Crysis 2, the most pirated PC game of 2011

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Publisher: FilePlaza

Date added: 04 Jan 2012

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TorrentFreak has released its annual list of last year's most pirated PC games, which shows that pirates love their FPS.

No one can deny that last year was a great year for the gaming industry. Several highly-anticipated titles were released, new and exciting games were announced and even records were broken. Sadly for the developers, not all of the records were necessarily a good thing.

Among the many problems the industry is having nowadays (with angered customers over DRM protections and an increasing discontent growing in parallel with the amount of ridiculously tiny and pointless DLCs), piracy is surely in the top spot.

In spite of having developed (flawed) methods to overcome this problem, pirates always seem to find their way around them. That’s why, in 2011, games are still being downloaded illegally. And that’s why the guys over at TorrentFreak have come up with a list of last year’s most pirated games.

A very narrow distance

According to the numbers gathered by the site, the most pirated PC game of 2011 was Crysis 2. The follow-up to Crytek’s breakthrough title was awarded with the dubious honor after being illegally downloaded 3,920,000 times.

The runner up was Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, one of the biggest FPS in recent years. With a total of 3,650,000 downloads, COD:MW3 came very close to being the number one, something that would have surely happened if the game would have been released earlier (take into account that COD was launched in November while Crysis 2 was around since March).

The same thing can be said of Battlefield 3, yet another FPS that made into this list. With a total of 3,510,000 downloads and having been launched in October, this title was surely “fighting” for the top spot.

The top 5 of the most pirated PC games of 2011 is completed with FIFA 12 and Portal 2. The first game (the only one in this list that isn’t a FPS) followed the lead closely, with 3,390,000 illegal downloads in its four-months existence. Meanwhile, Valve’s latest hit closes the list with an impressive mark of 3,240,000 downloads.

Huge piracy figures

These numbers go beyond the mere exploration of which game was downloaded the most. They also come to show the immense illegal downloads’ volume, which can be counted well above the 12 million with this five games alone.

If we consider that these figures are just an approximation to the real deal (which is probably bigger) and taking into account that there are far more games appearing than those appearing on this list, we can be tempted to say that piracy is a millionaire loss for the developers and publishers.

However, the industry keeps going strong, as evidenced by the huge success of recent releases such as Star Wars: The Old Republic and even Modern Warfare 3 itself). It’s obvious that gamers are still paying for games and it’s even possible for someone to pirate a title just to test it and, in case he likes it, purchase it later.

Reading this numbers can be a tricky thing. We can’t begin to fathom piracy’s implications, reasons and overall impact, so judging it and passing it as a bad thing for the gaming industry might be a mistake. If there’s any lesson to be learned from this is that, no matter what protections developers are using, games are going to be pirated.

And, instead of punishing the real customers with restrictive protections and fragmented contents, companies should try to work out another way to lure people into buying their games.

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