When considering software piracy, many organizations throw around numbers with no hard evidence to back them up. However, a group of researchers recently conducted theĀ first large-scale analysis of piracy habits, focused on the video game industry, to determine actual illegal download habits of consumers.

The study, which covered BitTorrent downloads across three months from late 2010 to early 2011, examined 173 video games and on all platforms. The results found 12.7 million unique downloads, the majority of which occurred in Eastern Europe. Top downloads included RPGs, action and sports games, and the top ten downloaded games accounted for more than 40 percent of the total downloads during the time frame.

For software firms, the main problem is how to attract customers into purchasing or otherwise legally downloading their products. One way to accomplish this is to improve the installer program itself. This will help make the entire customer experience more attractive and allow firms to monetize their products more effectively at the same time. Ultimately, by improving the programs used to download and install the products, companies will be improving customer service and enhancing their ability to track and analyze customer habits through the process.