BitTorrent gaming piracy dropped in 2011

BitTorrent gaming piracy dropped in 2011
Crysis 2 - looks scintillating

Illegal game downloads fell in 2011 compared to 2010 according to data taken from file-sharing site BitTorrent.

Gamers illegally downloaded Crysis 2 for PC 3.92 million times via Bit Torrent in 2011, but the most pirated PC game of the previous year, Call of Duty: Black Ops, saw 4.2 million downloads in 2010.

In fact, the total number of illegal downloads for the five most pirated PC games in 2011 were down by 430,000 (17,710,000 compared to 18,140,000 in 2010).

Stat attack

The same goes for the top five Wii games on BitTorrent, down by 290,000 in 2011, and Xbox 360 titles, illegal downloads of which fell by 1.5 million compared to 2010.

Some of this could be explained away by a lack of blockbusting gaming titles but the overall trend indicates a slight decline.

PC gaming pirates - not they of the "arr give us a go on that thar Alienware or I'll send you to Davy Jones's locker" variety – favoured Crysis 2 over Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 which took second place on the PC platform with 3.65 million downloads.

Modern Warfare 3 came in second on the Xbox 360 too, as Gears of War 3 proved more popular amongst the law-ignoring game fans (890,000).

Two things worth noting, however: MW3's combined PC and Xbox downloads make it more popular among pirates than either Crysis 2 or Gears of War 3, plus the CoD threequel was released only in November 2011 so it's numbers stack up pretty nicely considering.

On the Wii, Super Mario Galaxy 2 took the pirates' fancy, with Mario also taking silver with the Mario Sports Mix.

Once again proving that movie pirates lack taste alongside morals, the latest instalment of the Fast and the Furious franchise Fast Five, has proven the most popular film among the digital outlaws.

Joining Fast Five in the top five most pirated films of 2011 are The Hangover 2, Thor, Source Code and I Am Number Four, none of which came close to touching the record total of 21 million shares by 2010's top dog, Avatar.

From Torrent Freak (1, 2, 3)

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Former UK News Editor for TechRadar, it was a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she was constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. Kate now enjoys life as a renowned music critic – her words can be found in the i Paper, Guardian, GQ, Metro, Evening Standard and Time Out, and she's also the author of 'Amy Winehouse', a biography of the soul star.