StarCraft II sets piracy record with 15.77PB downloaded

By on November 16, 2010, 3:08 PM
Touted as the bestselling strategy game of all time, it's no secret that StarCraft II is immensely popular. Unfortunately for Blizzard, that popularity has earned its latest blockbuster a spot on an article titled '5 Torrent Files That Broke Mind Boggling Records'. According to TorrentFreak's numbers, StarCraft II has cemented its place in filesharing history as the torrent that has resulted in the transfer of the most data. That's quite the "achievement" for a title released less than four months ago.

The most popular torrent file for StarCraft II has been downloaded 2.3 million times. For a game that weighs 7.19GB, that amounts to around 15.77 Petabytes of data downloaded. On August 9, TorrentFreak reported that the total number of pirated copies of StarCraft II totaled 260,000, making it the most pirated game of 2010, and we wouldn't be surprised if it has maintained that title as well. By comparison, Blizzard sold 1.5 million copies in the first 48 hours and 3 million by September.


Interestingly, BitTorrent has actually helped Blizzard attain those sales. The company uses its own BitTorrent-based client to deliver digital downloads to paying customers, effectively reducing load on its servers. It's also worth noting that the company has downplayed piracy as a significant problem. "For World of Warcraft, we have been able to work well around the piracy issue and we think we'll be able to do the same with StarCraft II," Blizzard told MCVUK, pointing to the new Battle.net platform.

As you've undoubtedly heard, StarCraft II doesn't support LAN, so pirates only get the single player experience -- and a diluted single player experience at that. Progression milestones like achievements are only available with a Battle.net account and an Internet connection. With multiplayer being the focus of the game, one has to wonder how many of the 2.3 million illegal downloads have translated to legitimate sales, especially since Blizzard doesn't provide a free public demo of the game.




User Comments: 37

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g4mer said:

1024 TB = 1 PB. That's a lot of downloads.

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

I'm proud of TS. Instead of being like hard drive manufacturers, they used 1024 Bytes/Kilobyte, etc.

7.19GB * 2.3 million = 16,537,000GB

16,537,000GB/1024 = 16,149.41TB

16,149.41TB/1024 = 15.77PB

bioflex said:

now those are some insane figures.....and i never even played star craft though i am a hardcore pc gamer...if things continue this way then i am certain pc exclusive gaming would certainly be wiped out.

EXCellR8 EXCellR8, The Conservative, said:

lol 16 thousand terabytes...

Ahmed90 Ahmed90 said:

hmm am interested of "how thy count it and based on what?"

i don't really think thy got the data from every single torrent tracker out there ?

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Don't even get me started on this. It's these f*****rs that are slowly but surely destroying PC gaming.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Haha! actually I feel Maybe this helped Blizzard, Because alot of the game is tied to the Battle.NET platform all Torrented downloads were not the full thing and I'm pretty sure looking at the sales figures for this game that quite a few proably transfered to the full version,

this sounds kinda like a really large demo if anything.

TomSEA does have a point though, which I agree with but I like the way Blizzard handled this one.

catburst said:

I downloaded starcraft II just to see how good the game is specially with its 59.99 price , but within 2 hours i made up my mind and bought the game the next day. Then i gave away my guess passes to a friend and that resulted in two more sales for blizzard. Thats an example of a great polished game selling in any circumstances.

Guest said:

I do belive that this article is sensationalizing this issue HEAVILY.

"The most popular torrent file for StarCraft II has been downloaded 2.3 million times. For a game that weighs 7.19GB, that amounts to around 15.77 Petabytes of data downloaded."

This is a solid fact. However the next sentence states, "TorrentFreak reported that the total number of pirated copies of StarCraft II totaled 260,000"

So with only only 260,000 pirated games, with each game at 7.19GB thats 260,000 X 7.19GB= 1.78 PB.

The other 2 million copies torrented were downloaded via various torrents, then activated with a legitimate product code (Most likely obtained online through Blizzard).

Blizzard itself distributes Starcraft through a proprietary torrent, so its pretty safe to assume that these numbers are from people who choose to use a service other than Blizzards to download their copy, the only difference is most likely the speed of the download.

grvalderrama said:

It's a little tricker than that... Imagine how many people played the game from a friend that downloaded it (such as I did xD).... So, there are people who torrented the game and then bought it, and there are people who got the game from other people that downloaded it!...

Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

TomSEA said:

Don't even get me started on this. It's these f*****rs that are slowly but surely destroying PC gaming.

Bullsh*t! You have been whining and crying about this for the last year or better. This hasn't hurt Blizzard or PC gaming one bit. Blizzard has made millions upon millions of dollars in profit on this game alone. Microsoft has announced that it will be putting more effort into Games For Windows. So how in the hell has PC gaming been destroyed?

Ahmed90 Ahmed90 said:

i consider torrents and cracked releases of games more like a way to test the game before buying

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

I do belive that this article is sensationalizing this issue HEAVILY.

"The most popular torrent file for StarCraft II has been downloaded 2.3 million times. For a game that weighs 7.19GB, that amounts to around 15.77 Petabytes of data downloaded."

This is a solid fact. However the next sentence states, "TorrentFreak reported that the total number of pirated copies of StarCraft II totaled 260,000"

So with only only 260,000 pirated games, with each game at 7.19GB thats 260,000 X 7.19GB= 1.78 PB.

The other 2 million copies torrented were downloaded via various torrents, then activated with a legitimate product code (Most likely obtained online through Blizzard).

Blizzard itself distributes Starcraft through a proprietary torrent, so its pretty safe to assume that these numbers are from people who choose to use a service other than Blizzards to download their copy, the only difference is most likely the speed of the download.

Read the entire sentence my friend. "August 9, TorrentFreak reported that the total number of pirated copies of StarCraft II totaled 260,000, making it the most pirated game of 2010..."

The key being "August 9." The number of pirated downloads has since increased to 2.3 million. Nothing is being sensationalized, you're just confused. Blizzard does not release the stats (seeders/leechers/total downloads etc.) of its digital downloads.

Guest said:

Release a demo, and perhaps these numbers would be less inflated?

Where have the days gone where every release on PC sported a demo that would allows users to ensure that once they lay down their 60$ to purchase a game, it'll actually run correctly and playable.

Guest said:

Those numbers look nice.

But when was the last time you could play on Bnet with a pirated copy?

princeton princeton said:

Darkshadoe said:

TomSEA said:

Don't even get me started on this. It's these f*****rs that are slowly but surely destroying PC gaming.

Bullsh*t! You have been whining and crying about this for the last year or better. This hasn't hurt Blizzard or PC gaming one bit. Blizzard has made millions upon millions of dollars in profit on this game alone. Microsoft has announced that it will be putting more effort into Games For Windows. So how in the hell has PC gaming been destroyed?

Thank you. No offense Tom but we ******* get it already. Every time something even remotely relates to piracy you jump all over it.

Zecias said:

Guest said:

Release a demo, and perhaps these numbers would be less inflated?

Where have the days gone where every release on PC sported a demo that would allows users to ensure that once they lay down their 60$ to purchase a game, it'll actually run correctly and playable.

i doubt that blizzard cares if people torrent the game to test if it works, then buys it. either way they get their money and how often do u buy a game that doesn't work? even then, i don't know about any company that won't fix the problem after its reported. realeasing a demo will probably only stop about 10% of torrents at the very most.

i dont know y u would torrent sc2, because with no multiplayer, it lasts for around 5-15 hours. multiplayer is the whole reason u get sc2 and it has more replay value than any other game(if u get bored of league game, there are a bunch of awesome custom games that people have created and will keep creating).

treetops treetops said:

1. you should not advertise on this site that people can pirate a specific game

2. blizzard should a demo what the hell

3. i dont feel sorry for blizzard since they do not offer a demo

Guest said:

/gasp

anyway, I don't like games being heavily connected to the internet just so I can play them, look at what happened to assains creed 2. I know this is a different circumstance, but this is a step back to where assains creed 2 was. The problem being, we(the paying customer), should not be treated as criminals because we decide to buy the game while the pirates always find a way to circumvent it. If I want play a game today, I findout to see if there is a torrent and download it. I usually go out and buy a physical copy, but use the torrent to avoid the DRM. This is passively talking about how blizzard found an effective DRM hidden behind an article talking about torrenting.

Also, I fracking hate paying $60 for a game. Originally that extra $10 was to subsidize the price of the console when it came out. The price of making the console has gone down, but the games haven't. Anyone remember the rumors that PS3 games would sell for $70? I would have been pissed if i bought BLOPS only to take it home and find out it doesn't work half a damn. I hate to say it, bilzzard, but you are being added to the list of companies I won't buy from. Currently, the only developers I will pay attention to is Valve and Crytec.

I have started to worry about Crysis 2. I know it will be made for PC and Ported to consoles, but what kind of DRM does it or will it have? How much will it cost? If crysis 2 comes with any DRM or cost $60, I'm not paying for it. I am border-line pissed already that I shelled out ~$1000 for a high end PC when the games are almost all ports now. Expecting me to pay another $10 for a game is insulting. I paid 3X as much for my PC as people do for a console, forget about paying extra. If this is the way of gaming, I am done. I hate consoles and I will not be willing to pay ludicrous amounts of money on PC hardware for games that are $60 and don't work(another BLOPS reference).

I hope some developer reads this and takes note. The move to consoles will kill the high end PC hardware market. I will quit all this foolishness for gaming and do something useful with my life if this keeps up. That was a bold statement for me if you knew me in real life.

Chazz said:

^

Huh? Blizzard is one of the only developers that support the PC almost exclusively. The DRM in SC2 is very minimal and is coupled with features instead of nothing but punishments. It's very much like steam. You cannot expect a company not to protect their investment. And the pirates circumvent what? SC2 is and always will be all about the multiplayer. The single player campaign is surprisingly good (unlike other heavy multiplayer-centric games) but everyone knows where the real action is.

As for the article, I wonder if this included the beta clients. Because I downloaded the beta and played against the AI a bunch in order to get a early peak at this game before I finally got my key, I purchased this game week one and there isn't even a hint of regret.

Blizzard is a top notch producer, I have the upmost respect for Blizzard and Valve for their commitment to the PC platform.

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

Treetops said:

1. you should not advertise on this site that people can pirate a specific game

2. blizzard should a demo what the hell

3. i dont feel sorry for blizzard since they do not offer a demo

sounds like someone really wanted a demo...well anyone who buys the game gets a "guest pass" to give to a friend. But do you really neeeeed a demo for a game like SC2?

Brockxz said:

it's funny because i downloaded SC2 from one site because Blizzards downloader didn't use my network connection to maximum. Yes, i bought cd-key way before I downloaded. And I'm not the only one who did so. So I doubt every download is actually because people pirate it. Even so, most of those downloading that game actually don 't play that game at all. All those numbers are just fact of being downloaded but not the fact that people actually used the product illegally.

Guest said:

The most downloaded torrent is just the files from the blizzard torrent. No way does it hurt the game sales since you can only play single player. If you download SC2 to play single player you weren't ever going to buy it anyways. Everyone knows that SC2 is all about multiplayer.

Gars Gars said:

waiting to see how CoD:BO's will make it on the torrent arena :P

edison5do said:

I could not wait less for one of my favorite games of ever, too bad that when you grow up the time for play goes from 12+ to 0

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

sounds like someone really wanted a demo...well anyone who buys the game gets a "guest pass" to give to a friend. But do you really neeeeed a demo for a game like SC2?

I bought it on release day and didn't get a guest pass. I think you have to buy the SUPER expensive collectors edition to get guest passes.

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I have to agree with Chazz here. Blizzard does have some DRM setup in their game, and normally I really hate the DRM gaming companies put in their software. But with Blizzard I didn't even notice it. Any DRM that Blizzard has setup in SC2 didn't hinder my game play one bit.

I also really like how Blizzard handled this. They didn't freak out. They didn't start a witch hunt. They calmly stated - its not really an issue.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

TorturedChaos said:

I also really like how Blizzard handled this. They didn't freak out. They didn't start a witch hunt. They calmly stated - its not really an issue.

Man I wish more companies had the same attitude.

Instead of blaming Torrenting for low sales and less profit,

why not admit it (we'll use EA, as an example) you make alot of sh*t games!

windmill007 said:

Way to expensive. I can see why it is getting pirated a lot. Bring it down around $40 or lower and I bet those numbers go down and sales go up. I want to buy the game but no way am I paying that price. But unfortunately to get the more reasonable price I have to wait a year.

Johny47 said:

Oh my goodness, way to go Blizzard... and PC gamers hahaha =P

Guest said:

If I didn't have to buy the game three times, I wouldn't have pirated it.

Lokalaskurar Lokalaskurar said:

Bwahaha! So 0,4% of *all* of mankind's produced data this year, was in fact torrents from a single popular game!

gobbybobby said:

well. The pirates here are not getting the full game experiance, no Multiplayer no stats on there Battlenet so there loss. Im sure blizzard will be losing no sleep over this. I expect a fair few downloaded copies turned into Paying subscriptions to the games services.

Shaun2312 said:

Am I the only one that didn't like it?

blimp01 said:

my hard drive could fit all that no problem

ramonsterns said:

TomSEA said:

Don't even get me started on this. It's these f*****rs that are slowly but surely destroying PC gaming.

It's one of the best selling games of the year, what the flying puck are you talking about?

Guest said:

You people who say piracy destroys pc gaming are stupid and don't know what you are talking about. First of all, people who pirate games don't intend to buy in the first place, so whether they pirate or not, the game makers lose nothing. And those who do buy only buy titles that are worth buying. The game makers are the ones to blame. If they really want to stop piracy, stop making crappy games and make games people would actually enjoy. Most people buy games to play mostly online anyways. It is hard, if not impossible to play online without a genuine copy (unless on hacked servers).

Ironically, Starcraft 2 was removed of the LAN feature in order to stop piracy.

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