Research focusing on 200 specific titles showed 9.78 million illegal copies of video games were downloaded worldwide in the month of December, according to the Entertainment Software Association.
The ESA expects the number is actually much higher as the study, conducted in partnership with the International Intellectual Property Alliance, focused only on those 200 popular games and the most popular filesharing platforms in use.
One upshot of the report was its request that the United States Trade Representative to list 35 countries - including Mexico, Canada and Brazil - on a "priority watch list," alleging those nations' inadequate response to regional piracy problems. That could conceivably lead to trade sanctions but that's a lot of dots to connect.
The countries with the highest number of unauthorised downloads were Italy (20.3 per cent of the total) Spain (12.5 per cent), France (7.5 per cent) and China (5.7 per cent). The report "demonstrates a strong correlation between countries that lack sufficient protections for technological protection measures and countries where online piracy levels for entertainment software are high," the ESA said in a statement.
ESA Estimates 10 Million Pirate Games Downloaded In December [GamesIndustry.biz]