Officials from software protection company Macrovision have announced the results of a study into video game piracy that purports to show the full extent of the problem amongst console users.
However, the Macrovision report is based on surveys conducted in February 2005 of approximately 6,000 console game players who were randomly selected "from a pool of visitors to various game-related websites", meaning that it's likely the more tech-savvy 'hardcore' gamers responding to this particular set of questions.
Nonetheless, the surveys of these 6,000 more dedicated Xbox and PlayStation 2 users (the GameCube’s proprietary disc format is much more difficult to pirate) show that 21 percent of these gamers play pirated games, but that 73 percent would have bought the game within one month if a free version had not been readily available. This high level of piracy on console systems would generally be expected to be even higher on the PC.
The study also shows that 43 percent of all of these gamers who play pirated games download over 15 pirated titles a year. Over 74 percent of downloaded pirated games come from Internet websites or peer-to-peer networks, while 21 percent of the games are copied from friends. Of those who play pirated games, 64 percent have installed mod chips on their consoles.