Piracy 'sales' charts revealed

Written by Joe Martin

March 6, 2008 | 10:36

Tags: #cod4 #illegal #law #mininova #piracy #pirate #rps #torrent

Companies: #bittorrent

If you've ever wanted to know just how well games are 'selling' on the pirate market, then now is your chance. Indie website RPS has done a little investigation to reveal a little snapshot of the state of piracy.

The snapshot was gathered by heading to torrent site Mininova and working out which the most popular games are and monitoring the number of leechers on each for a single day. So; we present the top ten pirated games, along with figures, for a single day from a single site.
  • Assassin’s Creed - 25734
  • Frontlines: Fuel of War - 12688
  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare - 8792
  • Dark Messiah of Might and Magic - 8402
  • Lost: Via Domus - 5883
  • Turning Point: Fall of Liberty - 5183
  • Sims 2 - 4026
  • The Club - 3672
  • Bioshock - 3489
  • The Witcher - 3121
So, some things to bear in mind: firstly, that the torrent of Assassin's Creed is of a preview version of the game that is incomplete and won't let you enter Jerusalem. Secondly, again we have to stress that this is from one site for a single day. That's mind-blowing even if you follow the admittedly conservative estimates of RPS writer Kieron Gillen:

"Call of Duty 4 has been on sale for 113 days, assuming day zero piracy. A seven gig torrent, assuming a 100k download speed, takes just under a day to download. Assuming that the rate of downloads now is constant across those whole three and a bit months - which is incredibly conservative, of course, as it’d have been much higher upon release - that means 993496 copies will have been illegally downloaded via Mininova alone. Which is the sort of number that makes Infinity Ward sad."

Discussions about game piracy have been raging on the forums for a while now, and though everyone agrees that not every torrent downloaded is equal to a sale lost, even if just a tenth of those downloads were turned into real sales then it would massively help the industry. Or would it? Throw your thoughts in with the continuing discussion.
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