Piracy Activity vs. Product Features in Digital Games

Anders Drachen, Kevin Bauer, Rob Veitch

    Publikation: Working paperForskning

    97 Downloads (Pure)


    The practice of illegally copying and distributing digital games is
    at the heart of one of the most heated and divisive debates in the
    international games environment, with stakeholders typically
    viewing it as a very positive (pirates) or very negative (the industry,
    policy makers). Despite the substantial interest in game piracy,
    there is very little objective information available about its
    magnitude or its distribution across game titles and game genres.
    This paper presents a large-scale analysis of the illegal distribution
    of digital game titles, which was conducted by monitoring the
    BitTorrent peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing protocol. The sample
    includes 173 games and a collection period of three months from
    late 2010 to early 2011. With a total of 12.6 million unique peers
    identified, it is the largest examination of game piracy via P2P
    networks to date. Analysis of the data shows that games of the
    “Action” genre, which include the majority of major commercial
    AAA-level titles, comprise 45% of the unique peers in the dataset,
    although games from “Racing”, “Role-Playing Game” and “Simulation”
    genres have higher numbers of unique peers on average
    than “Action” games. The ten most pirated titles encompass 5.27
    million aggregated unique peers alone. In addition to genre, review
    scores were found to be positively correlated with the logarithm
    of the number of unique peers per game (p<0.05).
    UdgiverDepartment of Informatics INF, Copenhagen Business School
    Antal sider8
    StatusUdgivet - 2011