True state of PC piracy revealed by Sports Interactive | PCGamesN

True state of PC piracy revealed by Sports Interactive

Football Manager

10.1m people have illegally downloaded Football Manager 2013 to date. That’s the brow-activating statistic quoted by Sports Interactive boss Miles Jacobson at the London Games Conference this year.

Sports Interactive have been able to track the numbers with a degree of unusual accuracy. When the game was cracked on May 12 this year, a quirk of the process meant the dev team were able to track the IP address of every player who downloaded it.

Of those 10.1m downloads, 3.2 came from China. Another 1.05m came from Turkey, and a further 781,785 from Portugal.

Italy followed close behind with 547,000 illegal copies downloaded throughout the country - and one, funnily enough, in the Vatican.

Intriguingly, 18% of those who downloaded the game illegally turned out to be real fans - playing the game five times or more.

Jacobson doesn’t subscribe to the peculiar industry theory that a pirated game equals a lost sale (“That would be ridiculous to think”). But based on a notable drop in Football Mananger 2013 activations over the summer, he estimated that piracy had cost Sports Interactive some 176,000 lost sales.

That’s not a number to be sneered at, even for developers as successful as SI. Those sales would have accounted for just 1.74% of illegal downloaders, but meant an extra $3.7m in revenue - which Jacobson says he would have spent on new hires.

Jacobson offered no solutions. “Crackers are going to crack and people will download,” he concluded. But he hoped the data would help publishers and developers understand that the problem of piracy is a real one.

Our Tim’s conversation with a developer about PC port delays would suggest they’re already listening. Should they be? What’s your take on this?

Thanks, MCV.

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Fraser Brown avatarunwanted avatarShriven avatararcain6 avatarThojorkill avatar
Fraser Brown Avatar
4 Years ago

The Pope loves Football Manager, but hates paying for things.

unwanted Avatar
4 Years ago

I believe this.

Shriven Avatar
4 Years ago

*Insert joke about the Vatican, Catholic Church and The new Youth Development System*

arcain6 Avatar
4 Years ago

this is just the same old bullshit propaganda story by the media industry.

The fact of the matter is, there is no reasonable way to accurately calculate how many people have a pirated copy of a piece of software or game. The only way to know this, is to search every directory of ever PC / CD / DVD in the world, and that simply isn't possible.

Yes, i agree piracy is rampant, But claims by these companies, and lobbyist groups are founded solely in fantasy.

There is no POSSIBLE way to know an exact number of pirated copies.

The main reason most people pirate, isn't to get " free stuff " but rather to keep themselves from spending money on the same garbage that's being mass produced.

The innovation isn't there anymore. With Movie studios re-producing flop films from the 60's, 70's, and 80's in an attempt to create revenue with little investment, and game developers creating short, uninteresting, flop games en-mass, it's no wonder people would rather download, than shell out hard earned cash for something that more than likely will turn out to be a regretful purchase.

So let us recap.

1) Game developers churn out massive amounts of crap games in an effort to quickly make revenue from what they KNOW is going to be a flop of a game. With little inventiveness, and less than standard quality game story, mechanics, or entertainment value. These games still turn a tidy profit, even with piracy rampant. Most of the loss due to piracy is from word of mouth. I.E. Friends telling others it's crap game, and not to waste the cash.

2) Software vendors follow suite with the gaming industry, producing, and marketing thousands of software packages with little to no expectation of repeat sales. These companies usually make as many sales as possible under a subsidiary company name, then when sales dry up, they shut the subsidiary down, and repeat the process. These " fly-by-night" software companies always make a profit, usually from sales, plus the added revenue derived from the tons of ad-ware, bloatware, toolbars, and extensions added into the installer.

3) Movie companies aren't exempt from this business model. They produce massive quantities of so called " direct to dvd " films. As well as create hype for new releases that inevitably flop at the box office. Again, mostly due to word of mouth, before the piracy train tags on and spreads the word faster that the film is a disaster.

Case in point. The latest Superman, or the junky Batman movies.

Lets not even get started with the constant re-releases of flop movies, or reiterations of films. Case in point, the 3 or 4 Spiderman movies. 1 decent success, followed by several failures.

5) Most importantly " pirates " Download to save themselves from wasting money on garbage products.

Thojorkill Avatar
4 Years ago

Says the guy who visits here frequently...