The Year of The Pirate, Gaming Zodiac

The top-5 games that were pirated, on their respective platform

As a new year approaches, it's time to look back at the past 12 months and make a list of what was what this year, to help us with our new-year resolution. And one thing that proved to be very fascinating was the list of top games that got pirated in 2009. TorrentFreak has scoured the net, took into account all the major BitTorrent trackers, and has come up with a very interesting figure.

First, since it's by far the most pirated platform, we're going to take a look at the PC and see just what damage the cracking community did. Modern Warfare 2 proved to be a huge hit, the biggest entertainment release of all times, actually, so it's only natural that it would take a lot of number-one spots in charts. And considering the fiasco the title stirred within the PC community and the promises PC gamers made to not buy it, it's no wonder that, in just two months since it was launched, it already climbed to the number-one spot of the PC piracy list.

According to TorrentFreak, on December 27, MW2 had been downloaded 4.1 million times. While not every download equals a lost game sale, and even if there are bound to be duplicates in this list, as well as fake shares, the number is ridiculously huge, and maybe, just maybe, it's big enough to have Activision and Infinity Ward think twice before going to war with their customers. Number two on the list is quite a way down, but it's still a large figure, as The Sims 3 was downloaded 3.2 million times, even if it didn't piss anybody off. Prototype's counter hit 2.35 million downloads, NFS Shift got downloaded 2.1 million times and the number five on the list is taken by Street Fighter IV with 1.85 million downloads.

The Xbox 360 didn't get away all that cheap either, but the numbers are most definitely lower than on the PC. Once again, MW2 is on top, but with a much lower 970,000 number of downloads, followed closely by Street Fighter 4, which was downloaded 840,000 times. At number three, we're reunited with Prototype, with 810,000 downloads, while number four and five are taken by DiRT 2 and UFC 2009 Undisputed with 790,000 and 720,000 downloads, respectively.

The last platform on the list is the Wii, where New Super Mario Bros. got downloaded 1,15 million times. Punch-Out!! was downloaded 950,000 times and Wii Sports Resort 920,000 times. The last two to make the top are The House of the Dead: Overkill with 860,000 downloads and Mario Power Tennis with 820,000 downloads. A list for the PS3 hasn't been put together, mostly because cracking a game on this console is a lot more hassle and more expensive than actually buying it, so few people even bother to pirate PS3 titles.

As a conclusion, publishers need to stay clear of quality games if they don't want people to pirate their work, but, since that won't really help them in the long run, they should just compromise and choose not to annoy the players. A happy customer is a buying customer.

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