The Most Pirated Games of 2010

December 29, 2010 -

The most pirated game across all platforms in 2010 was Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops, according to data gathered by TorrentFreak. The data is based on the number of tracked downloads at various file-sharing sites. Black Ops was downloaded over 5.2 million times for PC (4.27 million) and Xbox 360 (930K), but data was not provided for the PS3 version of the game. The lion's share of downloads seemed to be focused on the PC, with games like Mass Effect 2, StarCraft II, Mafia II, and Battlefield Bad Company 2 the top targets for file sharers.

While Call of Duty: Black Ops was tops on the PC platform, Dante’s Inferno, Alan Wake, Red Dead Redemption, and Halo Reach edged out Activision's popular game on the Xbox 360.

On the Wii the most downloaded game was Super Mario Galaxy 2 with 1.470 million downloads, followed by Wii Party (1.220 million), Donkey Kong Country Returns (920K), and Kirby’s Epic Yarn (880K). Full list, as provided by TorrentFreak, below:

PC Games:
1 Call of Duty: Black Ops (4,270,000)
2 Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (3,960,000) 3 Mafia 2 (3,550,000)
4 Mass Effect 2 (3,240,000)
5 Starcraft II (3,120,000)

Wii Games:
1 Super Mario Galaxy 2 (1,470,000)
2 Wii Party (1,220,000)
3 Donkey Kong Country Returns (920,000)
4 Kirbys Epic Yarn (880,000)
5 Red Steel 2 (850,000)

Xbox 360 Games:
1 Dante’s Inferno (1,280,000)
2 Alan Wake (1,140,000)
3 Red Dead Redemption (1,060,000)
4 Halo Reach (990,000)
5 Call of Duty: Black Ops (930,000)


Comments

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2010

People who pirate software, and make/install mod chips, should be castrated.

Just my opinion :)

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2010

Just wanted to state that the console numbers are misleading. In some countries, there are more modded consoles than there are legit ones. The vast majority of console piracy in these countries takes place through vendors selling copied discs.

Also, not everyone who downloads a game is a pirate, so please, calm the hell down. I know many people who download games to try them. I, for one, am glad I downloaded Spore before I bought it. I was totally blown away by how bad that game was. Didn't deserve a penny. On the other hand, both Mount & Blade and Mass Effect I ended up purchasing when I had the funds to do so.

Oh, and say a 12 year old kid (who legally cannot hold a job and thus, has no source of income) wants a game and his parents can't afford it. Is it wrong for him to download a game? (and before you go "HURR YES" I understand it is illegal. That's not what I'm asking. I'm asking "is it wrong?")

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2010

"Oh, and say a 12 year old kid (who legally cannot hold a job and thus, has no source of income) wants a game and his parents can't afford it. Is it wrong for him to download a game?"

Absolutely and without question.  Not being able to afford something you want does not entitle you to take it.  Especially when we're talking about a leisure item like a video game.

"I know many people who download games to try them."

That doesn't make it okay either.  There are many legal ways to try games before you buy them.  Try one of those.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2010

Yes it is, because he has no right to a copy of the game, legally or ethically. Perhaps if he asked the copyright holder (developer/publisher) for a copy of the game, explaining that he and his parents cannot afford it, they might choose to give him a copy as an act of charity. Otherwise, he is obtaining something he has no right to. While it is true that he isn't hurting anyone, and I doubt he would be prosecuted for it, it is still wrong.

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2010

With numbers like that, it's clear to see why publishers are going nuts for restrictive anti-piracy measures. Even though it does little if anything to stop piracy, they still need to feel as though they have done something to combat huge figures such as these.

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2010

I would like to know if companies use DRM more to appease nervous shareholders than to realistically combat piracy.

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2010

Absolutely. Shareholders, board of directors, whoever, they see figures such as these and demand action (regardless of whether or not it will be effective).

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2010

"I would like to know if companies use DRM more to appease nervous shareholders than to realistically combat piracy."

I'm sure most developers, and even publishers, know that DRM is a cop-out.

Nothing is sacred, everything can be stolen, hacked, pirated, or whatever. Every single time a company has released some product they claim is "uncrackable" (whether it be a game, a disc type like Blu-Ray, or some other product) they have been proven completely, and utterly wrong.

Build something that is foolproof and they'll build a better fool.

-- Randi Tastix

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2010

Almost certainly.

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2010

Curious about the rubric.  I bought Mass Effect 2 and then grabbed a nodisc crack; would these statistics include my download as piracy, or are they only counting torrents that include the complete game?

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2010

They'd count you as piracy.

 

 - When you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.

- When you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2010

 Before all the people come in justifying their decision to pirate games- mostly by saying that they would never buy the games in the first place...

Just one statement:

Your intent to purchase or not purchase an item is irrelevant to the fact that you have taken/consumed a good without paying for it.

An example: I personally hate Grape Soda and would never buy it.  However, if I decide to steal a bottle from the store, my non-intent to purchase said soda would not change the fact that I stole it. No police officer or judge would let me get away with it on that excuse.

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2010

"I personally hate Grape Soda and would never buy it.  However, if I decide to steal a bottle from the store, my non-intent to purchase said soda would not change the fact that I stole it. No police officer or judge would let me get away with it on that excuse."

That is a huge error in logic. You assume that data that makes a game, is the same as a can of grape soda and that it is property. Physical property (e.g. a can of soda) is not the same a information (e.g. a game). The laws that apply to that grape soda do not apply to that game. Furthermore, the taking of the soda deprives the owner of their property. What has the game creator lost? Nothing, they still posses the original. You're trying to apply laws to something that cannot be applied to. Nobody has any property rights to data that makes a game, no matter how the bits are arranged. Ideas, data, and the intangible results of their execution completely contradict the concept of property. Thus, since such things cannot be held in exclusive property, the government applied rights to creators to choose whom may receive a copy of their works. It is a right of choice, not a right of property.

"If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of everyone, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density at any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property." - Thomas Jefferson

Even though Jefferson could never have imagined the state of communication as it is today, I'm certain he would agree that your assertion that copying a game is theft is a logical fallacy.

-Greevar

-Greevar

"Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2010

Whoops, didn't see your reply before I posted mine.

"Thus, since such things cannot be held in exclusive property, the government applied rights to creators to choose whom may receive a copy of their works. It is a right of choice, not a right of property."

Yes, that's the crux of the issue.  Making an illegal copy doesn't mean you've taken away an object; what you've taken away is someone's right to control copying and redistribution of it.

As I've said several times already, that doesn't make it legal and it doesn't make it okay.  It just makes it different.

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2010

And before all the people come in arguing about whether copyright infringement is theft...

Copyright infringement is legally distinct from theft, but matches common colloquial uses of the word.  And it's still illegal, even though it's not covered by the same laws as theft.

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2010

 Whatever terms you want to use, go for it.  

The bottom line: You got something that costs money for NOTHING.

As much as you want to justify it; whatever you choose to call it; the net result is the same.  It's not that difficult a thing to understand.  

I can break into your house and steal your TV- but it doesn't matter if I call it a "re-allocation" or a "expropriation".  The bottom line is I have a TV without paying for it.

If you want to use the whole "I'm not depleting the amount of X that is available because I am making a copy", then fine.  Go for it.  You still have something that costs money for nothing.  

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2010

I made no justification, I simply stated a fact: the "theft" in this case is a colloquial one, not a legal one.  Theft and copyright infringement are legally distinct.  Your TV theft analogy is flawed, for precisely the reason you give in the very next paragraph.  (Well, that and the burglary part.)

As I said, that doesn't make copyright infringement legal.  Neither does it make it ethical.  It just makes it legally distinct from theft.

The "bottom line" may be people getting something for nothing in terms of your personal ethics; that's something I can't argue with.  But legally, that's not really the bottom line at all.  While definitions of "theft" vary from state to state, here's what FindLaw has to say about a general definition:

"Theft/larceny is typically defined as the taking of almost anything of value without the consent of the owner, with the intent to permanently deprive him or her of the value of the property taken. Most states recognize degrees of theft, such as "grand" or "petty," which usually relate to the value of the property taken."

A copyright violation, by contrast, is just what it says on the tin: a violation of the right to copy.  A copyright violation occurs when somebody makes a copy that he does not have the right to make.  It doesn't matter whether the thing you're copying costs money or not -- if you distribute a modified version of a GPL'ed piece of software without also making the source code available, that's a copyright violation.  Similarly, I've got a few dozen comic book PDF's I downloaded from wowio.com; they didn't cost me anything, but if I put together a torrent of them, that would be copyright infringement -- even if those same comics are still available for free on wowio.com.

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2010

If the "bottom line" was only about my personal ethics (which you seem to disagree with), then why is copyright infringement also not legal?  It sounds like you are more concerned with semantics than with the real issue at hand.  Different terminology, same outcome- even if one type of good is "real" and other is virtual.  

Whether you copied a file and ran it on your machine or stole a disc, you are still getting the full benefit of a good without paying.  Software is not inherently a public resource (the creators decide that).

 

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2010

"If the "bottom line" was only about my personal ethics (which you seem to disagree with), then why is copyright infringement also not legal?"

This is absurd reasoning.  Murder, jaywalking, speeding, disturbing the peace, and underage drinking are illegal; would you argue that the "bottom line" in any of those cases is that you took something without paying for it?

There are many, many things that are illegal that are not the same thing as theft.  Copyright infringement is one of them.

"It sounds like you are more concerned with semantics than with the real issue at hand."

Law IS semantics, Zerodash.

"Whether you copied a file and ran it on your machine or stole a disc, you are still getting the full benefit of a good without paying."

Again, that's not accurate.  It is possible to infringe the copyright of software which is given away for free.  A monetary charge is not necessary for a copyright violation.

Or are you saying that it should only be illegal to violate the copyright of a work that is sold for a profit?

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2010

gain, that's not accurate.  It is possible to infringe the copyright of software which is given away for free.  A monetary charge is not necessary for a copyright violation.

Or are you saying that it should only be illegal to violate the copyright of a work that is sold for a profit?

He is saying that if Company X charges $60 for a copy of game Y, and you decide to torrent it instead of pay for it, you are breaking the law and denying Company X of $60 they could have had if you had paid them.

I don't care about all the justifications of copyright infringement that you and others make, you are denying someone compensation they should have received.

If you make the justification that you would not have bought it anyway, why are you downloading it? If you want to try before you buy, why are you not petitioning the company for a demo version or using the demo versions made available? etc etc

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2010

Where have I made justifications of copyright infringement?  Where have I made the justification that I would not have bought it anyway?

I've simply pointed out that copyright infringement is legally distinct from theft.  This is a fact, not some kind of editorial statement.

I've also repeatedly said that the legal distinction between theft and copyright infringement does not make the latter either legal or ethical, so I'm really not seeing where you get "justification" from.

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2010

My bad. I understand what you are saying and I know that they are legally distinct.

But again, your comments do seem to build up to the excuse that some people make that copyright infringement does no harm. While that harm is nigh impossible to fully quantify, to deny that it exists is just as big a farce as the grossly inflated harm the MPAA and RIAA tout.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2010

Just so you don't think you're crazy, I understood you the first time. I, personally, get the distinction between Copyright violation and theft. The one commentor's metaphorical allegory about piracy being the same as breaking into his house is completely different than making a copy of a file. It would be more apt to say that, if I had a camera and took a picture of his TV through his window while he was watching a TV show on it, I would then have stolen his TV. It's not true, he still has his TV, and I have an image of that TV. No one has actually lost anything. Now, the pirate's argument is that he would like to know what that TV looks like, so he goes to the store, takes a picture of that TV from every possible angle and then decides whether or not he wants to buy it. The store loses no money from his action, but it has a policy against pictures being taken on the premises. So, rules have been broken, but, in truth, nothing has been lost. 

I think that everyone has made their arguments on this issue, though, so further debate is just cementing the two positions further. The fact is, Copyright infrigment is illegal, but not as illegal as burglary. But, volume counts in both instances. 

That being said, the problem I have with these figures, is that they only tell part of the story. For instance, how many times has a pirate downloaded something and then gone back later, and actually bought it. Or, as another commenter noted... how many times has a "pirate" bought an original game, and then downloaded the no disc loader to bypass all of the horrible DRM that the publisher has forced onto the buying public (that only punishes the honest, possibly turning them into future pirates out of spite)?

 

- When you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.

- When you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2010

Well, I think your analogy's pretty flawed too, TBH, as a picture of a TV is not a fully functional TV in the same way that a pirated game is a fully functional game.

That's the trouble -- there really IS no good physical analogy to a digital copy.

"I think that everyone has made their arguments on this issue, though, so further debate is just cementing the two positions further."

I agree for the most part, but I think there's one point I haven't delved into quite as deeply as I should, and that's the fundamental definition of copyright.

Copyright is about control; it's about an owner's right to control the copying of a work.  When you infringe a copyright, the thing you're taking isn't a product or a good, it's that CONTROL.  You're violating the owner's control over copying and redistribution of that work.

And while price may be a consideration in determining damages, it is NOT what defines a copyright violation.  People who give their works away free of charge are still protected by copyright, and it is just as illegal (and, I think it's reasonable to say, just as unethical) to violate the copyright of a free piece of software as it is to violate the copyright of one that costs money.

Re: The Most Pirated Games of 2010

And before all the people come in here arguing, "and before all the people come in arguing" remember that any discussion on this matter will change nothing. The people who pirate will pirate, and the people who don't pirate will /facepalm. Some pirates are buyers as well, and some aren't, but nobody's changing anyone else's mind on this issue. 

 

- When you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.

- When you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.
 
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