The Entertainment Software Association, the videogame industry’s primary trade association, recently released a report concerning global piracy of videogame software. Their findings are somewhat surprising – in the month of December 2008, 6.5 million games were illegally downloaded over file-sharing P2P networks worldwide. Download activity for the two most popular pirated games far exceeded their legitimate sales.
During the month-long study, piracy was concentrated in two countries – Italy and Spain, accounting for 17.1% and 15.1% of total piracy activity, respectively. The ESA believes that the lax approach taken by the countries’ internet service providers to anti-piracy initiatives is to blame.
The ESA remains dedicated to curbing games piracy. While efforts have been limited in the offending nations mentioned above, this year the association was successful in spurring five law enforcement raids against large piracy operations in the state of California, resulting in seizure of piracy materials and numerous arrests. And as far as Italy is concerned — well, I know of two adventurous plumbers who are simply ashamed of their fellow countrymen.