Spore is the most pirated game in history according to TorrentFreak. Post release, Spore generated significant negative publicity due to Electronic Arts’ decision to implement the unpopular Securom DRM. Although the record breaking piracy of Spore cannot be attributed solely to consumers rejecting the DRM implemented within it, it most likely helped as the statistics now show.
Spore produced piracy levels normally seen only for newly released movies according to TorrentFreak. Ten days after the game’s launch half a million copies of the game had been downloaded. Since that time over one million copies have been downloaded using BitTorrent. According to TorrentFreak statistics Spore was downloaded 1.7 million times since early September, which is a record breaking number for a game.
According to the TorrentFreak article, Electronic Arts attempted to downplay the initial piracy statistics of half a million downloads. EA’s Mariam Sughayer stated that every BitTorrent download was not a successful copy, and that several downloads did not work due to bugs and viruses. TorrentFreak defended their statistics pointing out poorly moderated torrent sites and malicious torrents do exist but constitute less than 1% of available torrents, and are not included in their statistics.
In the article, TorrentFreak also provides a list of the 10 most downloaded PC games on BitTorrent in 2008, with an estimated download count for each. Spore leads the way with 1.7 million copies; the second most pirated game was The Sims 2 at 1.15 million copies, also from Spore creator Will Wright. Assassins Creed completes the top 3 with just over a million downloads.