British software organization UKIE has claimed that for every game legitimately purchased at a retailer, another four copies have been stolen. The group states that in Britain alone, the industry lost at least £1.45 billion to software pirates in 2010.
“Based on information received from a number of publishers, we have estimates of games piracy running at between 4:1 against legitimate sales," claimed UKIE GD Michael Rawlinson. "We took a conservative position of saying if this is only 1:1 across all titles it would have a retail equivalent value of £1.45million. We did not say this was the loss to industry.
"What is clear is people who ’share’ games via P2P networks or buy illegal copies are not buying the real product, and this reduces retailer sales. It can provide the consumer with a sub-standard product and money paid to illegal traders does not flow back to the creative."
It's a pretty brutal situation. While I've never hardline condemned all piracy, I really do wish pirates could think about the long-term consequences of mass-downloads. There's a reason why publishers decide to mostly put crap like Let's Imagine Smoking Babiez on the DS, for example. At least the "casual" gamers don't pirate.
Think about that the next time the PC gets shafted on a release.