Researchers took a sampling of all commercial games from November 2010 to January 2011 and watched the activity of those games on BitTorrent and combined that information with other information on the games, such as genre and review scores. In all, they listed 173 games of interest, of which 127 were found on BitTorrent. Using this data, they came to the following conclusions:
- The majority of games they tracked had fewer than 50,000 unique peers observed on BitTorrent. At the same time, the 10 most popular games had a combined 5.37 million unique peers.
- ‘Action’ games made up the lion’s share of BitTorrent activity, comprising 45.61% of unique peers in all. ‘Role-Playing Games’, of which only 10 were observed, accounted for 15.58% of unique peers. However, when they looked at individual games, ‘Action’ games were less popular than ‘Racing’, ‘Role-Playing’, and ‘Simulation’ games, comprising 0.95%, 1.6%, 1.43%, and 1.08% respectively.
- Aggregated review scores correlated positively with the number of unique peers. Meaning, the higher the MetaCritic score, the more unique peers will be found on BitTorrent.
- In all, observed about 12.6 million unique peers accessing the 127 games on BitTorrent.