Crysis 2, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, and Battlefield 3 have been named the top three games in 2011, but not in a way that will have Crytek, Infinity Ward, or EA popping champagne any time soon. According to TorrentFreak's Top 10 Most Pirated Games of 2011 list, Crysis 2 was digitally pinched the most last year through 3.92 million illegals downloads, while Modern Warfare 3 trailed closely at 3.65 million, and Battlefield 3 followed with 3.51 million.
The dubious countdown was compiled using information from “several sources”, as well as data from all public BitTorrent trackers. Other "winners" on TorrentFreak's list include Nintendo's Super Mario Galaxy 2, which topped the Wii downloads for another year at 1.28 million; Epic's Gears of War 3, which came first for Xbox 360 downloads at 890,000; and Valve's Portal 2, which wound up in fifth place for illegal PC downloads at 3.24 million.
As indicated by the numbers and in the complete report, PC games were downloaded three times more than console titles. Other platforms like the PS3 suffered significant less than the PC, Wii, and Xbox 360; hence their exclusion from the final tally.
Crysis 2's showing is unfortunate, but predictable. The PC version of the sequel leaked a full month before its real release date, and the pirating only intensified following its launch in March. An incomplete version of Gears of War 3 also leaked for Xbox 360 owners, however the damage was far less significant.
Compared to last year's report, the total number of illegal downloads is about the same. That is, while they haven't gone up, it's clear that current anti-piracy strategies aren't doing the trick. But remember: who knows how many of those pirates would have bought the game anyway? And they're all providing free marketing for the game companies, so it's a completely victimless crime. Right?