The Most Pirated Games in 2008

EA’s Spore has been illegally downloaded more times in 2008 than Crysis and Fallout 3 combined, according to estimates provided by TorrentFreak.

By sourcing download data via the popular peer-to-peer file sharing protocol, BitTorrent, the site has compiled a top-ten list of the most-pirated PC games of 2008. Will Wright’s ambitious evolve ‘em up rests at the summit of that list, having been illegally downloaded over 1,700,000 times.

By comparison, the most recently published calculation of legitimate Spore sales (made in late October during EA’s second-quarter financial posting) shows the game had sold around 2 million copies. Worse still for Spore developer Maxis is that the studio’s other distinguished piece, The Sims 2, comes second in the list with 1,150,000 copies downloaded.

Adding salt into EA’s manifestly spacious wound, the editors at TorentFreak claim that the vast number of illegit Spore downloads were “inflated due to the DRM that was put into the game.”

Meanwhile, following the announcement from Crytek president Cevat Yerli that the studio will no longer make PC-exclusive games due to “huge” levels of piracy, it comes as no surprise that the company’s flagship FPS Crysis makes it fourth onto the list, having been subjected to 940,000 illegal downloads.

Though perhaps more telling about such a list is what continues to be absent from it. Blizzard’s recent announcement that WoW had hit over 11 million subscribers, along with much theory that the MMO’s latest expansion Wrath of the Lich King will draw in another one million users, may just be enough evidence that a secure future for PC gaming will be an Orwellian one, with consistently-monitored online worlds and ongoing security verification.

Full list of estimates follow:

Spore (1,700,000)
The Sims 2 (1,150,000)
Assassins Creed (1,070,000)
Crysis (940,000)
Command & Conquer 3 (860,000)
Call of Duty 4 (830,000)
GTA San Andreas (740,000)
Fallout 3 (645,000)
Far Cry 2 (585,000)
Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 (470,000)

via EDGE

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