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Macrovision Study Reveals Widespread Gaming Piracy

by Rainier on March 14, 2005 @ 8:17 a.m. PST

Macrovision today announced the results of a gaming piracy study that shows significant losses experienced by the gaming industry due to software piracy. The surveys of 6,000 Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation 2 users show that 21% of gamers play pirated games, but 73% would have bought the game within one month if a free version had not been readily available. This high level of piracy on console systems, which are generally considered to be secure closed systems, is surprising.

The study also shows that 43% of all gamers who play pirated games download over 15 pirated titles a year. Over 74% of downloaded pirated games come from Internet websites or peer-to-peer networks, while 21% of the games are copied from friends. Of those who play pirated games, 64% have installed mod chips on their consoles.

"The prevalence of high-speed Internet, and the availability of pirated games on websites and peer-to-peer networks, have made downloading pirated games relatively easy and widespread," said Steve Weinstein, executive vice president and general manager of Macrovision's Entertainment Technologies Group. "Game piracy will increase rapidly over the coming months and years as gamers hone their downloading methods and behaviors. As the market leader in game content protection, Macrovision commissioned this study to help the industry better understand the primary sources of ongoing revenue displacement."

The Macrovision report is based on surveys conducted in February 2005 of approximately 6,000 console game players. The survey participants were randomly selected from a pool of visitors to various game-related websites.

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