You wouldn't believe it, but a "scientific" study has proven that the better the game, the more it gets downloaded through peer to peer networks.
The "surprising" results were revealed by Anders Drachen, Kevin Bauer and Rob Veitch at the university of Waterloo, University of Colorado and Copenhagen Business School.
The research team monitored the p2p downloads of 173 over a three months span at the end of 2010 / start of 2011.
Only 127 games of the 173 chosen games were available on BitTorrent. Those games were downloaded by 12.7 million unique peers during the study period. While this means that the average game got downloaded 100,000 times, it is worth noting that the 10 most downloaded games account for 5.3 million downloads (42% of the total).
The most downloaded game during the study was Fallout: New Vegas with 962,243 downloads, followed by Darksiders and Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit with 656,296 and 656,243 downloads. NBA 2k11 was downloaded 545,559 times; TRON Evolution - 496,349 downloads; Call of Duty: Black Ops - 469,864 downloads; Starcraft 2 - 420,138 downloads; Star Wars the Force Unleashed 2 - 415,021 downloads; Two Worlds II - 388,236 downloads, and The Sims 3: Late Night - 356,771 downloads.
The researchers noticed a high correlation between the games' metacritic score and the number of times it was downloaded from BitTorrent. "The result indicates a statistically significant positive relationship between the number of unique peers and aggregated review scores," the paper explained. "Put differently, Metacritic Scores explain 10 percent of the variance in the unique peers per game on BitTorrent."
The researches announced that they are looking into other factors that affect piracy rates, but they didn't name any of them.