Top five games of 2010 accessed one million times so far
Internet research firm Envisional has revealed that illegal video game downloads have grown 20% in the last five years , according to a BBC report.
Online piracy of video games continues to grow even as nations across the world — particularly the UK, France and the US – have mounted an attack on online piracy this year.
UK Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has asked Web-based companies — including credit card companies and advertisers – to sever all ties with websites that are involved in illegal online piracy. He has also denied accusations that blocking access to pirated content amounted to an attack on net neutrality.
"Unlawfully distributing copyrighted material is theft – and a direct assault on the freedoms and rights of creators of content to be rewarded fairly for their efforts," Hunt said.
"We do not allow certain products to be sold in the shops on the High Street, nor do we allow shops to be set up purely to sell counterfeited products. Likewise we should be entitled to make it more difficult to access sites that are dedicated to the infringement of copyright," he added.
The gaming industry agrees with Hunt.
The association for UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE) chairman Andy Payne told the BBC, "[Some] 200, 250 people sat in a studio for two years building the latest Modern Warfare 3. This costs real money."
The bigger problem for the gaming industry seems to be the fact that consumers are increasingly getting used to downloading video games from piracy sites. A gamer named Sam told the BBC that the illegal downloads actually gives him a window to the quality of the games before he buys those.
Envisonal has also said that five of the top games of 2010 have been illegally accessed one million times so far.
In defence of online piracy, Sam said, "I buy games because I’ve pirated them, if I don’t get to try them I never would have bothered picking them up."
"I’ve never been fined. I’ve been doing this since I was 14 and I’m now 23.
"Games that I enjoy I purchase, ones that I don’t enjoy I delete."
Earlier, the research firm had said that illegal film downloads have grown 30% in the last five years.