Speaking at the London Games Conference earlier today, Sports Interactive boss Miles Jacobson revealed how the company had embedded code inside the Sega game, which allowed it to track the IP addresses of people who played cracked copies of the game. He said this trick had yielded results of 10.1 million downloads.
3.2m of the illegal downloads were located in China, followed by Turkey with a million, Portugal with 780K and Italy with 547K. He added that around one in five people who downloaded the game, played it regularly.
Jacobson said that the vast majority of these downloads represented people who would never have paid for the game. But he estimated that 1.74 percent of illegal downloaders might have purchased the game had no crack been available, representing potential income of $3.7 million.
"Crackers are going to crack and people will download," he added, saying that piracy would never go away, but that understanding its extent is a useful tool for game developers and publishers.