The Top 10 Pirated PC Games of 2008: Spore Leads

By Nick Breckon, Dec 09, 2008 11:51am PST EA Maxis' Spore was by far the most pirated PC game in 2008, according to a list compiled by Torrent-tracking blog TorrentFreak. The title, surrounded by controversy over its anti-piracy DRM, was illegally downloaded over 1.7 million times.

Electronic Arts took a beating in capturing four of the top five slots, with EA Maxis' The Sims 2 taking the not-so-coveted second place by reaching over 1.1 million downloads. The EA-published Crysis and Command & Conquer 3 came in at fourth and fifth, respectively.

Ubisoft's PC port of Assassin's Creed grabbed a reluctant third place with over a million downloads. The game was leaked to torrent networks over six weeks ahead of its retail release in April. Ubisoft later sued disc replicator Optical Experts Manufacturing (OEM) for $10 million in damages, believing that an OEM employee was responsible for the leak.

The rest of the list follows:

  1. Spore / 1,700,000 / Sept. 2008
  2. The Sims 2 / 1,150,000 / Sept. 2004
  3. Assassins Creed / 1,070,000 / Nov. 2007
  4. Crysis / 940,000 / Nov. 2007
  5. Command & Conquer 3 / 860,000 / Mar. 2007
  6. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare / 830,000 / Nov. 2007
  7. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas / 740,000 / Jun. 2005
  8. Fallout 3 / 645,000 / Oct. 2008
  9. Far Cry 2 / 585,000 / Oct. 2008
  10. Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 / 470,000 / Oct. 2008

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  • That's just depressing

    Thread Truncated. Click to see all 2 replies.

    • What is depressing? For me its the fact that Long John Silver, Blackbeard and his mates have crappy taste and that the "victims" here know good and well there is no such thing as bad publicity or we wouldn't have to read this story. This space could have been taken up by a story about great games that people here actually cared about.

      The fact that most of those games had little or no interest is what struck me most. I bought COD4 on sale and it was OK but the MP is too fast for my taste. GTA4 is just like the last 3 I have collecting dust in my cabinet. I played for a while then I just got bored pretending to want to schmooze with the criminal underworld so I could date bimbos and blow stuff up.

      Here is my take on the entire list based on nothing other than my recollection of the shackhype each game garnered. Why am I doing this? I don't really know I haven't had any coffee yet but I am pissed off to see so many games that fell short of expectations suddenly appear on the "victims of cyber terrorists" lists. It just a little suspicious.

      Lets start with Spore. #1 The pre-release hype after E3 2006 was huge and I thought this would be a revolutionary game. Apparently it wasn't very good once you got past making penis faced amebos in the demo and its DRM started making people pull their hair out. Never played it.

      #2 The Sims 2: I guess as a stock-holder in EA I am entitled to feel somewhat discouraged that people are getting away with stealing this game yet I can't play BF2 mods and a BF2142 exp. pack I bought on the EA online store even though they require authentication through another application running in the background that shockingly doesn't work even after its third revision in the last 4 years. Yet its rife with people hacking and using key-gens. Should I laugh or cry?

      #3 Assassin's Creed: If there was any shackhype for this as a pc release I missed it. I remember some stoned UFC fighters being interviewed before the 360 release trying to hype it up and being amused but never bothered looking for it on any platform.

      #4 This game got huge hype and I know its still the Mt. Everest of FPS benchmark nerds but after hearing a co-worker describe what it did to his PC I thought I would skip it even after it was patched and offered to me for free. The MP beta was filled with lone - wolves and it just reminded me of how disappointing Far Cry 1 was after the first week I bought it.


      #5 C&C4 has Jenny McCarty cut-scenes and Rosewood liked it right so if I catch anyone with an illegal floppy copy I will alert the FBI (who will hang up on me) This game has high production overhead and my EA stock is going to pay for my son's braces if you can't appreciate B-list celebrity in your RTS franchises. Is this just a virtual management game or do you actually play individual teams?

      #6 CoD4 is an amazing looking game. The SP is hard and the MP servers reminded me of why I stop playing Halo or talking to anyone besides other shackers on Xbox Live. I played in one shackbattle and it rocked. I bought this game for $20 when Compusa was going out of business.


      #7 I was a full on shackhype victim here and bought it on my lunch break the first day and have played it three times. I suck at console gaming and still succumb to shackhype so I shouldn't have bought this but I did.

      #8 I should have saved my GTA4 clams and bought this game but if I don't end up playing more than Oblivion I will be glad when I buy it at a reduced price. Sounds cool and people whose opinions I follow deem it worthy so if they catch the Somalians who are stealing tankers off africa and they find copies of this game I say walk the plank.

      #9 I thought Crysis was Far Cry 2. I know some shackers love Crysis and FC2 so there is obviously something wrong with me because i just don't have any interest in the game. Also, its made by Ubi which is in France and I don't know if they are publicly traded or not but its not EA so let Interpol catch the scum that steal this fine product.

      #10 All I can say is don't try and blame anyone in the USA for pilfering what could be a fine game. 99% of US gamers probably cant name more than three pro soccer clubs.

      But I have loads of friends in the EU and Latin America who are nuts for futbol so its a shame to see it on this list. It also says a lot more about the current state of EA's Madden franchise but I digress. I had fun playing this 360 demo with my friends visiting from Valencia and I know there are some big fans of the franchise here so if you spot someone with an illicit copy call Konami immediately.

      God, why did I make this list? Maybe because I hate being a consumer listening to corporations whine when their shitty games don't meet sales projections. 2008 was an epic year for games. Fuck the pirate lists. Please spare us the drivel and use the time to talk about which smaller companies are making good games so we can buy their titles and not live in a world with only a half-dozen viable publishers.

      Coffee time.