Following yesterday's news of the landmark £16K fine from Topware Interactive against the woman who shared Dream Pinball 3D, four more developers have jumped on the bandwagon to combat online games piracy.

Atari, Reality Pump, Techland, and Codemasters have joined Topware in a decision to serve notice for individual £300 fines on 25,000 people across the UK who have downloaded copies of their games illegally.

The five companies, who develop popular titles including the Colin McCrae rally series and Alone in the Dark, state that each fine, which is being sent out in a letter, must be paid immediately to settle out of court, with plans to being legal action on the first 500 people to ignore them.

ISPs must provide details

Lawyers from Davenport Lyons, who are representing the five companies, have already applied to the High Court for an order instructing ISPs to hand over the names and addresses of the 25,000 suspects. Five thousand sets of details have already been obtained after evidence of file-sharing was presented.

Roger Billens, a partner at Davenport Lyons, said: "Our clients were incensed by the level of illegal downloading. In the first 14 days since Topware Interactive released Dream Pinball 3D it sold 800 legitimate copies but was illegally downloaded 12,000 times. Hopefully, people will think twice if they risk being taken to court."

It's estimated that over six million people in Britain share games illegally over the internet. If you're one of them, beware.