I’ll admit that when I was a young naïve teenager I would pirate some PC games. Mostly this would consist of going to my older brother’s place and getting a copy of his CDs. I’ve since learned the error of my ways and all of my games are legit. Unfortunately for the gaming industry, it doesn’t appear that most other people have. A recent study by THQ shows that piracy rates for PC games in the US are somewhere around 80%. Hit the jump for a quote from Michael Fitch, Director of Creative Management at THQ.
I didn’t believe [the data] at first. It seemed way too high. Then I saw that Bioshock was selling 5 to 1 on console vs. PC. And Call of Duty 4 was selling 10 to 1. These are hardcore games, shooters, classic PC audience stuff. Given the difference in install base, I can’t believe that there’s that big of a difference in who played these games, but I guess there can be in who actually payed for them.
I have a hard time believing that those things add up to an 80 percent piracy rate. There are so many factors that play into it, that it’s really hard to make a good guess. I will admit that piracy is an issue, and the best way to get around that is to offer great online play that requires unique keys, and awesome services like Steam that really make purchasing games worthwhile.