess what's better bargain for me...
Xtrafresh 8th December 2008, 12:29 Quote
just give it a few more years, and torrenters and publishers have leeched eachother dry. After that, who knows? Steam clones? Indie games?

I also enjoyed seeing GTA:SA on there. Still a great game in it's own right!
[PUNK] crompers 8th December 2008, 12:33 Quote
Its about how you perceive value as well, a lot of pirates will still buy games with an online component because they cant be bothered with cracked servers and feel that they get a lot more play time for their money with an FPS such as COD4. Rather than Crysis multi which you're likely to be sick of within the day.

Therefore i'll bet more people who pirated COD4 bought it afterwards when the price had come down just for the multiplayer. This does NOT mean i think all games chould be multiplayer - quite the opposite. Its just an observation of the people I know and past actions of my own (now reformed pirate)
UrbanMarine 8th December 2008, 12:55 Quote
You gotta figure re-downloads and the "full version demo" are among those numbers.
djDEATH 8th December 2008, 13:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
you sure that's the latest, last time i checked piratebay top 100, GTA4 and NFS Undercover are topping the list.

neither surprise me.

NFS undercover is the WORST driving game ever, period. its not a driving game, its a mod your car and look at boobies game. seriously pants physics, seriously unbelievable cornering and very uninteresting tracks.

where are the corners? why is it that i don't EVER need to use the brake?

FAIL

and thats why i downloaded it, cos i KNEW it wouldn't be worth spending money on, played for one or two races then UNINSTALLED AND DELETED.
djDEATH 8th December 2008, 13:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by crompers
Therefore i'll bet more people who pirated COD4 bought it afterwards when the price had come down just for the multiplayer. This does NOT mean i think all games chould be multiplayer - quite the opposite. Its just an observation of the people I know and past actions of my own (now reformed pirate)

haha - yeah right ;)

agreed though, you download the games on day 0, play them, and ultimately, if its a good game, it'll be bought, either through steam or from Game at lunchtime.

ultimately though, even the games i have bought get cracked from gamecopyworld, i hate the idea of the DVDs being swapped in and out of the drives all the time, so as long as online play still works, then all my bought games get no-dvd cracks.


Except ID games of course, Quake Wars, Doom 3 and Quake 4 all included updates that removed the need for keeping the DVD in the drive.

+1 for ID
Matticus 8th December 2008, 13:17 Quote
Its not surprising that all of the most downloaded games are the best sellers as well.

Just goes to show that pirating games doesn't really hurt the industry that much, if a game is good it will sell tons of copies, those who don't bother buying games are never going to buy them anyway. Yes if there was absolutely no way for people to obtain games illegally other than physical theft then the sales figures would look marginally better, but only marginally.

They would be better off removing DRM so the people who buy the games don't have a worse experience than those who got it for free.
[PUNK] crompers 8th December 2008, 13:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by djDEATH
haha - yeah right ;)

agreed though, you download the games on day 0, play them, and ultimately, if its a good game, it'll be bought, either through steam or from Game at lunchtime.

ultimately though, even the games i have bought get cracked from gamecopyworld, i hate the idea of the DVDs being swapped in and out of the drives all the time, so as long as online play still works, then all my bought games get no-dvd cracks.


Except ID games of course, Quake Wars, Doom 3 and Quake 4 all included updates that removed the need for keeping the DVD in the drive.

+1 for ID

i honestly have stopped downloading games!

first off i got a fine from atari for downloading a pre-release.

then when i thought about it i didnt want to download games anymore. the truth is that when you download something, you dont give it nearly the chance you could have if you'd bought the product. so i was getting good games, playing them for a week or so and then casting them off because the next thing had come along, even if the next thing was crap.

also, i see my game collection a bit like im sure my dad sees his record collection. when im ancient i want to be able to go back and play them. or show them to my kids and say "look you used to be able to buy games from a shop - in a box!"
Yemerich 8th December 2008, 13:24 Quote
I have to admit. I am one number for that RA3, and another for Left 4 Dead.

RA3 sux big time! it's the worst on the C&C franchise ever. I am really glad i didn't bought it. Played four missions with the soviets and 2 with the japanese. Heard the opening music lots of times (am I the only one that enjoys games music?) and deleted it.

Diferent thing for left 4 dead. I thought it was just hype, but i gave it a try and torrented it. The game rocks! Now i am waiting for my original boxed version to arrive by mail! This one is a MUST buy!

Similar, I bough FO3 and regreted joy factor is like 50%. Bought because i am a HUGE fan of past FOs. Bought Far cry 2 and enjoyed like 70%.
perplekks45 8th December 2008, 14:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
you sure that's the latest, last time i checked piratebay top 100, GTA4 and NFS Undercover are topping the list.
  1. this is "just" TPB
  2. the Top100 are just a 'snapshot', no long-term chart

Anyways... Sims2? What the ...?! Well, apparently more kids are torrenting nowadays...
UrbanMarine 8th December 2008, 14:20 Quote
@Yemerich: Yeah i'm the same way. I bought COD4 and downloaded RA3 (full version trial).

RA2 IMO is still the best CnC title but you have to think that was made by Westwood not Westwood EA. Much of the dev team for RA2 quit because of the EA buyout. I with you on FO3 as well, the original Fallouts were slower paced but well thought out and I bought FO3 for support of the series not the company.
steveo_mcg 8th December 2008, 14:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by crompers

then when i thought about it i didnt want to download games anymore. the truth is that when you download something, you dont give it nearly the chance you could have if you'd bought the product. so i was getting good games, playing them for a week or so and then casting them off because the next thing had come along, even if the next thing was crap.

Thats an excellent point, if i hadn't bought HL2 i'd never have gotten passed the first stages I was kinda bored by the time i got to Klieners lab but since i bought it i pressed on and loved it.
nukeman8 8th December 2008, 14:29 Quote
im guilty of listening to red alert's music, hell march 1, 2 and 3
number 2 being in my opinion the best game music of all time.
[PUNK] crompers 8th December 2008, 14:53 Quote
you're right about HL2 there, i reckon i'd have given up if it'd been downloaded

also FO3, things that take a bit longer to get into tend to fall by the wayside
Thacrudd 8th December 2008, 17:43 Quote
[QUOTE=aon`aTv.gsus666]
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu

Anyways... Sims2? What the ...?! Well, apparently more kids are torrenting nowadays...

and soccer moms lol
wuyanxu 8th December 2008, 18:34 Quote
RA3 does suck and it re-used the Generals resource gathering technique where you can't get a lot of money really quickly, preventing tank rushes, thus making the game boring.
RA2, tank rush or engineer rush FTW!
Yemerich 9th December 2008, 02:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by nukeman8
im guilty of listening to red alert's music, hell march 1, 2 and 3
number 2 being in my opinion the best game music of all time.

Actually i was referring to the "russian like chorus" in the opening of RA3. Kept the game installed here just because of it.
Anyway, my all time favs are Thunder Force III sound tracks and Warcraft 2...

Geez... i am feeling nerdy...
Woodstock 9th December 2008, 04:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanMarine
You gotta figure re-downloads and the "full version demo" are among those numbers.

But at the same time, you dont know how many copies are distributed to friends after the original download, quite a few if my classmates at tech are anything to go by.
metarinka 9th December 2008, 05:30 Quote
I bet this data closely mimmicks top selling games for pc. I know spore was the number one selling pc game this year.

I'll admit I torrented it, and honestly i'm glad I did. It was fun but not $50 fun
hawky84 9th December 2008, 10:38 Quote
one question, are they just PC game downloads or do those figures include console copies? I would be intereseted to see the % of games downloaded for each console and PC seperately. I would imagine that Assassins Creed would have been downloaded for the 360 as much as it was for the PC for instance
nukeman8 9th December 2008, 11:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yemerich
Actually i was referring to the "russian like chorus" in the opening of RA3. Kept the game installed here just because of it.
Anyway, my all time favs are Thunder Force III sound tracks and Warcraft 2...

Geez... i am feeling nerdy...


"Russian like chorus" is most likely hellmarch 3 your referring to.
totally agree with the warcraft tracks.
Xtrafresh 9th December 2008, 12:28 Quote
i allways used old PS1 games as normal CD's. Especially Rapid Racer is awesome, soundtrack by Apollo 440 :D

The best ever soundtrack however is Homeworld. There's just no better match than the open space and epic battles plus Barber's Adagio for Strings.
ZERO <ibis> 9th December 2008, 19:43 Quote
Oh looks like EA should have forced it's buyers to send in tissue samples to confirm there identity before letting them play the game. (what could go wrong)
naokaji 9th December 2008, 21:31 Quote
Clearly everyone is a evil pirate, lets all get drunk, go outside and dance around stupidly while singing "we are evil pirates, we are evil pirates"...

to those claiming pc gamers are all pirates and making silly top ten lists, I only have one answer:
http://i37.tinypic.com/2hxp1c4.jpg
and thats just the ones mentioned in that list.
Amon 11th December 2008, 02:11 Quote
I'm still seeding long and strong. Keep it up, boys!
wiak 17th December 2008, 11:09 Quote
easiest ways to fix it is
1. lower prices
2. no drm
3. steam
4. more value
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