Issue: Whether Personal computer games are being pirated between 85 to 90%?
Global Personal software piracy rate is measured at 38% in 2007, 41% in 2008, 43% in 2009 and 42% in 2011 by BSA and IDC Global Software Piracy Study. Piracy rate was higher for consumer software such as PC games and currently it stands at 57%.
A hypothetical calculation by Matt Ployhar in 2012 noted that PC game piracy was not anywhere close to the 90% range.
- There is no denying that the piracy scale for PC games is very high and substantial all around the world.
Referring to a 2008 survey by the Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia, almost 4 to 10% of all Australian computer game titles are pirated or illegal copies i.e. copies made by family or friends. 51% of Australians in the survey said that they would accept a copied game from a PC if it were given to them for free.
In an Australian gaming household library, 2 in 26 of the games is pirated. Piracy is widespread, although many choose not to admit to it in survey research with only 17% of participants in game households saying they have pirated copies. The majority (51%) of pirated games in Australia come from copies made by family or friends.
PC game piracy number percentages seem to fluctuate over time and there is no fixed global percentage number ranges. There are also questions on whether every piracy instance could be converted into a sale.
Research performed on the subject of digital games piracy also do not show an exact figure. For example, a study by Anders Drachen et.al. noted that 127 out of 173 game titles released during 2010 or early 2011 were found on BitTorrent networks.
A reliable figure for digital games is – to the best knowledge of the authors - unknown.
The general trend is that more popular games will be pirated exceedingly than less popular games. However, this is not observed globally as shown by a recent example of United States in 2014. Referring to research done by Real Estate website Movoto, Watch Dogs which has a Windows version was the most pirated video game, topping the list in 21 US states as of 2014. However, this game is nowhere found in the list of top selling computer games of 2014 which has the SIMS 4 game at the top position. Elder Scrolls and THE SIMS 3 games are the common popular games in both lists.
Piracy is decreasing on the PC games and found to be rising in consoles and there is little to no piracy expected to occur on Free to Play PC games.
Piracy of software tends to be higher among non-branded PCs than with branded PCs.