For game developers and publishers alike, earning recognition for their game through topping an end of year category (whether Game of the Year, Best FPS or Best RPG) is a prize that money can't buy. And then there are those that no company wants to win – namely 'The Most Pirated Game Of 2011'.
According to TorrentFreak, this year's crown went to the PC version of EA and Crytek's behemoth Crysis 2 which was downloaded approximately 3,920,000 times between its release in March 2011 and the end of the year. The pirating began in February, more than a month before its official global release, when a leaked copy of Crysis 2 made its way onto the Internet. Though it picked up several tens of thousands of downloads in the short time leading up to March (not a disaster by any means), the worst of it began once the full game had been released, resulting in nearly 4 million downloads total.
Interestingly, Crysis 2 failed to break the Top 5 of the most pirated Xbox 360 games. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 were placed 2nd and 3rd of the PC's most pirated, with 3,650,000 and 3,510,000 downloads respectively. The most downloaded Xbox 360 game, meanwhile, went to Gears of War 3 with 890,000 downloads, while Super Mario Galaxy 2 topped the Wii's list (1,280,000). Notably, Super Mario Galaxy 2 also picked up the Wii crown last year with a handsome 1,470,000 downloads.
In an age of DRM, one-time use codes and Internet product activation, piracy is still a massive problem across the PC and console divide. Though it's PC that remains the most pirated platform, the numbers across the board are truly staggering and represent huge losses of tens of millions of dollars for studios.
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.