Report: Piracy could cost developers $21m in lost revenue in first fortnight

Report: Piracy could cost developers $21m in lost revenue in first fortnight

New research from Denuvo parent company Irdeto claims that a developer could lose $21m in revenue to piracy in a game's first 14 days on sale if they don't use any DRM.

The firm been keeping an eye on "a major sports title" for the two weeks following launch, detecting 355,664 downloads of the game via torrents.

Irdeto has multiplied this project's RRP by that above figure to come up with total potential lost revenue of $21,336,283.

The firm claims that 80 per cent of sales potentially occur in the first fortnight on shelves; 50 per cent of sales are within the first four days after launch. 12 per cent of sales take place in the first day.

A few things about this research: it is focused solely on one game, which doesn't make it the most representative bit of information.

Secondly, the research is done on the premise that a game's launch window is where a bulk of sales happen - true enough. But there's also the distinct possibility of a title being released and DRM being broken very quickly, even before it hits shelves, as has happened with titles using Denuvo's tech in just the last year.

“Piracy is a threat that is firmly established in the games industry and, as our research suggests, it can result in potentially huge revenue losses for publishers if their games are compromised within the 14-day window following release,” said Denuvo MD Reinhard Blaukovitsch (pictured).

“With this in mind, it is crucial for publishers to implement security strategies that make their games as difficult as possible to crack and reverse engineer. This way they will be able to better protect the revenues that allow them to continue to create such compelling games."

We caught up with Denuvo and its new parent company at Gamescom this year with both companies insisting  Denuvo is "back on track"

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.