Only the good… get pirated

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Only the good… get pirated

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Title: Only the good… get pirated
Game piracy activity vs. metacritic score
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, with stakeholders typically viewing it as a very positive (pirates) or very negative (the industry, policy makers). 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 a large-scale analysis of the illegal distribution of digital game titles, which was conducted by monitoring the BitTorrent peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing protocol. The sample includes 173 games and a collection period of three months from late 2010 to early 2011. A total of 12.6 million unique peers were identified, making this the largest examination of game piracy via P2P networks to date. The ten most pirated titles encompass 5.27 million aggregated unique peers alone. In addition to genre, review scores were found to be positively correlated with the logarithm of the number of unique peers per game (p<0.05).
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10398/8501
Date: 2012-08-23
Notes: The paper was presented at the 6th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games, June 28.-July 1 2011, Bordeaux, France and published in FDG '11- Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Foundations of Digital Games. ISBN: 9781450308045

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