Sales... Sales are without a doubt the lifeblood of the videogame industry. If a game "flops", it can cause entire studios to shut down. With certain Torrent sites now offering the big games within hours of launch... Games and studios are being hurt by piracy now, more than ever.
Torrent Freak recently figured out the biggest illegal downloads (2009) on the PC, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii. PS3 is obviously free of piracy, and has been since launch. The following is how they found out there numbers.
"The data for these lists is collected by TorrentFreak from several sources, including reports from all public BitTorrent trackers. All the data is carefully checked and possible inaccuracies are systematically corrected."
Now without a doubt, Modern Warfare 2 is the biggest entertainment launch in history. Selling a whopping 4.7 Million units in 24 hours in the US and UK alone earning revenue of $310 Million and the first 5 days on sale gaining a total of $550 Million. Modern Warfare 2 currently sits at over 13 Million units sold on consoles alone, so you would be very surprised to hear that the game has been illegally downloaded over 5 million times.
Yep, 5 Million. 4.1 Million of those come from the PC version of the game, and a big 970k come from the 360 version.
Other big titles on PC include The Sims 3, which was downloaded over 3 Million times. Prototype and Need for Speed: Shift were both downloaded over 2 Million times, and Street Fighter 4 was downloaded over 1.8 Million times. No matter how you look at it, those numbers are terrible for the industry as a whole.
As for the Xbox 360, it has seen a big increase in piracy lately, even prompting Microsoft to ban a whole bunch of consoles... So you wont be surprised by some of the following numbers. Modern Warfare 2 of course leads the bunch, with downloads of 970k. Street Fighter 4 and Prototype were both pirated over 800k times. DiRT 2 and UFC 2009 Undisputed were also pirated over 700k times. DiRT 2 actually has more illegal downloads then retail sales, very bad news for Codemasters.
Now Wii piracy, while not talked about as much as the piracy on PC or 360... Is pretty large. The following numbers were a pretty big surprise to me.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii has been illegally downloaded over 1.1 Million times. The biggest surprise though, for me though was between 2 games... One was Punch-Out!! Which has been downloaded 950k times, this is actually higher than the games total retail sales of 870k. The second game, is House of the Dead: Overkill, this game saw 860k downloads while the game at retail has seen only 480k sales. 2 big hits for Nintendo, and it shows an obvious problem of piracy on Wii.
The 2 other games to round out the "Top 5" on Wii were Wii Sports Resort and Mario Power Tennis, which were downloaded 920k times and 830k times.
I'm sure you will agree, these are some pretty shocking numbers... And these are only a fraction of the games being hurt by piracy, there are sure to be thousands more games, also posting big numbers.
Source - Torrent Freak