Digital game piracy

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Title: Digital game piracy
Analyzing the illegal distribution of digital games via BitTorrent
Author: Drachen, Anders; Bauer, Kevin; Veitch, Robert W. D.
Abstract: The practice of illegally copying and distributing digital games is at the heart of one of the most heated and divisive debates in the international games environment. Despite the substantial interest in game piracy, there is very little objective information available about its magnitude or its distribution across game titles and game genres. This paper presents the first large-scale, open-method analysis of the distribution of digital game titles, which was conducted by monitoring the BitTorrent peer-to-peer (P2P) filesharing protocol. The sample includes 173 games and a collection period of three months from late 2010 to early 2011. With a total of 12.6 million unique peers identified, it is the largest examination of game piracy via P2P networks to date. The study provides findings that reveal the magnitude of game piracy, the timefrequency of game torrents, which genres that get pirated the most, and the relationship between aggregated review scores and ESRB-ratings.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10398/8495
Date: 2012-08-20
Notes: Preprint of paper presented at MindTrek 2011, 29-30 September 2011, Tampere, Finland

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