Football Manager boss Miles Jacobson has revealed the true extent of video game piracy on PC.
10.1m people have illegally downloaded Football Manager 2013, he said on stage at London Games Conference 2013.
The game was cracked on May 12th this year, but the crack featured a flaw called Home, which allowed Jacobson and his team to track the IP address of everybody who illegally downloaded the game.
Out of those 10.1m people, most came from China, which accounted for 3.2m of the illegal downloads. Turkey was in second place with 1.05m followed by Portugal with 781,785 games.
Italy was also a hotbed for PC piracy, with 547,000 in the country (plus one in the Vatican).
Jacobson said that he does not believe that one pirated game equals one lost sale "That would be ridiculous to think," he said. But based on the drop in activations, he estimated piracy cost them 176,000 lost sales. He added that 1.74 per cent of illegal downloaders would potentially purchase the game had no crack been available, which would have meant $3.7m in revenue. Revenue he would have spent hiring new members to the team.
He told the audience that sales dropped off heavily once the game was cracked.
He said 18 per cent of people who downloaded illegally played the games five times or more, so that’s around 1.8m gamers regularly playing a game they did not pay for.
He admitted that there was little that can be done about this piracy "crackers are going to crack and people will download". But hopes this data will help publishers and developers understand the true state of illegal downloading in the world.