Does game downloading on P2P networks have a negative impact on sales?
If so, you'd never prove it by looking at the case of The Sims 3. A late May report by Bloomberg indicated that The Sims 3 had been leaked and downloaded 180,000 times between May 18 to May 21. At that rate the not-yet-released PC game was on pace to eclipse Spore's record as most downloaded.
Despite the piracy, the DRM-less Sims 3 is experiencing the best-selling PC launch in EA's long history of publishing games. Says who? EA. The publisher issued a press release yesterday trumpeting 1.4 million legit units sold during the game's first week of availability.
At $50 a pop, that's $70 million in sales. In a week. And yet industry types like EA's own Peter Moore still maintain that piracy is killing the PC games market and use that mantra to justify saddling consumers with unwanted DRM or worse, not releasing PC versions of popular games.