Remember when EA Games Label President Frank Gibeau said the following about why using SecuROM on Spore was a necessary evil:
We assumed that consumers understand piracy is a huge problem – and that if games that take 1-4 years to develop are effectively stolen the day they launch, developers and publishers will simply stop investing in PC games.
We already know that the SecuROM DRM didn’t stop Spore from being cracked and pirated five days before it was released, but surely the inclusion of such heavy-handed copy protection kept the piracy to a minimum, right? Right?
Not according to the folks at Kotaku and TorrentFreak:
TorrentFreak put up a list of the top 10 games copied and shared over BitTorrent for the year 2008, and Spore, quite unsurprisingly, leads them all by a country mile.
[…] TorrentFreak insists its stats don’t include downloads of malicious or malfunctioning torrents (a figure it puts at 1 percent of all available torrents). Spore’s 1.7 million has it well in first. The Sims 2 was No. 2 with 1.15 million. The Sims 2 was released in 2004. Fallout 3’s 645,000 downloads was the next highest among any 2008 game, good for eighth.
See the original article for the full list, but it should go without saying that the only people impacted by the SecuROM DRM are the people who bought legitimate copies. It’s worth noting that five of the top 10 most pirated games of 2008 were all SecuROM protected titles. But if you listen to Electronic Arts they’ll go on about how SecuROM is all about successfully stopping piracy and how it’s doing such a great job of it.