The Pirate Bay don’t host the illegal files, tho. They only host the .torrent files. These are extremely small files. I imagine their servers are more taxed by displaying their website than serving the .torrent files.
I think a lot of people pirating it are just people who got caught up in all of the controversy and just downloaded it out of spite. It would surprise me if many of them were actually going to buy the game in the first place. The game has done fairly well in sales as well. The thing that bothers me is that people think pirating the game is the same as boycotting the game, and it’s not. Pirating the game is stealing. A boycott would be doing without the game. Why can’t these people simply abstain from playing the game at all? Do they absolutely HAVE to play every major game that gets released? Do these people need to get a nice slap in the face and lose their computer privileges for a month, forcing them to go play outside with other children for once?
All the pirates are doing in convincing companies like EA that 1) Their game is popular but people are stealing it and 2) this will make them think twice before making another game for the PC. PC sales suck ass. There’s obviously a market on the PC, but people seem more than willing to steal a game if they can.
Take, for example, the fact that the console game market makes about $7 billion a year. The PC market makes less than $2 billion. That’s just software sales. Many people claim that those numbers are false, and that Steam games and MMO games aren’t included. That’s correct. But then, they aren’t included for the console games either. If you add WoW to the figures, something interesting happens: The profit DOUBLES. That’s ONE GAME that people are willing to throw over a billion dollars at every year. If ONE GAME can do that, why can’t any other game do anywhere even remotely close to that? WoW forces players to actually have to pay for the game (there are hacked clients and servers, but that’s not really WoW). Steam forces players to actually have to pay for the game, and I’ve no doubt that that service also make s a ton of cash, tho i’ve never seen numbers for it.
The sad fact is that the PC games market has effectively proven that if you can’t FORCE people to pay for the games somehow, they will just steal it. THAT is why they keep trying to ‘fight’ piracy. I mean, it might not just be that simple, but that’s how these companies see it. The more and more extreme DRM probably will lead to more and more piracy, but that will only convince companies to add more and more DRM in a vain effort to try to force people to finally buy their games. Eventually the cycle will break, and the result will be either a type of DRm that is unbreakable in the short term requiring people to pay for the games, or the game companies abandoning the PC market altogether. The latter has already started to happen.