Archive for the ‘Top 10 Charts’ Category

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!

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.

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!