Archive for the ‘Sales’ Category

There are different classes of illegal downloaders and each group makes a part of the whole piracy market. In its simplest form the Piracy Pyramid looks like the picture below and the illegal population consists of Crackers, Uploaders and Downloaders. As the colour gradient suggest, the top of the pyramid represents a very small percentage, which is probably less than 5%, of the illegal population.

 

Imagine if the Cracking Groups one day decided not to share the crack with the illegal downloaders. Instantly 95% of the illegal population would have no choice but to either move on, or buy the game. That’s mind blowing!

And personally … one of the things that really annoyed me… Sometimes illegal downloaders are very ungrateful. Not all, but those small minority, the ones that normally have big voices, would spoil it for the rest of the population! As wrong as it is, they are getting things for free, and yet most of the time comment boxes are filled with complaints, rather than thanks!

So what is a Free Rider Pirate? This refers to an illegal downloader that downloads anything and everything, regardless of what it is. They enjoy downloading because they have enough HD space, bandwidth, and perhaps are internet pack rats. They are often described as people would never buy this material, and almost to the point that it becomes a self propagating justification.

WarFace has heard all the excuses, but in all honesty there are only a handful of original ones. Even though most of the excuses are debunked fairly quickly, the pure arrogance of piracy is the fundamental belief that it will happen. There is nothing publishers or game developers can do to stop it; pirates will always crack your software.

This isn’t completely true… but you have to be smart about it! As the Music and Movie industries have shown all too often; suing anyone and everyone regardless of proof, shows that you are dealing with big cold hearted companies that don’t care!

But in this blog I am looking at one of the excuses that I always knew was rubbish, the Free Rider. The excuse, which most illegal downloading is done by a small group of downloaders! There are no stats for this, but it helps when I say it like this; that 10% of the total copy infringers, the free riders, are illegally downloading 80% of the material on the internet.

What this in effect is saying, that one illegal download doesn’t equal one sale. Basically “Free Rider” pirates are downloading so much, and wouldn’t buy it anyway, that if you discounted this portion of the illegal scene; the piracy figures would be very small. Therefore the leftover illegal downloaders, who might perhaps buy the product, are such a small percentage that the losses to the company are supposedly minuscule!

Apart from the fact it’s supposed to be an excuse for the “Free Rider Pirates” that they would never buy it anyway. It also seems to be an excuse for the rest of the illegal downloaders who might have paid for it. However these excuses never have any proof, facts or figures, but ultimately it helps keep the piracy thought alive!

So how do you work out the difference between a free rider pirate and an illegal downloader? And of course what percentage of the piracy market do they own?

If there is such a group of illegal downloaders that just download anything and everything. Well call me silly but they should have a major presence on the P2P networks. Therefore the difference between a highly popular torrent and a lowly one should be the 20% of average illegal downloaders. Because they are the ones who only download in small amounts! Right?

The graph below tracks a number of illegal titles recorded throughout 2010. We have listed them in order of the number of illegal downloads per day, the lowest, Silent Hunter 5 (106) to the highest, Call of Duty: Black Ops (26,713).

 

But it clearly shows that as the popularity of games is higher, so are the number of times it’s downloaded. To be honest this is what you would expect, games that are popular are downloaded more times than unpopular ones.

However in the test results we have Call of Duty: Black Ops the block buster of 2010, both legal and illegal. This wildly upsets the results, in favour of the Pro-Publishers, putting the Free Rider population at 0.004% of the illegal downloader population. So let’s call that an anomaly and exclude the results for Call of Duty: Black Ops.

But still there is no evidence for the “Free Rider” pirates, as the table below shows. From the total results, by taking the first 5 and the last 5, then comparing the difference, it puts the Free Rider at around 2.6% of the population.

 

Then if you look at the first and last 10 results, 20 results, and finally first half by the second half; you can see there is no correlation to “Free Rider” pirates owning the majority of the illegal population. The most you can suggest is 14.4% could possibly be downloading lots of illegal material.

  

14.4% (12,620 downloaders per day)

85.6% (75,049 downloaders per day)

87,669 (Total downloaders per day)

Are there hoarding pirates out there? Of course! Do we all know one? Probably, it’s very likely! But this is no reason to claim its prevalent, and even less of a reason to use this as an excuse to justify all illegal downloading habits! 

I know what you are going to say next! That this is rubbish! free riders make up “80%” of any particular torrent not “80%” of the illegal downloading scene. So if we assume that 80% of a torrent is a waste, and we get no revenue from it, we can show an estimation of the losses.

If we take the lowest torrent, Silent Hunter 5, with roughly 106 illegal downloads a day. Assuming only 20% (21) of the illegal downloaders are going to buy Silent Hunter 5 every day, worldwide. The total losses over 6 months is € 135,376 for the lowest popular torrent in our test range.

 

The highest, Call of Duty: Black Ops, would have lost € 34,116,107 over 6 months. The 2nd highest being Medal of Honor and its loss was € 10,375,445 over 6 months. Of course Black Ops was a block buster anomaly of 2010. If you are wondering what the average 6 month loss is, if Black Ops was discounted, it comes out € 2,153,176.

Please feel free to download and view the data sheet containing all the results used in this experiment: http://www.warfaceaps.com/files/FreeRider-DataSheet.pdf

While you can argue these figures; what you really have to ask, is € 135,376 worth putting an anti-strategy plan in place? For example, it may seem like a small amount for a PC game, and €34 million seems like an awful lot. But from a previous WarFace blog we calculated the legitimate sales of Call of Duty: Black Ops using the quanties reported from this feed http://gamrfeed.vgchartz.com/story/82685/call-of-duty-black-ops-sells-7-million-copies-on-day-one/.

We calculated that Black Ops sold roughly 210,000 copies on the PC, taking 3% of the sales market share. The PC versions was sold at a cheaper price of € 44.99, the consoles price was € 54.99, and the first day sales was € 9,447,900 million for the PC. Plus you have to remember the above piracy loss € 34 million is also based on the lower € 34.99 game. Every statistical result is in favour of piracy being a problem and having a profoundly negative effect on business!

This clearly shows that 20% of the illegal downloading population makes a significant difference. Of course it depends on the popularity of the game in the first place, but the piracy losses could be far greater. The average income lost per title for the 6 month shelf life of a game has been calculated at around € 2 million.

Call of Duty: Black Ops sold roughly 375 million Euros on the first day across all platforms.  But the likes of Ubisoft Silent Hunter 5’s loss of € 135,376 could be perceived as nothing. But it isn’t, in these trying times Publishers will be cutting back on expenses, and one of the main ones is Game Developer costs!

If you have to ask how far you could stretch € 135,376, then you’re not a small software development team in the tough world of gaming media! Struggling week by week, hoping your publisher will reward your talented work and that gamers will recognise your games.

On 11th of February 2011, Crysis 2 was illegally leaked; the official release would be a month later on the 22nd March 2011. But what really is interesting, that the first game Crysis was a PC release only. But they soon realised after the amount of Piracy, releasing a PC exclusive title was unsound as a business plan! If I was Crytek, I would flat out refuse to release Crysis 3 on the PC at all!

What does this say for the PC industry as a whole? Does it make sense to release PC games at all? Sure people by PC games, but when Call of Duty: Black Ops makes € 227,108,700 on the Xbox and € 138,574,800 on the PS3. You have to wonder from a business point of view why go to the expense of releasing on the PC at all? Now ask yourself do you honestly believe that piracy isn’t killing the PC industry?

What are your opinions on PC gaming Piracy? Do you think there is a small group of people illegally downloading the whole illegal market? And if you think there is, how many people do you know who download at such an extremely high rate?

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Following the much praised Modern Warfare 2, again the Call of Duty series has broken all records for the first day sales. After all the court cases, the feuds, and the tantrums that followed MF2 Treyarch has pulled this one out of the bag. The first day sales being reported as 7 million copies worldwide, everyone must be happy with that!

 

But what I am finding more and more, when people talk about gaming sales. They are talking Xbox and PS3, but when it comes to PC versions everyone shuts up. It’s all about perception, and the PC sales are just embarrassing. Even though it took a while, I found that the sales market share of the Xbox 360 was at 59% and the PS3 at 36%. The PC market share was not so clear cut!

 

“Xbox 360 takes the largest proportion of sales with 59%, 36% for PS3 and the remainder on PC, Wii and DS.”

 

Call of Duty: Black Ops Sales Top $360 Millionhttp://news.teamxbox.com/xbox/23252/Call-of-Duty-Black-Ops-Sales-Top-360-Million/

By: – “-Sparky-” Nov. 11th, 2010 10:08 am

 It seems that the hype surrounding Call of Duty: Black Ops has paid off for Activision. The game launched on November 9th in North America and the U.K. with massive ad campaigns that spread across gaming websites, billboards and television ads. Day one sales for Black Ops totaled 5.6 million copies or $360 million dollars.

 These sales figures eclipse last year’s launch of Modern Warefare 2 which sold 4.7 million units within the first 24 hours. Activision is hailing this launch as the “biggest launch in entertainment” surpassing the opening weekend set by the film Avatar last December.

 

Call of Duty: Black Ops Sells 7 Million Copies on Day Onehttp://gamrfeed.vgchartz.com/story/82685/call-of-duty-black-ops-sells-7-million-copies-on-day-one/

by Brett Walton on 10 November 2010

 According to early VGChartz estimates, Call of Duty: Black Ops has become the fastest-selling game of all time with over 7 million units sold on day one following over 4.5 million preorders as reported earlier in the week. If the 7 million for Black Ops holds true, it would make the launch around 10% larger than Modern Warfare 2 and the biggest of all time.

 Lending some extra weight to our estimations are reports that over 4 million users have now connected to Xbox Live to play Black Ops and similarly impressive figures via PSN. Breaking the data down, we estimate over 3.6 million units were sold in the USA, 1.4 million units in the UK, over a million units in continental Europe and 350,000 units in Canada. Xbox 360 takes the largest proportion of sales with 59%, 36% for PS3 and the remainder on PC, Wii and DS.

 

 

The article states, perhaps a little flippantly, the “remainder on PC, Wii and DS” fight for the rest of the market share scraps. This sentence is all too telling! It wasn’t even worth the effort to work out the remainder, which was 5% of the sales. On top of all of that the PC has now been pigeon holed with a girl’s game console and a girls, hand held, game console.

 To claw some dignity back for the PC gamers, am going to assume and desperately hope that the sale market share was 3% for PC, while the Wii and DS combined was the final 2%. I chose this because I seem to remember the market share for Modern Warfare 2 was also 3% for the PC.

 

 I suppose it’s interesting to know that the Xbox and the PS3 games are more expensive than the PC version. Under the Euro, both Console versions sell at a MRSP of €54.99, while the PC version is €10 cheaper, at €44.99.

GameStop Irelandhttp://www.gamestop.ie/core/common/default.aspx?quickSearch=Black%20Ops 

 Price Check (27/11/2010)

Call Of Duty: Black Ops Std (Xbox 360) = € 54.99

Call Of Duty: Black Ops Std (PS3) = € 54.99

Call Of Duty: Black Ops Std (PC) = € 44.99

 

 The table below shows us that the PC sales brought in just under 10 million Euros for Activision. This isn’t bad, but dwarfs in comparison when compared to the sales of the Xbox or even PS3. Even if 210,000 units were sold at the console price, you still be looking at a drop in the pond.

  

 Even though the more expensive Xbox 360 version and PS3 out sold the cheaper PC version, “The Poor Pirate Excuse” tells a different story. The PC version has been downloaded illegally a disproportionately amount of times compared to all the console versions put together. For the full story you can read here at: wordpress blog

Below are the main two slides from that blog:

 These pie charts show the illegal downloading proportion for the same game title across several different gaming platforms. The difference between the console, marked in Red, and the PC platform marked in Blue, is extremely clear and one sided.

 

This table shows the percentage value of the illegal downloading on a Console platform vs the PC platform. As you can see, generally the PC platform has a clear majority easily averaging 95% of the illegal downloads. Unless it’s a “high want value” game, then people who own a console are far more willing to illegally download it, the percentage becomes roughly 75%.

The Tables and Pie Charts dispel a belief that piracy happens because games are way too expensive. This is wrong, bearing in mind that PC games are normally cheaper than Console versions and that they are a want and not a need. The evidence shows that for Call of Duty: Black Ops the PC sales are out stripped by 2404% for the Xbox, and by 1467% for the PS3. Then in the same light, the PC illegal downloaders outweigh the consoles by 78%, compared to 22%. It just doesn’t make any sense.

It makes perfect sense if you cast a big shiny light on piracy and say it for what it is! Illegal downloading and pirating software material is far greater and easier on the PC. That nobody wants to pay for a game, when the perceived value of a PC game has become nothing.

Unlike the Xbox and the PS3 that need modchips to play the games. And this is no longer completely true as the hacks are getting much simpler! Most people are unwilling to use these kind solutions as it normally requires some complex steps and if it goes wrong then warrantees are void. The PC is a different beast, as the user normally has a certain degree of computer skills. For them, rar files and an illegal ISO, is a park walk with a Segway!

 

So how many times was Call of Duty: Black OPS illegally downloaded on its first day? Well this is a hard question for a number of reasons.

Firstly, in the piracy world, things happen a little differently, the game was available 5 days before, on Thursday 4th November.

Secondly, the piracy market isn’t exactly like the conventional retail market.

Normally illegal torrents released on the official date do not peak straight away. They climb rapidly and then peak in 1-2 days; afterwards the tail off comes down slowly for about 1-2 weeks, were it reaches a saturation level. Normally at saturation level the Seeder graph line meets the Peer level, and it can stay like this, slowly decreasing for many months. Just through observation, torrents stay active for many years, depending on the popularity of the game. Black OPs downloading peak didn’t happen until Friday 12th and Saturday 13th of November 2010. Below is an example of the time line for one illegal torrent for the PC game Mafia 2.

 

So counting all the illegal downloads up to 1 day of the official release date across 7 illegal torrents for Call of Duty: Black OPS. We have a total illegal download count of 592,736, this is more than twice the PC sale estimate.

 

If we count the Seed and Peers of all the torrents, to when it peaks on Sunday 14th, from when it first appears on Thursday 4th. The illegal downloads figure dramatically rises to 1,817,990. From our experiments, most illegal downloaders don’t anticipate a release, but as soon as they hear of it, say a TV advert, then they join the P2P network.

However the Torrent Watch experiment was not designed to find the specific illegal downloads on any particular day. It was designed to say over the period of 6 month the average estimated loss, which we say is 10%, of a game would be roughly… this much. In this case over a period of 6 months there would be an estimated figure of 26,713 downloads a day. This comes to €120,181 per day, which is 26,713 x €44.99 x 10%. So if you imagine this loss over 6 months, being 182.5 days, you come to a rough amount of €21,933,032.

This is how we arrived at this figure of 26,713 downloads per day for Call of Duty: Black OPs. Torrent watch looks at the aggregate Seed and Peers 4 times a day. This gives us two curves per torrent, showing the numbers currently downloading from the illegal market. To turn this into an illegal download figure we estimated the rough time it takes to download 7 GB. But this depends on a number of factors like network speed, if people are sharing, the users connection speed and so on. So we generalised it, and said that if someone was to download 7 GB in 2 days (48 hours) they would need an average connection speed of 41 kb/s. In today’s internet connection terms is small, and seems like an average download speed!

 

The table shows the total recorded Seeders and Peers, and the number of days the tests was active for the particular torrent. You can see the total count of Seed and Peers for each of the Call of Duty: Black Ops torrents. From these numbers we calculate our recoup figure, taking the 10% as the minimum, to see what the return could be!

I suppose it really depends on the popularity you place on the PC platform, as 3-5% worldwide market share never felt right to me! While I don’t think it’s in the same bracket as the PS3 or even the Xbox, I would like to believe that the actual share is much higher. There is no bases for saying this, but if we look at the gradient of the Xbox to the PS3 which is 0.61. By extending this gradient for the PC it gives a unit count of 1.5 million, a total sale of roughly €67 million, and a recalculated market share of 18%.

 

But as I have said; other than a straight gradient through the Xbox and the PS3 there is no proof for this. However on a subjective look, my own personal belief, it does feel more in line with the total sales. But I guess we shall never know? But WarFace will struggle to find out one day!

 

As for records, this is sure to be the most illegal download of this year. Torrentfreak releases those figures around the 27th December. My predictions for games in this year’s top 10 will be in this order Call of Duty: Black OPS, Mafia 2, Fallout New Vegas, Medal of Honor, Darksiders, PES 2011, and StarCraft 2: Wings of liberty.  As for the number of illegal downloads, I am guessing it will be a whopper of a number at around 6-7 million illegal downloads.

The more worrying fact in all of this is the constant rise of illegal downloading. In 2008 the top most illegally downloaded was 1.7 million (Spore), last year 2009 it was 4.1 million (Modern Warfare 2), and if this year is as I suspect! Then it paints a bad picture for the PC Platform, and a very shaky one for the future of PC gaming!

 

 Well as a publisher I’d have to ask myself why bother releasing a game for the PC at all?

Why don’t I just give it away for free…?

 

At least for that PC game the piracy level would be 0%, and that would be another record!

As a PC man, this is hard for me to say, so listen carefully as I shall say it only once.

“Consoles might be a more popular gaming rig!”

Oh… I think I am going to be sick…

Well it’s true, while there are many benefits of all platforms, the PC has always been highly adaptable and versatile. It is even possible to use Wii remotes with a PC! But of course the main benefit is that a PC is graphically better in all respects, with the worst problem being the cost and complex nature of the machine.

But as a “sit down in your living room and help you relax”, you have to admit, Consoles win every time.  There is nothing better for many a hard worker around the world to come home. Switch on the Box, and the Console and start playing. Which would mean that consoles would be far more popular, right?

Some of the claims I hear from Pro-Pirates is that PC games are rubbish, they have no lasting content, and aren’t worthy of being bought. Gaming consoles are far more popular, but is piracy levels greater than the PC? No, deep down we all know that piracy is greater on the PC because it’s easier, and because it’s easier people pirate more!

What really amazes me about this kind of quote, that “PC Games are rubbish!” People don’t seem to understand that most games are released across the platforms. So if a game that does well in sales, then it can’t mean that the game is rubbish, as it will be the same content across the platform board. More often than not “rubbish” games do exceptionally well in console sales and exceptionally well in PC piracy.

This leads me to believe that pirates are lying! This is just an excuse, so pirates can justify not having to pay for a game. Games are expensive, and no one likes buying a product, and having the feeling they have just been ripped off. But how come we can understand that compensation fraud is driving up the costs of insurance, but not piracy driving up the costs of games. It’s killing the PC industry; just not kid yourself into believing otherwise!

There are some Good Games, Bad Games and Downright Ugly ones too; the platform has nothing to do with the quality. Actually the quality should affect the consoles versions even more, because you can always patch a PC game. A console game is much harder, unless you hold off, as the recently released Fallout: New Vegas stands testament to!

Watch this it’s very funny and scary (PC Version): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToKIkw3LIoQ

On a PC game this can be patched and downloaded easily and quickly, as in the case for this Steam version.

One of the best was to judge piracy level is to look at the game releases on the PC and Console Gaming rigs. For the Consoles we have the Xbox 360, the PS3 (PlayStation), The Wii, PS2, and Hand Held Devises such as the PSP (PlayStation Portable). These are just to name a few, but in this test I have only looked for the main three XBox, PS3, and PC.

I have used a torrent search engine, because it makes life so much easier, and then searched for games that stretched the platform divide. The torrent search engine provides a static count of the Seed and Peers. I took those results and then divided up the torrent by the platform, either PC or Console, and counted the total seed and peers.

Image of the search for Call of Duty: Black OPS 

If we look at the table of all the torrent results we find some astounding results. We have all assumed that piracy for the PC was greater than the Console, but to find the huge gap between each level is shocking. 

The last two columns show the percentage increase between the Console and PC. So for Call of Duty Black OPS, you can see an increase of 146% (Seed) and 452% (Peer). As a ratio that would be nearly 1.5 and 4.5 greater than the console. Now consider the average illegal PC game will have 18 times more seeders and 20 times more peers than its console counterpart. 

The pie charts show the Console as red, the seed being dark read and the peers being light red, while the PC being in blue. Each individual game title shows a clear majority of blue compared to red sections.

But it is also worthy of note that of all the games displayed, there is a clear two tier piracy level. On the one hand you can see the 6 of the games clearly show a console minority of under 10%. While 3 games show a clear console minority of around 25%.

 

This indicates that the 3 games (Call of Duty: Black OPS, Star Wars: Force Unleashed 2, and PES2011) are highly anticipated games. This allows you to draw a number of conclusions!

Either    (1) The PC platform is far more popular than Consoles!

Or           (2) That people really don’t want to pay for games, and the PC is the machine for the Job!

If you’d like to download the data sheet, that has all the names of the torrents and their counts, you can do so here.  (http://www.warfaceaps.com/files/PCvsConsole Data Sheet.pdf)

What should be taken away from this?

I think it is a good idea to note, from this experiment at least, it suggests there are two types of games. The ones that do well and the ones that do not, platform and cost does not decide. Of course there is probably a sliding scale of games ratings. But unpopular games don’t get pirated more, in fact, as suspected the more popular games are, funnily enough, pirated more.

But what is clearly stated here is that piracy on the PC is far greater than the Console. The lowest percentage being 72%, this shows a serious problem with releasing games on the PC. If you owned a gaming company, producing something that you worked hard on, no matter if it was rubbish. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that there is an awful gamble when it comes to the PC platform.

I know it’s probably not true, but I’d like to think that the PC catapulted gaming into the main stream. If I am honest, piracy probably had something to do with the widespread gaming situation we have today. But if I take that one step further, I believe that piracy will also have a hand in undoing all the great work it started.

A Great Shame!

The teacher stands before the class. “Children, today we are going to answer the question of piracy?”

 The little boys and girls, all beaded eyed and fixed on the teachers professional authority, are hanging on every word.

 “Now hands up who here is a pirate?”

 A number of hands fill the air! And the teacher begins tipping the air with the edge of her pencil as she begins to count the hands held high.

 “Well done, hands down, now who here was a pirate last year?”

 Again the hands flood the air, the teacher begins counting again.

If only it was that easy! And you are under no obligation to raise your hand, but the chances are that everyone has tried it at least once. Even if they haven’t downloaded, they probably have borrowed from a friend. And why not? Sharing is one of human’s most profound abilities, and yet at times we confuse piracy with sharing. But it’s not; it is more like stealing!

 But software piracy or illegal downloading is an oddity. While all the uploaders get all the credit, publishers don’t seem to get anything in return. It is normally here when pro-pirates jump in stating something along the line of “money grabbing”. But do we say this because it is easier to steal from someone who has so much?

 Yes Publishers make a profit, and do well, but doing better means more titles for the gamer. If I lend ten friends a 1 dollar each, and only three pay me back. Next time I can only lend three new friends a dollar, because I have no more. And that simply is what is happening to the Gaming industry. Piracy is a problem and because of the shortfall in returns publishers are taking fewer risks.

 Ultimately it’s the gamer that suffers, whether he be a pirate or land lubber!

So is Piracy growing…? That is a real tough question, because not everyone would put up their hand! And that’s not a criticism, that’s smart! Another thing that WarFace wants to address, suing people is the biggest waste of energy since an air-conditioned room full of servers! We don’t want to punish pirates or illegal downloaders; we want to encourage sharing, with publishers too!

 However, I believe piracy is not only growing, but it is flourishing. Unfortunately torrents and file sharing is something that can be picked up real easy. With little information, people can install the software and start looking for files that they want to download. The list is endless, and fairly easy to find.

Analytical Essay # 61832 :: Piracy in the Video Game MarketAn analysis of the issue of piracy in the video game market.

Written in 2004; 899 words; 3 sources; MLA; $ 31.95

http://www.academon.com/Analytical-Essay-Piracy-in-the-Video-Game-Market/61832

 From the Paper:

“Sales of counterfeit video games are increasing worldwide. In 2003, video game executives joined a coalition of movie, software and music companies to appeal for help from the United States government, citing that they had lost a combined $20 billion due to piracy in 2002 (Kent, 2003). Video game piracy “is more than a $1 billion industry,” according to Douglas Lowenstein, president of the Interactive Digital Software Association, the trade organization that represents the games industry (Kent, 2003). “It is well over $2 billion worldwide if you include all piracy, which would include PC games.””

Global Software Piracy Study “Sixth Annual BSA and IDC Global Software Piracy Study”http://global.bsa.org/globalpiracy2008/index.html

 Working together, governments, software companies, and BSA are making progress in stopping the illegal theft and use of PC software products. But piracy remains a serious problem in all countries. The key findings of this study are:

 Piracy down in many nations: The rate of personal computer (PC) software piracy dropped in 2008 in about half (57) of the 110 countries studied, remained the same in about a third (36), and rose in just 16.

 Piracy up on a global basis: However, the worldwide PC software piracy rate rose for the second year in a row, from 38 percent to 41 percent, largely because PC shipments grew fastest in high-piracy countries such as China and India.

 Dollar losses up: The retail value of unlicensed software — representing revenue “losses” to software companies — broke the $50 billion level for the first time in 2008. Worldwide losses grew by 11 percent to $53 billion. Excluding the effect of exchange rates, losses grew by 5 percent to $50.2 billion.

PC Game Piracy Examined, [Page 4] The Scale of Piracyhttp://www.tweakguides.com/Piracy_4.html

 Piracy as a Proportion of Total Internet Usage

 While the sites which provide links to pirated material are at the top of the web popularity list, there’s evidence that Peer to Peer (P2P) traffic in particular is monstrously high as a proportion of total Internet traffic. This Report from Multimedia Intelligence shows that at present, P2P traffic makes up approximately 44% of all consumer Internet traffic globally (33.6% in North America). Similarly, this data from Ipoque also points to P2P traffic accounting for a large proportion of all Internet traffic, as much as 54% in places like Southern Europe. Both data sources point out that the vast majority of P2P data currently being shared is, as you’d expect, pirated material, with 70% of it being audio and video files (i.e. songs and movies). The data paints a fairly solid picture of the Internet being absolutely saturated with pirated material, where up to half of all Internet traffic can be composed of illegally shared files at any time. 

Piracy a growing concern in B.C.By The Vancouver Sun December 15, 2007

http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/business/story.html?id=cef1eaca-c64e-464b-b736-1539643df863

 “It’s a difficulty within our industry,” said Daniel Brady, general manager of Burnaby-based Blue Castle Games, which makes games for five different platforms. “Piracy is more prevalent in the PC games, and there is a certain degree of protection in consul games. But as consoles are around for a while, people figure the machines out and piracy really takes off.”

 anielle Parr, executive director of Toronto-based Entertainment Softwear Association of Canada, said video game piracy is a growing problem, costing North American companies $3 billion globally. Here at home, Canadians are worse than their American cousins when it comes to waving the skull-and-crossbones flag. A recent ESAC survey of gamers reported 17 per cent of Americans admitted to owning a pirated video game, while exactly double that number, 34 per cent, of Canadians confessed.

 I recently found that BSA did admit to some errors! But what they have done is to take a broad guess as to the illegal costs, and assumed that every pirate unit is one direct sale. This has led to much criticism, partly because many court rulings have been based on it.

While I can understand the pirates and their banner of “One illegal download is not one Direct Sale!” This is now beginning, to pain the ears more than a child’s cry! I can also understand that the BSA only stated that the potential loss, because they wanted to show the market size of piracy. Good intentions landed them in hell.

 
 

 At the end of the year TorrentFreak releases a top 10 chart of the most illegally downloaded. These are the top 10 charts of 2008 and the top 5 charts of 2009. From watching the illegal torrents ourselves, I don’t believe that they watched every illegal torrent. But I do believe they have put some work into it and that it has a strong creditability.

What should be taken from this is not the number of times a game was actually downloaded. But if you look at the download in position one, for both 2008 and 2009, what is the difference? By looking at the top 5 positions, and calculating the increase, you find some startling conclusions. 

Spot Number 2008 2009 Increase of
1 1,700,000 4,100,000 241%
2 1,070,000 3,200,000 299%
3 940,000 2,350,000 250%
4 860,000 2,100,000 244%
5 830,000 1,850,000 223%

 The average difference between all the number spot is an increase of 251. This backs up the claim that piracy is growing, and will be very interesting to see what 2010 holds. Results should be out at the end of December this year.

 These figures show a more than double in the number of downloads for each of the top 5. I find it hard to believe that 2009 had much better games that people wanted and didn’t want to pay for. I can more likely believe that people have found downloading games very easy. This would explain the nearly 250% increase in piracy across the board. 

PC Games 14% of 2007 Retail Games Sales; World of Warcraft and Sims Top PC Sales Chartsby Aaron Linde Jan 24, 2008 5:16pm CST

http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/50939

 Data from the sales-tracking firm NPD reveals that retailers sold 267.8 million games in 2007, 36.4 million of which were PC titles. Console games brought in $6.6 billion, selling 153.9 million units total, while portable software hauled a record $2 billion in revenue with 77.5 million units sold. 

1 World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade 2.25 million
2 World of Warcraft 914,000
3 The Sims 2 Seasons Expansion Pack 433,000
4 Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare 383,000
5 Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars 343,000
6 Sim City 4 Deluxe 284,000
7 The Sims 2 281,000
8 The Sims 2 Bon Voyage Expansion Pack 271,000
9 Age of Empires III 259,000
10 The Sims 2 Pets Expansion Pack 236,000

 

 Now if you take into account the sales figure of 2007, which related to the download figures ending 2008 by torrentfreak. When you look at these figures two things really stand out.

 Firstly the top 2 figures are games that are not pirated. The problem with pirating the top 2 games is that they require a serial key, which you have to log on to a server with. The Game Company can ban serial keys if people distribute them, therefore kicking them out. This game is an online game, which means that it is very hard to circumvent. Therefore you can see the figures for these are well above the figures for any of the other games, which are easily cracked.

 The second is the huge gap left between the sales figure and the download figures. While I only have three “download” figures for the PC game sales. What you can see here is the downloaded figure is far greater than the purchases. 

  Game Sales Illegal Downloads
1 World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade 2.25 million  
2 World of Warcraft 914,000  
3 The Sims 2 Seasons Expansion Pack 433,000  
4 Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare 383,000 830,000
5 Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars 343,000 860,000
6 Sim City 4 Deluxe 284,000  
7 The Sims 2 281,000 1,150,000
8 The Sims 2 Bon Voyage Expansion Pack 271,000  
9 Age of Empires III 259,000  
10 The Sims 2 Pets Expansion Pack 236,000  

 As you can see from the results it suggests that Piracy for PC Games is rising, and at least twice as much as sales. Please note that I have used the word “suggest”, I would like to have a bucket of statistics before I add “heavily”. This also points out the glaring hole in the piracy issue. Not only is there a complete lack of people taking measurements of the piracy world, but even on the business side there seems to be a refusal of releasing measurements.

Pirates have the perfect right to claim that it is not a problem or that sales losses are made up and over exaggerated. Because when Publishers claim something with no facts to back it up, how else are you to convince them? This being said, what little evidence there is, only supports Publishers, Pirates need to stop pretending and hiding behind the childish excuses that hold no water.

There is always that moment of “strange silence” in the cinema. You know when they tell you it’s illegal to use a camera or recording device. Making you feel like a criminal, you even glance around and wonder if anyone is doing it or more importantly if someone suspects you are!

What is the likelihood of seeing someone trying to record a movie in the cinema?

If you did see someone, with a real long trench coat and a big bulge in the front, what would you do?

  • Would you think pirate or unibomber?
  • Stand up and question him?
  • Report him to the cinema attendants?
  • Leave him alone and the get the hell out of there!!!

 

The thing is, no one really knows how big the piracy problem is and everyone is afraid to ask. Some people even think that statistics are made up or even over exaggerated! TorrentFreak.com releases the most downloaded torrents for each year, all of them illegal. But I have never seen the original results these statistics come from, not saying that they are made up. What I am saying is we need better measurements, to know where results have come from.

In fact combating Piracy is a big problem because it is too secretive. Even the business and anti-piracy organisations are secretive about their statistics. Of course pirates are very happy with this situation because having no data immediately undermines the results. Plus Pirates with good reason don’t loudly announce any illegal activities. But you can’t fight this problem unless you know what you are dealing with! It almost becomes a catch 22 situation. You need the results to fight piracy, but piracy is secretive so there are no results!

I am a big fan of the PC platform and it’s only now I realise that Piracy is destroying it. Having been exposed to a lot of piracy, I even personally sided with the pirate thought process. It seemed so obvious that Piracy would not directly mean one sale. Who could argue with that!? However all these excuses, was not the question I should be asking, what I should have asked is: How many sales is piracy taking away!

All too often we are justifying the means, and not addressing the cause. So with that in mind, it is still question I cannot answer myself, but WarFace is setting out to find out! For the past month, WarFace has been watching the legal torrents of PC Games. We have included some popular games from the end of 2009 and the titles from 2010. The reason is so we can roughly calculate the number of losses, and more importantly the recoup sales that could be made.

You can see the titles that are being watched: http://www.warfaceaps.com/titles.php

The chart for all the illegal downloads: http://www.warfaceaps.com/amline.php?size=med

With the results, we have estimated recoup values: www.warfaceaps.com/files/TorrentResults-estimatedsales.pdf

If you look at the results on pages 2 and 3 (of TorrentResults-estimatedsales.pdf) you can see the estimated recoup in sales from the current piracy market. I have supplied three percentages, 10, 60, and 90. Now I am not saying that any particular figure is right, but what I am saying is look at the numbers these figures produce.

First I have arranged the percentages into three name categories. These percentages coincide with the side of the fence you lie with. If you are Pro pirate then you are more likely to believe that only 10% of all illegal downloads would end in a sale. Conservative has a recoup value of 60%, and Pro-Publisher is a recoup sales of 90% from the piracy market.

  Pro-Pirate Conservative Pro-Publisher
34.99 € 5,262 € 31,573 € 47,360
44.99 € 6,766 € 40,597 € 60,895

 

From this table you can see the estimated losses per day. So if we take the lowest possible value, a Pro-Pirate opinion, for a €34.99 game. We can make some calculations as to the recoup value from piracy sales. So for the shelf life of a PC game, roughly 6 months (182 Days, we’ll forget about the half day!), this gives us a recoup value of €957,684.

Oh an in this case, if you are wondering what the opposite end of this 10% recoup. The 90% that doesn’t generate sales is approximately €8,619,156. (I am not stating that this is a loss figure!) But it is hard to dismiss, that over 6 months, the average recoup could be just under a million per game.

These figures change as the results are updated which you can download here:  (Located in the Excel spreadsheet, under the last two tabs “Sum Up” and “Sum Up – Calc”.) www.warfaceaps.com/files/TorrentResults.xls

You can also edit the figures in the control tables, in the cells that are highlighted, and use figures that you believe are more accurate, I think you’ll be amaze at the number you get out at the end!

For those that are going to point loop holes in this: To them I say, remember not to be too hung up on the specific numbers, and I encourage active discussion. I might not always be right, but please point it out politely!

First off I have to address that these numbers are all based on the illegal torrents that are currently being downloaded. This gives me a bases in the number that I would expect across the board for PC games, for downloads per day and the cost associated.

Secondly the recoup figures are chosen for a reason, not because I think that’s what it should be. But for easy calculations, 10 and 90 make 100, so people can then turn away and quickly do their own sums, and know the potential losses. For example, some pirates out there might believe the recoup value is 20%, well that’s double, just over €10k per day, per game. And the Conservative estimate was chosen to show the kind of revenues that WarFace claims it will make back.

Some of the top PC game publishers release 10-15 PC games per year, start adding up the figures and you can see they are missing out on huge revenues. I believe “the want” value is the major driving factor for its sales, which sounds really stupid to state the obvious. But this want will also drive the illegal downloads market too, which in turns drives the number of recoup sales we can make from it.

What do illegal torrents and file sharing of PC Games look like?

“A whole lot of money!”

The following extract is from a Porn Director who was so fed up with his work being illegally downloaded that he began his own pay back campaign. Only nobody told him that this would make him look silly and that the tactic was considered a legal form of blackmail. Something businesses don’t want to advertise!

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/09/amounts-to-blackmail-inside-a-p2p-settlement-letter-factory.ars/

When I first read this I thought it was hilarious, long and drawn out at times. But what really made the thread extra sweet was the icing of excuses. You know when someone has been caught out, and the excuse seems totally logical to them, but common sense tells you that it’s a bit of a tall tale.

Ok, very few of them here are silly, but the serious ones, are also laughable but for an entirely different reason. The excuses are so smack in the face honest, it leaves the people who have had their works stolen with no recourse. They could pursue, but any victory would be picric, and probably end up costing way too much in company image!

All the parts in red are extracted from Page 2

But the effects of this operation on those accused of infringement are remarkable. The e-mail trove is stuffed with anguished pleas like this:

I was in total shock after receiving the letter I received from you today as explained in the telephone conversation. I will say that I was not the person responsible for this infringement. The only person who it could have been would be my son who is [name redacted]. I would never entertain the idea of downloading such a thing—in fact I do not even know how to download any type of software. I only use the internet for Ebay and emails. I also go on dating sites and facebook. This is where my knowledge of computers stops. I do not understand what P2P is….

At the time of the download, to my knowledge my son was visiting my home. I have no idea what he was looking at on my computer. I must add that I do not tolerate any such pornographic material. This letter has upset me greatly and I have spoken to my ex husband who also called yourself with regard to this matter.

There is a lot of sympathy in this sort of letter; are parents suppose to know how computers work? Are they supposed to monitor their network? In the eyes of the law, the answer is clear cut, but in these cases, there is a large loop hole!

Most of the notices seem to have gone to parents, as one would expect from a program targeting ISP account holders. But many of the parents seem baffled:

I have today received a legal notification from you that a pornographic film was downloaded from my internet connection in October 2009.I immediately phoned your contact number and was told to put my comments in writing. I am obviously shocked both at this alleged illegal activity and the fact that the title appears to be of an offensive nature. I can confirm that i have no knowledge of this download being carried out at my home address. I have checked my computer and my sons computer for any reference to this file (using windows search function) and have found no trace.I have spoken to my two sons about downloads (They are 8 and 12) but obviously not about the nature of this file and to be honest they know even less than me. My oldest child has used i tunes and downloaded games from a site called friv.com but these claim to be free. Is this true? or will it also result in copyright issues ?

This letter suggests that his wifi network was unencrypted, and what the next sentences are based on. That someone, who may not be technically minded, may not have secured their network and left it opened for everyone to access. Many people would have no qualms about accessing someone else’s network and using their internet, this happens more than some might care to imagine. But still leaves the payee of the bill in charge, and ultimately responsible!

Even if someone has knowledge of computers, and secured their network, it might not be enough. It has been known for some time that WEP encryption can be bypassed in a few minutes. This huge security flaw still remains the default method of encryption for routers. The IT industry may be a clever domain, but sometimes it does make some silly mistakes.

Others are offended at the titles they are accused of sharing:

I am no prude and can see what type of material something entitled Granny F— is. I am the father of 5 children, 3 of these under the age of 7, and to suggest i would have such material on a computer is what i find offensive. May i also add that i am very anti pornography, having been abused as a child by someone who would use porn films before abusing me .this is why i am totally anti porn.

And this is the fundamental problem, that companies that have had their works stolen, don’t know who exactly has downloaded it. The last stop is the person who pays the bill for the internet connection. This looks like another case of someone entering the network illegally, but again who is at fault. Would a company dare pursue this case any further and try to get compensation? I would hope not!

Then come the “innocent infringers,” though some of these explanations can feel a bit… strained.

on the date 16-11-2009 at 16.35 i was browsing the internet namely bt junkie ,without going into a long story i accidentely pressed the download button for the copyright protected file british granny f— 5@6 which then opened my bittorrent client on my pc which the torrent is sent to with the forementioned file is attached. It normally takes a few minutes for the file to start downloading and before it did i realised what i had done and canceled the file preventing any copyright infringement from taking place. just by starting the download process would have been enough to leave my ip address listed. I hereby appologise for any inconvienience i have caused yourself or your client and can swear at no time was any part of the forementioned copyright protected file downloaded onto my pc or shared with anyone else.

(I mean, haven’t we all, at one time or another, accidentally been browsing BitTorrent sites and accidentally clicked on a film called Granny F—?)

Even if a company did pursue this person, by alerting them with a letter, it gives them the ability to cover their tracks. I could easily deny that I have downloaded, and spend the next day wiping the drives of my computer. I would assume that someone who is clever enough to use P2P networks will also know of hard drive wiping tools. This could mean long legal bills for the companies with very little choices and even less proof!

Others took responsibility for their actions:

I am writing in response to the recent letter my father [name redacted] received on the 13.04.2010 based on the subject of infringement of copyright. I would firstly like to state that I am solely responsible for this and I [name redacted] take full responsibility. I have read through all the information that you have supplied and I understand how serious the matter is—since last year 2009 I have not downloaded any material as I understood how it was a bad thing to do and how it is killing out industry.

I do take responsibility for this issue and I would very much like to ask if the required payment of £495 could somehow possibly be reduced. The reason i am asking this is because I am currently a student and money is a big factor and getting by generally is a hard thing to do.

Even when the companies do win, it seems almost cruel and again a picric victory! There is a very genuine quality about this letter, which raises the next question, are the companies going to make him pay? He clearly doesn’t have the funds, is sorry about it, and completely in the wrong, but where does that leave the situation?

Force him to pay, get the money with a negative image on the company’s reputation! Or let him go, and people find out that companies are unwilling to sue, seen as a soft touch and safe to download illegal material! It’s a no win situation!

But personally I am not surprised; it was never a win situation in the first place. Will the lads from The RIAA and the MPAA even realise this? I don’t think so, they are so focused on the bone, they fail to realise their very names produce bile in the mouth!

Indeed, many of the guilty appear to be kids. Some parents figured it out:

I would also like to also say that it was not my sons intention to fileshare this music and was unaware of how file sharing works as am I—I appreciate that this is no excuse but ask you to bear this in mind. As mentioned in previous correspondence from myself I am writing to again explain that my financial circumstances make it impossible for me to pay £400 in one go or even at £40 per month I am in extreme financial hardship with mounting debts and do not have any spare money – if you were to take this to court I would be unable to even pay the basic utility bills or even the necessary food bills.

The other thing about these charges is the cost. What concerns me the most is the high figures that are being asked? Normally a movie, be it blue or main stream, would retail at around £20, so where did they get the £400 or £495 from?

I know it’s probably a fine and calculating the number of people that have possibly viewed the material. But still, if they can’t even exactly identify the culprit, then how do they know how much to charge?

If there’s one great theme running through these letters, it’s the poverty of the respondents. One is a “a single mum living of state benefits who cannot afford to pay any kind of money my daughter is very sorry for any problems caused,” while another lives “in the hold of my bank overdraft my money is never my own. We at present find it very hard to make ends meet, at the moment I am trying to amass funds to pay our utility bills for this month and can not see any change in the near future.” Students plead hardship due to school fees; many people claim to be unemployed.

But perhaps most creative are the letters that make no attempt at argument. These are sheer vitriol. One stands out among the rest:

Go f— your mum you stupid pakistani black jew. You zimbabwean immigrant.

So listen up fat f—, don’t send me another letter. If you do send me another f—ing letter, I will rape your mum against the wall and I will blow up your house and kill you all in a terrorist attack.

In addition, I want a £3500 cheque written to me for the inconvinience [sic] you have caused me.

*If you do not reply to this email with a confirmation that you will pay me, I will hunt you down and stab you in the back and blow your d— up.*

Creative, in an unhinged way. If you had thoughts about going into P2P litigation, consider the sheer migraine-inducingness of getting such messages on a daily basis. Indeed, after reading the correspondence, it’s not hard to see why one paralegal who worked at ACS Law during the summer of 2010 told a friend there was “no chance in hell” she would go back.

(My apologies for repeating the derogatory terms, some people will never learn ??)

As funny as the last letter is, it also leaves you with an unnerving feeling.  The sad fact is that we are all capitalist at heart; all the good things come from hard work, and the bad things from enjoying it too much.

Publishers just want to make lots of money, and because they do, everyone around them gains some benefit. The businesses which support them and the thousands of employees who are able to get on with their lives and enjoy it. But as soon as you take the money out of it. Things go wrong, the business has to migrate into other areas or reduce its size and costs.

It comes down to this point, if all the money is leaking out to piracy; then there is no point to being in business.

While you may feel that Publisher are making too much money. The stark reality for us PC Gamers is that releases are drying up or come with plenty of DRM strings. Tom Clancy’s HAWX2 has been out for some time now, apart for the PC, which will be released sometime this month (October 2010). I have been informed by GameStop that it will be “probably the 15th” (European Release date).

Gamers do have a choice…

Pretend nothing is happening!

Keep illegally downloading!

Do something about!

Wait for the change!

You will have to pick one, of that I am certain!

It is always with a great hesitancy that I publish any results that prove something about the PC. It is so hard to get any kind of statistics on the subject, and even harder to know if it’s from a trustworthy source. In this case publisher companies don’t often release results for PC game sales. What they tend to do is to release a combine sale figure, if they do it at all. A combine result of consoles and PC makes it difficult to know how well/badly the PC games are doing in the fight against piracy!

Mass Effect 2 Week One Sales Top 2 MillionBioware’s sci-fi sequel comes out swinging during its launch week.

By Dustin Quillen, 01/29/2010

http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3177757

Wondering how Mass Effect 2 is selling just three days out from its January 26 release date? If EA’s internal figures are to be believed, things are going just fine over at Bioware. The publisher announced that Commander Shepard’s spacefaring sequel has moved over 2 million copies this week.

BioShock 2 Ships 3 Million, GTA IV Sales Top 15 Millionhttp://www.n4g.com/pc/News-485636.aspx

Take-Two announced new sales figures today during its fiscal 2010 first quarter results. The company’s first major title in 2010, BioShock 2, has shipped 3 million copies.

 

Assassin’s Creed II sales soar over 6 million January 14, 2010 in News

http://www.gamegrep.com/news/28696-assassins_creed_ii_sales_soar_over_6_million/

Despite being threatened by several other titles back in Novemeber 2009, Ubisoft today confirmed that Assassin’s Creed II has surpassed 6 million units sold.

 

I spent many days searching the internet for news articles, reports, and whitepapers. I was lucky to come across the next two pieces. While these are not definitive by any means they do go a long way in proving trends.

PC Games 14% of 2007 Retail Games Sales; World of Warcraft and Sims Top PC Sales Chartsby Aaron Linde Jan 24, 2008 5:16pm CST

http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/50939

Data from the sales-tracking firm NPD reveals that retailers sold 267.8 million games in 2007, 36.4 million of which were PC titles. Console games brought in $6.6 billion, selling 153.9 million units total, while portable software hauled a record $2 billion in revenue with 77.5 million units sold.

1 World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade 2.25 million
2 World of Warcraft 914,000
3 The Sims 2 Seasons Expansion Pack 433,000
4 Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare 383,000
5 Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars 343,000
6 Sim City 4 Deluxe 284,000
7 The Sims 2 281,000
8 The Sims 2 Bon Voyage Expansion Pack 271,000
9 Age of Empires III 259,000
10 The Sims 2 Pets Expansion Pack 236,000

 Table Edited

NPD: Record Year for Industry Totals $17.94 Billion; Halo 3, Nintendo Consoles Dominateby Nick Breckon Jan 17, 2008 7:01pm

http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/50809

The top ten software titles follow, listed in order of units sold:

1 Halo 3                                                                 X360 4.82 million
2 Wii Play with Wii Remote                           Wii 4.12 million
3 Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare              X360 3.04 million
4 Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock             PS2 2.72 million
5 Super Mario Galaxy                                      Wii 2.52 million
6 Pokemon Diamond Version                      DS 2.48 million
7 Madden NFL 08                                              PS2 1.90 million
8 Guitar Hero II                                                  PS2 1.89 million
9 Assassin’s Creed                                            X360 1.87 million
10 Mario Party 8                                                  Wii 1.82 million

Table Edited  

 

Normally the Top 10 Charts will only tell you what games are the current favourites. Revealing the position they hold, what their previous position was, but no sales figures or units. What is so good about these two charts are the clear differences, though again I state clearly that this is by far definitive, and only allows us to draw some generalisations!

If you look at the figures between the two tables, one thing is very clear; that Console sales outstrip PC game sales many times over. The differences are huge, so huge there has to be a good reason for this. As you can see the largest percentage increase is 873%, and the average is 655%. So straight away I am more likely to sell 6 times more on the console than the PC.

Rank PC Retail Sales Console Sales Percentage increase!
1 2,250,000 4,820,000 214%
2 914,000 4,120,000 451%
3 433,000 3,040,000 702%
4 383,000 2,720,000 710%
5 343,000 2,520,000 735%
6 284,000 2,480,000 873%
7 281,000 1,900,000 676%
8 271,000 1,890,000 697%
9 259,000 1,870,000 722%
10 236,000 1,820,000 771%

 

Now there are probably a number of reasons why people prefer to play games on the console. Some people prefer a big screen TV, and PC machine specifications can confuse a lot of people. But personally I believe the biggest reason why console sales are 6 times higher than PC, is because console games are harder to pirate.

The other note worthy thing about the PC table, the results are very gradual until they hit the top two spots, where the results suddenly start to double.

 

This isn’t a coincidence, and I believe it is because of the special nature of the top 2 games. World of Warcraft games are purely online server games, which means they have a pretty unique protection system. Anyone who disobeys the rules, yet alone tries to play the game illegally can be met with severe punishment, like being kicked off the server for good. So anyone caught with a duplicate serial key, a unique identifier, will lose their game and makes it almost impossible to pirate.

What does this say for the sales of PC games?

WarFace is setting to find this question out! While it will be almost impossible to rule out piracy, we are going to account for it. By taking results of both illegal downloaders and customers, we can find the ratio. WarFace will once and for all answer one of the biggest questions of the modern age!