The UK Interactive Entertainment have released estimates regarding the rampant piracy issue plaguing the industry, believing that for every retail game sold, four are pirated. Speaking with GamesIndustry.biz, director general Michael Rawlinson explained that the group plans on thoroughly researching the problem.
"Based on information received from a number of publishers we have estimates of games piracy running at between 4:1 against legitimate sales," said Rawlinson.
This comes just after the BBC reported that the UK games industry suffered a lost of £1.45 billion as a result of piracy. Rawlinson did not specify what consoles were included in the estimates.
"We took a conservative position of saying if this is only 1:1 across all titles it would have a retail equivalent value of £1.45 billion. We did not say this was the loss to industry," he said.
"What is clear is people who 'share' games via P2P networks or buy illegal copies are not buying the real product, and this reduces retailer sales. It can provide the consumer with a sub-standard product and money paid to illegal traders does not flow back to the creative.
"In turn, investors see higher risks/lower returns, and this in turn will undermine confidence in the sector and lower the amount of money invested, reducing the developer's chance to create new products.
"We intend to commission research that will endeavour to measure what is happening in the download/illegal sales arena in a more scientific way, but it will always be difficult to translate illegal sharing and downloads and pirate sales to a loss of legitimate sales and therefore the real effect on industry - how much would these people have bought and paid for."
"My position is clear, there can be no justification of unauthorised 'sharing' or pirate sales, and the industry should never support or condone this on the basis of any potential or perceived 'marketing' upside."