Sunday, December 07, 2008

Spore Tops the 2008 PC Games Piracy List

Electronic Arts' (EA) Spore is not only a retail hit, it's a BitTorrent hit, according to a recent top 10 assessment of PC game piracy by TorrentFreak. EA probably isn't too happy to see The Sims 2, an older game, at#2 as well.

Spore's SecuROM DRM earned it negative customer reviews at, protest Spore creatures, as well as lawsuits. According to TorrentFreak (and honestly, many others), it also earned the game a ton of pirated downloads.
As expected, Spore is by far the most downloaded game on BitTorrent, in part thanks to the DRM that came with the game.
Spore has been, by TorrentFreak's numbers, downloaded 1.7 million times already, and that's just since the title was released in September. It's as many, including me, have said: people who really want to pirate a game will do so.

Not just that, if a game has draconian DRM (and I hate SecuROM), I would rather pirate it to avoid the DRM than install the DRM, even if I want to buy the game, not that I've ever done that (with a new baby, I have little time for gaming).
When we posted about the impressive download rate on Spore - inflated due to the DRM that was put into the game - EA doubted our statistics. EA’s Mariam Sughayer said that every BitTorrent download was not a successful copy, and that several downloads didn’t work, were buggy, or contained viruses. We wont deny that on badly moderated torrent sites, malicious torrents probably can be found. However, this constitutes less than 1% of the available torrents, and they are not added to our statistics.
TorrentFreak's table is below. It's impressive how many of those top 10 games were released since September, meaning downloaders have been working overtime since then.

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