10 Most Pirated Games of 2008: Spore Takes Top Honors



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Every game on that list was pirated for specific and individual reasons.

Spore was pirated so much because of its DRM and because any PC can run it. Anyone with a half-crap PC can play the game so there's a much bigger audience that Spore game attracts. Bigger audience means more purchases and more pirates.

Sims 2 is for similar reasons to Spore. 

Assassins Creed was pirated for a good flurry of reasons but there are 2 main reasons. First, because of the game's seriously overbearing DRM. The second reason is because the game was out on consoles long before the PC. A lot of PC gamers have a console or two and have probably already played Assassins Creed. They want to experience the PC version without having to dish out an addition $50-$60. Both problems can be remedied by allowing users any version of their game with one single copyright purchase and an elimation of DRM.

Crysis? Well for one, realize alot of people want to try this game but know they can't run it too well. There's a good number of people that will download Crysis, run it for 30 minutes to see how it looks and how their PC holds up, and then delete it.

Command and Conquer 3 sucked compared to its previous installments. I'm not sure why this one was pirated so much, but maybe it's because people already knew they weren't ganna get the bang for their buck like they did with Red Alert 3.

MW was pirated alot simply because it's popular. Sad truth about this game is, it's just good. There's no excuse for this one, this game shouldn't be pirated. It should be bought. But I bet alot of those pirated copies ended up making people purchase the game anyway. 

Grand Theft Auto? Same reason as Assassin's Creed in a way. People have obviously played this one on the consoles. Why would they pay another $50 for a prettier version? They bought the expensive PC already, so why can't they just buy a universal copy of their game?

Fallout 3? Another case of shouldn't be pirated. Even with all the bugs in the original, the game is worth $50-$60 bucks. The Extra content, however, may not be worth jack, but then again, buy the Ultimate edition for $10 more. This was pirated because it has ZERO multiplayer, and so it's an easy target for piraters. This is another sad case of a game that just shouldn't be pirated.

Far Cry 2? Same reason as fallout 3. Multiplayer ignored and broken. Still, game is worth the money. Yea there's some DRM on Far Cry 2 but it's a vast improvement over the usual from Ubisoft.

Pro Evolution Soccer? I have no idea why this is pirated. I don't want to know.


The End all be all is that gamers will feel bad about pirated a game they know has a lot of passion and work in it. Sometimes people just don't have the money or want to spend it. But rest assured if this is the case then people will buy it when money comes, or when prices drop, or even when theres some really nice new content. But the second you take away that guilt by adding crazy DRM, broken aspects of the game, or just generally act as selfish stubborn developers and producers, then gamers will have no problem pirating software. Make yourself look like a dick, and no one is ganna buy your stuff, if anything they'll steal it. But act respectfully, and you'll find yourself with a cult following of loyal appreciative enthusiasts. 



I've gotten burned by DRM enough to no longer buy DRM protected games (well, OK, I do buy from Valve).  I had one game destroy a DVD burner after I installed it - forget which DRM was attributed with killing burners, but I didn't believe it until I had it happen to me.

I thought it was just a fluke, but when I rebuilt the system (i.e., format and reload) because it was due anyway, put in an identical drive as replacement,  and installed the game again, the 2nd Drive quit working.  I took a third spare (yes, I have too many parts), popped it in, burned one disc successfully, went to bed, and the next morning it was also dead.  Tested all three dead drives in another computer of mine that only had Linux installed, and the system didn't even recognize the drives when they were plugged in.

At that time, I even though it might be a problem with my motherboard or power supply, but I rebuilt *AGAIN* from scratch, changing nothing but the DVD burner - my last spare - and didn't install the DRM enabled game again.  Now almost a year later, everything in the system is working fine.  Right or wrong, I'm blaming the DRM for that.

I am so anti-DRM at this point that I actually buy games at least once a month that don't have DRM (usually Indie games, but not always) and send the creators and/or distributors email thanking them for putting out a game not protected by DRM.  I usually don't even install and play these games just because I don't have much time for gaming any more.  As examples, I've bought Sins of a Solar Empire, Galactic Civilization II, and World of Goo all specifically because I heard they have no DRM.  And I've only played World of Goo from the list, even though I know the other games I've bought are great.

Sorry to ramble, but at least this post is old enough probably no one else will see my waste of bits. 



seriosly GTA is an awesome game to which Rockstar deserves credit. The game can be had at walmart for a measly $10. Come on people.


BTW I bought it for $20 about a year ago



There isn't anything wrong with downloading a game if you paid for it. As a person who paid for Spore, I'm not going to say I didn't have it downloading 10 minutes after I got home from Walmart. It runs better, it works, and I can do whatever I want with it. I did the same thing with Unreal 2004. The thing was 6 CD's of installation, but I found a torrent that had them all as one ISO that installed straight through. I think I still have the original box and instruction manual that came with most of the games I bought, but that doesn't mean my hard drive doesn't have hacked ISOs of them because that's what's easier for me.



Why are people still pirating GTA San Andreas?  I got it from Steam a couple months back when they had the entire GTA PC library (minus GTA 4, of course) for like $20



The difference being, Valve make games which are worth buying.



Yea... their stuff is on  p2p... but honestly... why? Steam's way of drm is very transparent for me.  I just bought Left 4 Dead and i love it.  Treat the customer right... i will spend mucho denero on a company that treats customers as customers...not pirates.... Fuck u EA.



Has anyone notices that there are no Valve games on the list?  Has Steam really successfully avoided the piracy problem?  Has Left4Dead even been pirated yet?






First I’m not going to sit back and say that I’ve never pirated a game. However I do understand that game developers are a business that are out to make money. If they didn’t make money how would they pay for
development and original ideas? So basically you want to sit back and bash a game because of its DRM scheme, so don’t play the game. Especially don’t sit back and talk about it being the companies greed that drives their copyright protection. Hell if half the people that want to bash EA and its DRM scheme were in EA’s shoes you would do whatever you could to try and protect your intellectual property to pay for development new original games. Flat out if no one pays for these PC games then companies have no motivation to produce games for the platform. So keep pirating your games and go buy yourself a console cause soon that will be where all the new games that are worth playing will be developed for.  Oh also don’t bitch about there being no new ideas in gaming if you don’t pay for your games. Bottom line DRM sucks, companies want to make money (hmm capitalism maybe, justifying the investments you make in somebody’s idea possibly), and pirating does more to hurt PC gaming than DRM.



Ok, this arguement has been played out far too many times. So while you make some good points, there are many valid counterpoints to them. I think when you get to the real bottom line, DRM is invasive to real customers, and easily overcome by pirates. So the idea that DRM protects their IP is rediculous. It's a false sense of security.

But I will agree that so far pirating has hurt PC gaming more than DRM. It's a shame really. And game developers continue to use pirating as an excuse to keep DRM. Wicked little circle we have here.

Haven't pirated a game myself in many, many years. Since I was a teen, which is probably the most likely demographic to do it anyways. Little or no money, and still forming a solid moral foundation. I'd feel pretty damn bad pirating a game I have plenty of money to just buy.



Your  fucking lopsided article left out one important item... Spore's DRM pushed many to pirate when they probably would have bought it.  I have enough fucking problems with windows to have that garbage on it.  Notice that 4 of the titles are EA titles?  All have the SecureRom garbage... u know the same company that installed the rootkit a year or two ago?

Piracy sucks... but i hold pirates in higher regard than fucking hardheaded greedy companies that treat legit customers as pirates... Fuck that... if i am going to be treated that way, i am going to earn it.


To all the others that come down on pirates hard... fuck you... u apparently havent got stuck fixing someones pc caused by this garbage.



for playing mass produced crappy games. And DRM? Kiss my ass, I hate DRM. I like my laptop, what I don't like is carrying a butt ton of CD's / DVD's around with me. Hence why I use a virtual image drive like softdisc.

And DRM doesn't allow this, so I just don't buy games that have DRM on them. None of the games I like and play have DRM. It's bliss.  Go on. Go play your cut/paste FPS games and MMO's. Nothing original anymore anyway.



These numbers make me wonder how many of these people actually bought these games and found out they had Invasive DRM, then decided to download the Pireted DRM-FREE version.



pirating is justified by gross profit. but ya, the numbers are bad, $50+ million loss on one game? it should easily be considered a serious crime.  if banks were getting robbed for $50 milllion a year, there would be some serious law enforcement.




LOL, I'm not sure banks are a good example. As high as interest rates get sometimes they're robbing US. Besides, they can loan out about 10 times more than they have (from our deposits), so basically they make assloads of interest from loaning money... they don't even have! Bunch of theives, themselves.



Those numbers are not that bad, considering that many more people actually buy the game.



As a PC gamer (and Wii) this disturbs the hell outta me.  For me the only way i can really enjoy most games is 4" away from a screen.  We should definitely find all these people, tear out their scrotoms, and feed them to hogs.  This is the reason noone makes PC games, I did not know the numbers were this terrible.  /facepalm


Keith E. Whisman

Well Spore was a given...  I mean who hasn't pirated Spore? I dl'ed it and played it for a minute n realised the game is gay and uninstalled it.



Another overly intelligent comment from another software pirate....



He's a jackass for stealing games, but I'd have to agree with his assessment of Spore. And I paid for it.




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