Four percent of American gamers are pirates~!

Pirates are normal people, not shady ne’er-do-wells

Four percent of U.S. gamers admit to pirating video games, according to a new NPD report that apparently we’re not cool enough to get directly from the NPD. I’m going to guess that more than one of you fall into that four percent.

So yeah, the NPD (those are the guys who release monthly sales reports) had a little survey that asked 8,000 people if they had ever pirated a video game. Only four percent of respondents admitted to it, which is patently ridiculous: the number has to be much, much higher. Still, the results are the results.

Also, it’s not that four percent of respondents admitted to piracy. However many people admitted to piracy in the survey, the NPD then applied the usual statistical wizardry that pollsters use for elections and whatnot. So that four percent should be interpreted as, four percent of Americans admitted to video game piracy.

Presumably the study also took into account people’s truthfulness.

So for the purposes of this here post, let’s just say that four percent of Americans have pirated video games. Simple enough.

As you might expect, 72 percent of all piracy took place on the PC/Mac, probably because it’s so damn trivial to find a torrent of Popular Game, and let it download for a few minutes. Then off you go. Compare that to Xbox or Wii piracy where you have to fiddle with your system to make a pirated game work.

The same report also touched on the idea of video game distribution. On the console side, 90 percent of all sales were via retail (that is, not Xbox Live Arcade, PSN, and Wii Shop), while 70 percent of other sales (including PC) were retail. Meaning that things like Steam are gigantic.

The last PC game I bought at retail was The Sims in the year 2000. Granted, I wasn’t a PC gamer till a few weeks ago, but now? It’s all Steam, baby.