Feeds

Swarm of file sharers spurred UK crackdown

Earth 2160 - straw that broke the camel's back

The Power of One Infographic

Pinball game publisher Zuxxez decided to chase down British file sharers after discovering that illegal downloads of its best-selling Earth 2160 outstripped its retail sales 35 times, clocking up nearly one million Jolly Rogers.

Zuxxez found 891,414 people who had attempted to download Earth 2160 between its release on 1 June 2005 and 18 December 2006. The firm has sold 25,000 units of Earth 2160 in the UK, a volume that got it to number four in the games charts. The trawl found 10,000 UK uploaders.

Zuxxez sales director Dirk Hassinger said he wanted to clamp down on file sharers but was daunted by the potential costs of going after 10,000 people, so he opted to try it out on the less popular game, Pinball 3D.

Five hundred sharers of the Zuxxez game Dream Pinball 3D are being pursued by law firm Davenport Lyons on the publisher's behalf.

This is small fry compared to those Zuxxez nabbed in Germany.

Schutt-Waetke, another law firm, swooped on 18,000 German file sharers of Earth 2160, 8,000 of whom have already signed agreements to stop file sharing and paid a penalty.

"In the UK, pirates are lucky because we get the address from the ISPs," said Hassinger, "In Germany we have to request with the police - and the state prosecutors go after them immediately."

He said Zuxxez had no intention of making a business out of pursuing file sharers, an accusation that was made after the German crackdown. But he refused to say how much money the firm made out of legit sales of Earth 2160 other than it had turned a profit. The game has sold half a million units across Europe but has been on budget sale in Germany.

Neither was he certain that file sharers lost him business: "Normally, if you discuss this with file sharers, they say they wouldn't have bought the game anyway," he said.

But he added, you might as well say, "I never would have bought a Ferrari if I hadn't pinched one".

It cost a firm £3m to £10m to develop an A-list game, he said. If you're lucky, its a good game and if the marketing's right, you might just make a margin on it. ®

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Sit back down, Julian Assange™, you're not going anywhere just yet
Swedish court refuses to withdraw arrest warrant
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy
Why, we might as well have been buying AIR
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.