The Most Pirated Games of 2011

December 30, 2011 -

TorrentFreak released its annual tally of the most pirated games of the year via BitTorrent. The numbers are not all that shocking. Crysis 2 was named the most pirated game of 2011 on the PC platform, beating out the likes of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 with 3,650,000 and 3,510,000 downloads respectively. Interest among pirates in the Xbox 360 version of Crysis 2 was relatively low, with the game not even registering in the top five.

On the Xbox 360 Gears of War 3 was the most pirated game in 2011, with 890,000 downloads. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 came in second and third on the Xbox 360.

On the Wii Super Mario Galaxy 2 was the most pirated Wii game for the second year in a row. With 1,180,000 downloads it barely beat out Mario Sports Mix, which was pirated 1,090,000 times.

PC Games continue to be the most downloaded by pirates. PS3 games were not included. Full set of lists below, by title and number of downloads:

Top PC Game Downloads on BitTorrent in 2011

  1. Crysis 2 (3,920,000)
  2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (3,650,000)
  3. Battlefield 3 (3,510,000)
  4. FIFA 12 (3,390,000)
  5. Portal 2 (3,240,000)

 

Top Wii Game Downloads on BitTorrent in 2011

  1. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (1,280,000)
  2. Mario Sports Mix (1,090,000)
  3. Xenoblade Chronicles (950,000)
  4. Lego Pirates of the Caribbean (870,000)
  5. FIFA 12 (860,000)

 

Top Xbox 360 Game Downloads on BitTorrent in 2011

  1. Gears of War 3 (890,000)
  2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (830,000)
  3. Battlefield 3 (760,000)
  4. Forza Motorsport 4 (720,000)
  5. Kinect Sports: Season Two (690,000)

 

Source: TorrentFreak

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Comments

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2011

After seeing numbers like this, I can see why IP owners are upset when pirates download their work. Assuming these downloads would have translated into actual sales but for their availability on the Internet, then we're talking hundreds of millions of dollars. Even if only a fraction of these downloads would have translated into sales, then that's still a big chunk of change.

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2011

If you know anything about supply and demand, especially with a highly elastic product such as video games (if people have other expenses it is easy to forgo new videogames) you know that waaaay more people will download a game for free they would NEVER pay retail for.

Wtih piracy rates in the US around 8% and a simple supply and demand curve plotted like you learned in high school economics you see that the actual number of so called "lost sales" is very, very small. We are talking single digit percentages.

Anyway, the way to compete with piracy is to sell a more convient product. That means less DRM, not more, and extra services, like matchmaking, easy digital distribution, extra content and frequent updates. Steam does a GREAT job of competing with piracy. They offer a great platform that is easy and convient to use and many games offered through the service utilize only Steamworks, a very unobtrusive type of DRM.

Another great retailer, GOG.com or Good Old Games, has shown that even DRM free games can be successful. So far they have mostly worked with non-new releases but the Witcher 2 saw release using the same system and has had great success, probably more than it would have had using an Ubisoft style always on Internet connection type of DRM.

/spelling mistakes, I know

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2011

Eh, in some cases you CAN'T pay retail for a game as it's no longer offered anywhere.

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2011

It's really silly to even consider the possibility that if they could stop this from happening, it would actually translate into more sales. Most people download because they can't/won't pay anything for the game. Stopping the distribution will only result in fewer people playing the game and that's lost publicity. It far worse to be lost to obscurity than to not be able to stop people from enjoying your content because they didn't pay for it.

Sure, the people who download didn't generate profit for the publisher, but I'm sure they tell their friends about the game and those friends might buy it and tell their other friends. This doesn't justify breaking the law, but it's a law we could do without.

-Greevar

"Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2011

Assuming that every pirated copy is a lost sale is why people laugh when companies start trying to say how many billions they've lost to piracy in a year.

I also find it interesting to see that not only would I never spend money on any of the games on that list, I would also never waste bandwidth pirating any of them.

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2011

Not to mention tracker counts are, at best, very unreliable.

But what I thought interesting, was the absolute lack of SKYRIM on that list. It IS the most played game of 2011 (by just about every statistic), so you'd think it was at least in the top five, but no..

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2011

Skyrim came out late in the year.  IT makes sense why Crysis 2 was on the list, its been up the longest out of those games.

Also, the whole argument that piracy isnt dollar for dollar lost revenue is a bad argument, because at the end, even one sale lost is lose revenue.   Its no different than stealing the game out of the store and i don't think the argument of "but i only stole one copy, they got a bunch in the store" will work against the cops.

Pirates need to just own up that they are stealing.  It doesn't matter what your motives are, if you pirate a game you are pirating a game, just own to it (or like most, keep quiet about it).  Its not the point that pirates pirate a game, its when they try to defend it, thats what the problem is.  Don't defend it, if you are going to do it, do it just hush about it, don't be a pirate advocate. 

Also, if a game has your attention long enough for your to go download it, then it's advertisement did its job, downloading, playing the game, and beating it doesn't do jack from an advertisement point of view.  You going out of your way to pirate the game is advertisement doing its job, albeit with unwanted end results.

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2011

You seem to be getting caught up in the moral argument while missing the point about lost sales. While there are certainly a range of opinions out there about copyright law I think even most pirates would agree that people should get paid for their work. I certainly think so and I spend more money than I should on games every year.

That being said we shouldn't let our opinions either way sway us when looking at facts. The fact is that actual lost revenue to piracy is most likely pretty small. There are a lot of reasons for this and I touch lightly upon the main one in my other post. For smaller games with small marketing budgets and no established franchise piracy has the potential to increase sales, it is something we have seen before. The way that works is that more people play the game, those that like it mention it to friends and family then some of those people buy the game. I wish I could remember the developer who last said this but he saw that his sales shot way up after his game appeared on some torrent sites.

Of course for the larger AAA titles such an effect is unlikely to be present as most people who are interested in those games will already know about them. Still online piracy is a complex issue and it deserves complex answers. As I've said nearly everyone will agree that people deserve to be paid for their work, the questions we have to ask ourselves are what, if anything do we as a society do about piracy and how does private industry react to piracy.

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2011

How can you base your assumptions off as fact while dismissing mine?

"The fact is that actual lost revenue to piracy is most likely pretty small."  How is that a fact, when you also put in most likely, which is an assumption?  Sorry, but you sound like your just trying to convince yourself that what you are doing isn't stealing or that big a deal.

Look no one is perfect, people steal, that is a fact.  Whether its a pack of gum from the store or  millions of old people's social security checks, its still stealing.  Maybe the severity of it differs, but the end result was something was taken without compensation or without permission, that is theft.  In the end, i don't really care about people pirating, what i get annoyed about is when people try to play off what they are doing as 'meh, not a big deal, it probably good i stole this'

Also, looking at that list, i see nothing but AAA titles in the top 10.  Sorry, don't see angry birds or super meat boy up there.  Indy games are generally cheaper, most pirates/people in general have no issue paying <=10 bucks, of course that is an assumption, but i'd assume that is partially true.   

Private industry reacts just like a store owner would who has had lots of theft in the past, they come down with tighter security and lobby to government for assistance (AKA SOPA).  A small business owner may keep a shotgun behind his counter...a large enterprise keeps a team of lawyers and lobbyist on the payroll.  Same effect, just different severity.

Sure it hurts others in the process and there are people caught in the crossfire, but im not arguing that its right or wrong, im just pointing out cause and effect.

 

 

 

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2011

Your definition of "stealing" is rather foggy. Taking something without compensation? I'm pretty sure the true definition is taking property from another, depriving them of rightful possession. That is not the case here. Copying doesn't create loss of property. The creator doesn't have fewer copies of his work, it makes more of them. Furthermore, games are not property. That's a false concept the industry has brainwashed many into believing. Taking someone's sculpture is stealing, taking someone's oil painting is stealing, taking a printed book is stealing. Making a copy is not stealing. If you want to retain credibility, call it what it is: infringement of a government granted monopoly on certain types of speech or just simply "infringement".

If I copy COD MW3, I've infringed on the copyright, but I haven't "stolen" it. Activision still has their copy and they have the ability to make more copies.

-Greevar

"Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2011

I highly, HIGHLY doubt that is the actually intent of any of these potetnial laws.

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2011

Look it up.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Online_Piracy_Act

 

I'm not here to debate whether it is right or not, im debating that its an effect of cause.  The cause is pirating, the effect is the affected industries reacting and lobbing government to create laws.  Now whether the government does it with good intentions or with a hidden agenda is a different argument all together.

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2011

That's easy. Skyrim is worth paying for. If you pirate Skyrim, you deserve a prolonged, painful death.

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2011

I never buy a game at brand new retail prices, rather I wait for them to go on sale. Skyrim is the first game in about 10 years I bought brand new at full retail. Was it worth it? Hell Yes!

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2011

+infinity

 
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