Last year’s version of divorce simulator Football Manager contained an interesting hidden secret: there was code inside that let the developers track the IP of everybody who pirated a copy of the game.
Speaking at the London Games Conference, attended by MCV, the results the developers disclosed are fascinating. Over 10 million copies were passed around illegally, with the naughtiest nations responsible being China, Turkey and Portugal.
Italy was also up there in the rankings though, and of the 547,000 copies Sega were able to trace to the country, one was from inside the Vatican.
Maybe that’s why Pope Benedict XVI went into retirement earlier this year…
While 10 million pirated copies is cause for alarm, Football Manager boss Miles Jacobson is realistic about what it actually meant for his studio, saying that one pirated copy did not equal one sale lost. By their calculations, it added up to 176,000 lost sales, or $US3.7 million in revenue.