The Most Pirated Games of 2009


A ranking of the most pirated games of 2009 provides a measure of popularity of sorts, and seems to demonstrate that the misgivings publishers have about piracy rates on the PC are not all froth after all.

The games, as measured by copies illegally distributed through torrenting:


1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (4,100,000)

2. The Sims 3 (3,200,000)

3. Prototype (2,350,000)

4. Need For Speed Shift (2,100,000)

5. Street Fighter IV (1,850,000)


1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (970,000)

2. Street Fighter IV (840,000)

3. Prototype (810,000)

4. Dirt 2 (790,000)

5. UFC 2009 Undisputed (720,000)


1. New Super Mario Bros. (1,150,000)

2. Punch-Out!! (950,000)

3. Wii Sports Resort (920,000)

4. The House of the Dead: Overkill (860,000)

5. Mario Power Tennis (830,000)



(PS3 ISOs are distributed but there is no way of running them)

Although it is uncertain what percentage of these downloads would actually have resulted in a lost sale, it certainly seems the PS3 enjoys an almost unprecedented advantage in this area, for game developers at any rate.

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    Comment by Anonymous
    04:29 30/12/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    I just wish the PS3 had games to pirate.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:32 30/12/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    lets see

    In the world we're living now
    Sales for 'This Game' is 160K copies
    but 'This Game' was dled 900K times, if they can't pirate it, we won't have this poor sales... is it?

    In the world where we can't pirate anything
    Sales for 'This Game' is 160K copies
    why is it the same as the world of piracy?

    as I bought ps3, as there's no options, I simply bought the one that I really like only, became more picky in buying stuff. buying off stock clearance games, 2nd hand, whatever.

    as if I would spend my 1/n monthly salary for that piece of crap. got $100 budget monthly, Disgaea 4 ($40), Sim Crap ($65), Atelier Something ($50), re-skinned FPS with a little bit theme changes ($70)

    I'll be happy with my disgaea 4 and atelier something for hundreds of hours, than buying sims crap or buying re-skinned FPS with a little bit theme changes.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:59 30/12/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Am i the only one who's noticed that Piracy for these main systems are such a big deal now that the game's aren't of the same quality as they used to be?

    I think it's pretty simple. Start making genuine fun games and people will buy them. Keep doing a bullshit job and only focusing on the graphics instead of the gameplay and people will continue pirating. Because who wants to pay for a lousy game?

    Avatar of diskonline
    Comment by diskonline
    23:25 29/12/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    how can they calculate this... normally people never say they bought or downloaded pirate movies or games.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:39 30/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I know, it's another way to let us know that the PS3 is superior...LOL.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:38 30/12/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    professional developers barely know how to program the ps3, with documentation (haha) and all. let alone some random dude

    Avatar of El Chaos
    Comment by El Chaos
    04:42 30/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Wonder why PlayStation 3 software sales are still generally below the Xbox 360's, even though this one was definitely the PS3's year...

    Avatar of Ota-Kool
    Comment by Ota-Kool
    05:36 30/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    No wonder why ps3 console sale is low but why the heck the psp is beaten by the ds when it can be pirated too? maybe lack of games or good games i think

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:53 30/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I think that soon it may change since there are people making a DS emulator for the PSP. I haven't tried it yet but some games are supposed to be playable.

    Avatar of Barbarian of Gor
    Comment by Barbarian of Gor
    05:20 30/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I've heard it said that a bank robber is not a 'radical' by any means, that he himself is one of the strongest supporters of "The System" in that he absolutely agrees with the value of the money he takes from the banker.

    The companies should be flattered if anything about the downloading issue. Just put out nice messages to support them for their labors, they'll be popular with people who can't afford 'em in the recession right now but when the economy improves will go back to buying their stuff. Whereas though they of course would want to protect their intellectual property, the spreading of the materials does more good in advertising than hurting in lost sales. It probably opens up a market to them that would otherwise not browse their games.

    And, btw, one thing I DON'T download is "Pirated Games".

    Anyone who's been following my posts knows that my M/O is "Buy no game system under a year old". I just wait and watch and then buy from a used shop. Just before X-Mas as a gift to myself I got Lego Star Wars and Batman from a Pawn shop for US$5 each. Fun games, and US$5 is so worth it in time versus having my computer 75% tied up mastering a DVD for 12 hours, not counting download time. If I'd bought 'em at $20 each, okay... And I'd REALLY have had "Buyers Remorse" getting them each at $60. But I just waited a while, $5 each, no need for "Piracy".

    I don't think these big companies are hurt by piracy, if anything they are helped. Smaller makers, however might be. The guy that made BilesToad (ancient game, anyone remember?) said his game was a multi-million user 'hit' but he himself barely sold his first "Print run" of a few thousand. Myself, yes, I first wanted the game BAD when I saw my friends playing pirated copies. I plead the 5th on anything I did regarding that;-) And I actually went with B-Day money to buy it from the software store but no one there knew about it, how to order it, and treated me like dirt trying to ask about it. That was pre-www and mostly pre-internet...

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:50 30/12/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    If it takes you 12 hours to burn a disk then you either have an extremely slow computer that couldn't run it anyways or a really crappy burner. It takes around 15 minutes or less to burn a disk and if it is a movie that needs reencoding then it takes at most 2 to 3 hours.

    Avatar of Barbarian of Gor
    Comment by Barbarian of Gor
    10:37 30/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Or my relative "Green" ness to the subject...

    For raw data backup, my DVDs go pretty fast, though with "External HDDs" more affordable, I prefer those nowadays. Gonna get a Terrabyte one ASAP!!! I do "Double fault" for stuff I like (comics, porn, books) and "Triple + fault" for critical things.

    However, I've made a few DIY porn (collections of favorite parts of porn movies) DVDs and it took F*cking forever. The DVD software (nero) laid everything out and let me demo it, but then the mix-down to DVD readable track really took a long time to grind it out/convert it. Maybe I should have converted a file before adding it to software that presented itself as "Drag and Drop"...

    Haven't ever tried making a PS2 DVD either. I'm patient and can just wait till I see things available. Might want to burn a CD for older stuff, that is waaayyyy past any company even existing/interested and I'd get scalped for: Dreamcast titles, SegaCD... (Saturn, perhaps, if I get one)

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:52 29/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm lucky living in a Country were I can freely buy Pirated Games and DVDS especially Movies .

    Pirated DVDs are as crystal clear as original DVDs minus The Fucking Stupid Special Features because all we want is to enjoy the fucking movie not Stupid Special Features .

    If People say Pirated Goods are Bad , then your most probably a westerner .

    From Where I live , We Support Pirates . ARGH !!!!!

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:44 29/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I guess,in a sense, PS3 beats all other consoles.

    Avatar of Icy-nee-san
    Comment by Icy-nee-san
    00:29 30/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I agree with PC cause I downloaded 4 outta 5 of those xD

    Kinda surprised PS3 won at something for once :\

    Avatar of ashiguru
    Comment by ashiguru
    02:24 30/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I am not sure how much game pirating affects sales. What I do know is that pirating should not affect the game financial success of a game. Games like MW and GTA SA may have been pirated a lot but they still sold massive amounts of numbers. I am of the opinion that majority of people who pirate software, movies, music, etc. would never buy the game new in the first place. Before napster got hit I used to download music. I never bought a cd before or since. I literally own 7 cds that were gifts. The film industry is the same. You either are going to go to the theater or not. I wouldn't spend a dollar to watch Ishtar. A lot of games that have flopped that were good flopped for more tangible reasons. Freespace 2 flopped because the space sim genre was on its way out. Okami had a bad advertising campaign. I would even say the box itself needed some work. The Legacy of Kain series lost its way a bit after Soul Reaver. SR2, BO2, Defiance were very similiar to each other in gameplay. SR2 while I would consider it have normal gameplay time nowadays was extremely short when it came out. It could be finished in 10 to 12 hours and Soul Reaver 1 took around 60 according to box. Probably 40 to 50 with a faq on your lap. I distinctly remember reviewers considering it half a game. Most game failures can be traced to something other than pirating. If pirating ceased to exist I doubt various industries would see a substantial increase in revenue.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:44 30/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's what you get Modern Warfare 2 on the PC. Bring freaking dedicated servers next time you want to come to the PC.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:54 30/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Rofl for PS3 XD

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:02 30/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    the usual...

    to add insult to injury, the already pricey ps3 has security flanking it on either side to assure that we can't get cheap games for it either.

    (cries bitterly)

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:20 29/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    and still the sales of PS3 and 360 multiplat titles show no large differences which tells me the effect of pirates on sales is moot

    and on a second note MW2 was torrented over number as protest or simple rage like spore

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:28 31/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I dont really see too much of an issue w/ pirating. Dont be a stupid company and make stupid decisions and your game wont be pirated except by the tards that steal everything no matter what. Here is a perfect example.

    Borderlands Vs CoD:MW2

    DRM:Borderlands purposfully has NO DRM while MW2 included the latest batch uf "unhackable" DRM from activision.

    Community:Borderlands was made FOR gamers BY gamers and utilized community input and continues to listen to its community for its expansion packs. MW2 blatantly ignored ALL input from its community and specifically took away things it KNEW its client base expected (see dedicated servers, and many other advanced features available in past offerings). Not only that but MW2 Dev's continue to ignore all input from its community and go against the flow of its user base.

    Distribution: Borderlands publishers decide to opt out and NOT use steam due to its invasiveness on user systems and the conflict of interest it presents w/ Valve. It offers standard(see old school dvd) distribution against the current trend of download with DRM(gamespy,impulse,steam). MW2 offers current trend distribution only and your game MUST be connected to the internet and verified to even think about playing it.

    Scorecard: Borderlands is not often pirated and most copies pirated turn into purchases so you can play multiplayer with friends as multiplayer is strong and continues to improve with each expansion. MW2 is the most pirated game of the year and may wind up most pirated of the decade at this rate. Most copies DO NOT turn into purchases due to advances in hamachi and users developing advanced coding for the game themselves have made their own dedicated servers and community. No need to buy a version of the game with less features ensures this trend will only get stronger

    Read this and MAYBE developers will understand how making video games works. Here is a few tips... Dont claim you know all, listen to your users. Pretty simple right? Apparently not for infinity ward....

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:49 31/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Where the hell are you living? Borderland has been on Steam for ages. It even has run several discount campaings. Even right now you can get it at a discount price.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:38 01/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Initially borderlands (see Gearbox) refused to use steam but caved after forum requests started showing up. Just google gearbox refuses steam to see the original interview with Gearbox and how they planned on NOT using steam. I may sound like a borderlands fanboi but I will attribute its retraction of position on its ability to listen to their customers (or future customers) requests. How are MW2 issues being handled so far.... OHHHHH wait, they arent.

    Avatar of El Chaos
    Comment by El Chaos
    03:05 01/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I agree with you save on the apparent demonization of Steam.

    As long as developers aren't forced to introduce DRM crap into their products in order to get them on Steam, I think it's all fine and dandy.

    And I somewhat want to believe that it isn't Infinity Ward the ones with the assholic behavior here, but Activision. We'll have to wait and see Treyarch's next entry in the series to be 100% sure about this, though.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:38 02/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    yay for piracy.

    ...............oh wait, PS3 still hasn't been pirated yet, which is why nobody play it's game.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:52 09/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's because PS3 has no games to pirate.

    Avatar of Pin
    Comment by Pin
    03:41 06/12/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    There are ways of running ISOs on the PS3, there has been since it was first released. The real reason why no games were pirated is because the PS3 had no games to begin with!

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:24 01/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yes. Adapt or die.

    Avatar of R3TAK
    Comment by R3TAK
    10:09 30/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well the ps3 definetly has the advantage but not from a gamers point of view just the developers but microsoft is stopping this on the xbox isn't it because there were loads of articles on this site about modded 360 users being banned from xbox live, i suppose thats a start but that doesn't really stop the problem though.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:36 30/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Helluewa, why is there's not Luffy, or someone from One Piece on the article pic ???

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:13 30/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm a game developer (console platforms), and I can assure you that third party (non-publisher owned, i.e. publisher-independtent) game developers do not care.

    In fact we sometimes pirate games ourselves (privately anyway, but sometimes just to get ahold of hard-to-get reference titles when we design a new game. For research, of course).

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:19 30/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Umm...there actually is a way to play burned PS3 games now. You just have to afford the discs and burner.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:23 30/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    You can play PS2 ISOs on the PS3 if you have one of the first PS3s.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:15 30/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    getting games off bootlegs sometimes works but soon u will have 2 moded your systems 2 play bootlegs games but u will get 3 red lights its suck so much and u have 2 risk it >.<

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:33 30/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Do you know why the PS3 has no piracy?

    because it has no gaems

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:44 30/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    360 fanboy spotted.. lol and its spelled GAMEs, of which it Clearly has Get your head out of M$ ass and you'll see. and no i dont have a PS/360/Wii. =) dumbass..

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:12 31/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Oh god can't you guys see that this person is clearly trolling?

    Avatar of El Chaos
    Comment by El Chaos
    03:11 01/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    "ps3 has no gaems" is a meme (don't know if it's a forced one or not).

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:29 30/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    PC fanboy and it's GAMES, of which it clearly has(.) Get your head out of M$('s) ass and you'll see. (A)nd no (I) don(')t have a PS(3)/(Xbox)360/Wii. =) (D)umbass..

    PS3/Xbox360 = Hardcore.
    Wii = Casual.
    PC = More casual, but not hardcore.


    Comment by Anonymous
    18:27 29/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    i don't believe piracy is a big a problem as the company say simply because me like most other people only get what they couldn't/wouldn't Buy/afford such as games,manga,anime that are only distributed in japan or that country's either ban or massacre with censoring,editing,crappy voices and subbing whats wrong with wanting the original product.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:14 29/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    yeah kinda weird PSP is not there ._.'
    and I thought sims 3 would be in first place xD or not even close to it, but it looks it got the 2nd place ._.'''

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:34 29/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yea I kinda assumed that project diva would be on this list seeing as miku is the image for it :3

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:10 29/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    But you must buy the original Project Diva with the cute mini Nendo!!!

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:18 29/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    bundled items are a great incentive. /agree

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:06 29/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    look, i am a pirate, but i rarely torrent new games cause i think some of the new games suck, but that is only for PC and DS.
    I at least balance it out by not getting my wii or 360 chipped because i find that most PC and DS games are WAY over-priced and that 360 and wii games are priced accordingly

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:07 29/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Pirate suck ! if u cant afford it dont buy it.Get a job.Thats why pc gaybox wii suck.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:18 29/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    What about DS?

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:18 29/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    and Love Plus?

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:19 29/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Nobody wants a pirate wife.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:32 29/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    nobody wants a wife like Nami, Robin or even loli pirate Patty?

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:23 29/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    that could be awsome, you get to raid the tresure chest every night

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