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ESA: 54% of illegal file swapping comes from Brazil, China, France, Italy and Spain

Tuesday, 15 February 2011 20:23 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

The ESA has named Brazil, China, France, Italy and Spain as the five countries with “extraordinarily high” levels of online game piracy.

The findings were revealed in a “Special 301″ report filed with the U.S. Trade Representative by the International Intellectual Property Alliance – a government body tasked with combating worldwide copyright infringement, reports Gamasutra.

The ESA, which is a member of this organization, issued a watch list consisting of 33 countries which it feels are not doing enough to quell issues of copyright infringement, with the aforementioned countries considered the worst offenders with 54 percent share of the peer-to-peer sector.

Those involved in the report, cited over 144 million connections in unauthorized game sharing, with the top five countries accounting for 78 million sources of P2P sharing – a number which is fives times that of the US.

“Our industry continues to grow in the U.S., but epidemic levels of online piracy stunt sales and growth in a number of countries, including Italy, China, Spain, Brazil and France, where we see crushing volumes of infringing peer-to-peer activity involving leading game titles,” says ESA president and CEO Michael Gallagher who said flashcarts are still readily available despite recent laws against them.

The IIPA and ESA recommends that the USTR impose trade sanctions on offending countries after a set investigation period and add Spain to the “Priority Watch List” due to its seemingly relaxed policies on the issue of piracy.

It was recommended that Brazil remain on the regular Watch List, along with Italy, while China and Canada will continue to remain on the Priority List.

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18 Comments

  1. Roberto Guedes

    Hello, there.

    I’m brazilian and I founded with some friends last September an indie developer called “Give me Five”.

    As you may know be tired to know, all this thing about piracy here is true.

    But we think that it is about to change because of two things: “Jogo Justo” (Fair Game, in english) and ACI Games (Commercial and Industrial Association of Games), this last one founded by the creators of Jogo Justo. It does the same thing as ESA in the american games market.

    And Jogo Justo, which after turned out to be ACI Games, was created to formalize our games market (which simply didn’t exist before) and transfer the games taxes from “gamble games” (yeah, that’s why the prices are so high) to “software”, which was always supposed to be. With fair prices, we think that our market should finally rise.

    There are some evidences to that. There was days organized with the Jogo Justo’s team and the retailers to reduce the prices. I remember that slogan being “Take the game for free, pay just the taxes”. The titles were out of stock in less than one hour. And, of course, there is the success of StarCraft II (PC games already are on the “software” category).

    ESA and ACI Games are already communicating with each other, so I hope that some changes are coming soon. Those days of a game being banned with no good reason will be over, as well as the piracy subject, which I think that nobody here can take it anymore.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Hunam

    Proof that the only thing Italians pay for is their politicians?

    #2 4 years ago
  3. xino

    well obvious because those areas are poor and cannot afford to pay £40 full price for a game.
    I’m surprise the middle east was not mentioned as well.

    Publishers are just greedy man! 1million mark is enough for them but they still want more! Worst yet they’ve increased the prices of games and still expect people to pay their monthly gaming bill in order to reach 1 million mark. Atrocious they are introducing this online pass….are they out of their farking minds?

    It’s good that those countries above are pirating the sh* out of their games.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Roberto Guedes

    @3 No, not really, at least here. With fair taxes, a launch game should cost R$99,90, (US$60, £45). Right now, it goes from R$ 170 (Microsoft games) to R$ 250.

    And there aren’t many publishers here. Blizzard is here, as well as Sony, Microsoft and Warner (that also publishes EA games). But, besides those, NC Games and ZAP Games does the rest for the others.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Superfrog

    I’m surprised that Germany isn’t on the list. Video game piracy is VERY common around here since the C64 and Amiga days. People usually shake their heads in disbelief when you tell them that you actually BUY games (this also applies to movies, music and any kind of PC software for private use, of course). *sigh*

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Callum

    Proof that most people in the UK are too retarded to work torrents.

    I of course have never illegally downloaded anything…. I would genuinely feel sick and not be able to sleep until I wrote a letter of apology. I once stole a sweet from Woolworths…I didn’t eat it, I felt so bad I gave it to my dog instead. I wrote them a letter saying sorry, and they sent me a box of Maltesers.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Hunam

    The thing with the UK is that games are cheap here now. There isn’t much need to pirate games because they become affordable fast.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Gurdil

    Well, you gotta note that, in France, a game costs 70 euros (£60), which is quite expensive IMO. That’s why I buy my games in the UK. But seeing how easy it is to get a game for free via megaupload, torrents or whatever, I’m not surprised so many people get them! And the question remains, as for movies, would people who use piracy have bought the game if they couldn’t download it? Not sure. I think most people get illegal stuff just to see what they wouldn’t have bought anyway. It doesn’t make it less illegal of course but I can understand curiosity.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. back_up

    piracy is in the blood of PC gamers
    but figures are fake
    100% of illegal file swapping comes from world is the fact

    #9 4 years ago
  10. aleph31

    Well, I’m from Spain, and even though I’ve never pirated any console game (I pirated some PC games long, long ago during the 90′s), I understand prices here are too expensive.

    In Spain an XBox game costs around 70€, and prices don’t go down after a minimum of 6 months or even 1 year since the game was released, i.e., a much lower pace than in other countries (for instance, Vanquish and Enslaved are both 70€ in this moment).

    Comparing the Spanish vs. UK GDP per capita, if UK followed the same rules than in Spain, an XBox game would cost there £70, and after 6 months, again £70… I presume that’s not the way to go if you want to erradicate piracy from lower-income countries.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. Robo_1

    @1 Thanks for a good summary of the situation in Brazil, I do hope it gets better for you and the other devs out there.

    I do think publishers need to price their products according to the market they’re selling in. There’s no excuse in countries like France, which has a relatively healthy economy (but seemingly a high proportion of leeches), but in poorer countries like Brazil and China, they need to meet the consumer half way, and charge a price for software appropriate to the average persons income.

    I suppose they’d also need to introduce region locking to the software then, but it just seems insane to try and sell a new game for €70 (or equivalent amount) in countries where that can be a big chunk of an average persons monthly wage. There are, better, easier and more effective ways of combating piracy than building another DRM system.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Gurdil

    @11 Don’t mean to be rude but your argument about French people having a healthy economy is ridiculous. A good economy doesn’t mean all people are rich… For most people, 70 euros is very expensive. Even I find it expensive and have to turn to UK websites while I’m middle-class. I guess it’s ok for people who don’t play a lot to pay this amount once in a while but for “real” gamers it’s a pain in the ass.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. Robo_1

    No it doesn’t mean people are rich, but it does mean that luxury items like games are priced accordingly. I order all my stuff from the UK too, so I’m not saying people should just accept the 70 euro price tag blind.

    €70 is the high end though. Most games in Belgium sell new for €55 – €60 euros and I find that a fair price for the amount of entertainment I get from games.

    Whether it makes good business sense is another question entirely of course, but given how quickly games fall in price these days, and how extensive the second hand market is, there are cheaper options available for those who don’t wish to pay full price, so yes, in developed economies like France, I don’t think there’s any excuse for rampant piracy, certainly not when measured against places like Brazil.

    #13 4 years ago
  14. Gurdil

    @13 I’m with you on that, I didn’t try and stand up for piracy. Just saying new games are too expensive IMO and it could be a good idea for France to follow other countries’ lead (either cut new games prices and/or make those prices fall faster). I think we’re slowly getting to the same situation as music knows except it would REALLY be a problem for the game industry.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. Neolucifer

    Hell the continental parts of France got it “easy” , try living in their Carribean island and french guyana . Every consoles cost 100 more euros at least , and games are usually at 85-90 euros .

    When it comes to Online , if the game are region restricted , wich still happens every once in a while (and for every mmos) , we are screwed , being forced to play on euro server while being located near America .

    We dont have access to most PSN and XBL movies , music , and comics services , being flagged as not part of France , nor part of anywhere else , while still being fed PAL access and games .

    Yet most of those places dont have that many pirates , most “hapilly” buy their games , and the most disgrunted ones like myself , simply import the cheaper us games .

    So no bottom line , and finally to the point , i dont see 70 euros the game as a valid excuse .

    #15 4 years ago
  16. aleph31

    In any case, as far as for Spain goes, I see a clear picture:

    – Our population is whealthy enough to buy the hardware (you can easily spend 300€ per year on a console or new graphics card)

    – Our population is not whealthy enough to buy the software they are willing to buy (2 or even 3 games per month on average, which amouts to 140€ – 210€ per month)

    – We are sick of seeing other countries with prices that are half the price we have here, also we suffer from some kind of “normalization”, so every game costs the same no matter whether it’s an AAA title or not. And as a plus, prices drop here only after the game is not just old, but a reliq.

    I wonder what would happen in UK if every retail shop offered every game at £70.

    Of course I’m against piracy, but some type of equity policy must be implemented if you want everybody to be fair play; otherwise, the percentage of rogues will rise, as it is happening now.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. TheWulf

    Glad to see that there was only one openly racist comment here, though ideally that would’ve been none.

    That said, I can certainly understand that people might be struggling, financially, as I’ve been there. You spend your money as best you can, which is all that anyone could do, and when you find a game you like, you’ll likely shell out for it anyway out of the desire to support the developer.

    What gets to me is how much of the industry today encourages piracy.

    Example #1: Sony bans those who just want Other OS back on their system but are otherwise legitimate customers. As good as to say that they don’t want your money.

    Example #2: Nintendo has tried releasing firmware updates that block cards, otherwise you can’t access their store. Another way to say that they don’t want your money. (This one has bugged me, since I have a card and I use it for ScummVM. I like point & click adventure games, and they play well on the DS.)

    Example #3: Publishers aren’t putting out PC demos. At a time when console ports are so horribly optimised that even a quad core can’t pull more than 20FPS out of them, we need demos to ensure that things will work on our respective computers. Piracy is used in the place of demos.

    Example #4: Publishers price things way out of the league of someone’s ability to pay. This is helped with the likes of Steam sales (I’ll always respect you, Valve), but not everyone has a PC, so not everyone can take advantage of those.

    I could sit here and continue to do this.

    All of this acts contrary to making games saleable.

    They say with their lawyers that they don’t want people to pirate, and yet corporations say with their business ethics and choices that they do want people to pirate. To the point where they’re almost begging people to do so.

    I can understand GeoHot’s rap about not understanding corporations, because quite frankly, I certainly don’t either. Do you?

    #17 4 years ago
  18. TheWulf

    (And I will note that I own all the games I play with ScummVM. Hell, my CD for Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis recently gave up the ghost, so I picked it up on Steam to gain access to those files.)

    #18 4 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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  • Bungie “always” looking at Exotic changes for Destiny updates

    Destiny developer Bungie won’t stop tinkering with Exotic weapons. In Destiny, Exotic weapons are supposed to be the best of the best – and to feel unique. Guns like Ice Breaker and Gjallahorn definitely hit the mark there (although less so when everyone has one), but unfortunately, there are a few that just don’t strike […]

  • Is Uncharted 4′s first trailer a tribute to Crash Bandicoot?

    Uncharted 4′s first proper trailer bears some remarkable similarities to the opening moments of a much earlier Naughty Dog game. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End has more in common with Crash Bandicoot than you might think. It’s Naughty Dog’s first game on a new console, yes – but if you compare Uncharted 4′s E3 2014 […]

  • Sonic console games will continue, says Iizuka

    Sonic Team leader Takashi Iizuka has said there are no plans to stop making Sonic games. Sonic hasn’t retired from the ranks just yet. “Please rest assured, I personally have no plans to stop making Sonic games for home consoles,” Iizuka told 4Gamer [Japanese]. The comment arose after the site asked if Sonic would become […]

  • Stealth Inc. 2 coming to PSN, apparently

    Stealth Inc. 2: A Game of Clones will soon be available on PlayStation platforms, if a trophy list is to be believed. Stealth Inc. 2 initially launched as a Wii U exclusive, disappointing fans of Curve Studios’ tough action game. We’ve heard nothing to contradict this, but Exophase, a generally reliable source, has dug up […]

  • Runescape developer has an “undisclosed MMO” in the works

    Runescape developer Jagex is working on something new. According to Jagex’s careers page, the developer has a new, unannounced game in the works. Its advertisement for a lead programmer makes explicit mention of an “undisclosed MMO”. The ad mentions the new title is in “the preliminary stages of redefining the cross platform MMORPG genre” and […]

  • Destiny PvP rewards system to be addressed

    Destiny developer Bungie has said it will change the way Crucible rewards work. Destiny players are always complaining about the perfidy of RNGesus, but there’s one area where it particularly hurts: the Crucible. PvP players often receive nothing at all for excellent performances, and sometimes Guardians receive the best drops merely for logging in as […]

  • Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 in the works for 3DS

    Azure Striker Gunvolt is getting a sequel. Azure Striker Gunvolt developer Inti Creates has confirmed that the sidescroller has been popular enough to warrant a second instalment. The sequel will also be released on 3DS, the team said on Facebook. Very little information is available at present, unfortunately. “As time goes on we will have […]

  • Life is Strange Episode 2 not delayed, says developer

    Life is Strange developer Dontnod Entertainment has said the second episode is on track for release this month. I guess it would know. Life is Strange Episode 2 has been expected on March 13, but late last week Square Enix told Destructoid it had been delayed. Dontnod has since denied this report, describing it as […]

  • First SteamVR game reveal is Job Simulator

    Job Simulator is the first game to be announced specifically for SteamVR, Valve’s virtual reality tech. Shoot Many Robots and Aaaaa! For the Awesome! developer Owlchemy Labs is the first team to put its hand up and say it’s worked with SteamVR. In a blog post, the studio unveiled Job Simulator, which will be playable […]

  • HTC, Valve partner for Vive VR headset

    The first SteamVR announce is a headset a manufactured by HTC, the Taiwanese mobile company revealed over the weekend. Valve told us last week it planned to unveil virtual reality hardware at GDC, calling it “SteamVR” at the time. Now HTC has pre-empted Valve by revealing Vive, a headset developed thanks to a collaboration between […]

  • Watch the Evolve Chappie Challenge tomorrow on Twitch

    Sony Pictures Entertainment, 2K and Turtle Rock Studios have announced a tournament being hosted by ESL, which will see Evolve players take on newest movie robot, Chappie. The ESL has teamed up with Twitch for the live 4 on 1 competitive event, and you can watch as it all unfolds tomorrow, March 1 at 3pm […]

  • If you’re attending PAX East, stop and have a look at Necropolis

    We haven’t heard much on Harebrained Schemes’ latest since it was announced in November, but today, the team has seen fit to release some interesting gifs of its a new project, Necropolis. Necropolis is a third-person action rogue-like with procedurally generated which can be “re-rolled mid-playthrough” and is headed to Linux, Mac and PC sometime […]

  • Dragon’s Dogma Online really is lovely, as these screenshots prove

    More Dragon’s Dogma Online screenshots have been released, and this batch is just as lovely as the last gallery we posted. Since this game will likely never leave Japan, the images are a bit of a salt rub for fans of the IP, but hopefully another entry in the series will be released at some […]

  • Action-RPG Death’s Gambit has a classic-Castlevania feel to it

    How would you like to become an agent of Death and rid the world of immortals? Then Death’s Gambit may just be the game for you. Announced by LA-based studio White Rabbit, the action-RPG with platforming elements tasks players with fighting gigantic enemies on an alien, medieval planet. Players will also encounter formidable beasts, knights, […]

  • Modder adds offline co-op into Resident Evil: Revelations 2

    PC users lamenting the lack of local, offline co-op in Resident Evil: Revelations 2 will be pleased to know a modder has remedied the omission. The mod, created by FluffyQuack, adds offline co-op mode to Episode 1 but the only caveat is players will need to use gamepads instead of mouse and keyboard (via Gamespot). […]

  • Number of Steam accounts with Dota 2 installed hits over 42 million

    Dota 2 has seen its installation rate jump 85% year-over-year, resulting in the MOBA now having close to 43 million installations worldwide. The figures were published via a report from video game research and consulting firm EEDAR, which studied Steam accounts daily to better understand the service’s player behavior and title performance. According to statistics […]

  • Nintendo issuing Eon Ticket codes for Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire

    Nintendo is handing out an Eon Ticket to Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire owners which will allow them to visit the Southern Island. Once a player arrives, depending on which version of the game they own, Pokemon Latios and Latias are able to be caught. The Eon Ticket was originally issued via StreetPass, but […]

  • Here’s a couple The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt screenshots to brighten your day

    Two images for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt have surfaced on the game’s Facebook page. Grabbed by Gamekyo, the images show Gerlat and Vesemir chatting with a fellow, and the other shows Geralt riding up to some ruins where some people have been hanged. CD Projekt Red will make an appearance at PAX East next […]

  • Hyrule Warriors Boss Pack DLC contains unlockable character – potential spoilers

    While you already know the next DLC for Hyrule Warriors will allow you to play as the gigantic beast Ganon, there’s a rather humorous unlockable character contained in it as well. Potential spoilers follow below. When the DLC arrived in Japan February 26, YouTuber moccos-tan IsedelicaAs posted a video of the unlockable character, which is […]

  • Star Trek Online players gather on Vulcan to pay respects to Leonard Nimoy

    Star Trek Online players paid tribute to Leonard Nimoy yesterday by gathering around a fountain on Vulcan, the home planet of Spock in the Star Trek series. According to a post by barnacle999 on reddit, when he logged into the MMO “there were around 20 full instances and several partial,” culminating in around 1000 players […]

  • Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin gameplay video shows invasion of The Forlorn

    A new Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin gameplay video has been released, and provides the viewer with a look at the NPC invader system. Watch below as The Forlorn hunts down the player through the game with “with deadly skill and tenacity.” He even teams up with other enemies, making your fight […]

  • Visual upgrade for Wasteland 2, improved modding tools in the works

    A visual upgrade and improved mod tools are in the works for Wasteland 2, according to a blog post from inXile Entertainment. The upgrades will come about as the game’s codebase is migrated from Unity 4.5 to Unity 5. “A major benefit of moving to Unity 5 is that 5 will include many of the […]

  • Battlefield Hardline brings “Hollywood crime drama” to single-player campaign

    In the fifth developer diary for Battlefield Hardline, the team discusses how it’s bringing “Hollywood crime drama” to the shooter’s single-player campaign. The video was released a couple of days ago, so apologies are in order if this has been posted already, but I promise I searched the site and never found it. Visceral Games […]

  • Masquerada: Songs and Shadows is a pause for tactics isometric RPG coming in 2016

    Masquerada: Songs and Shadows is a 2.5D isometric RPG, built in the vein of Baldur’s Gate and Dragon Age in the works at Withing Hour Studios. The game allows the player to pause combat to plan party tactics. “Set in the Venetian-inspired fantasy city of Ombre where rare masks are the key to casting magic, […]

  • Underworld Ascendant surpasses Kickstarter goal

    Underworld Ascendant which was launched on Kickstarter earlier this month, has met its  $600,000 funding goal. With six days left 10,786 backers pledged $610,541 In light of being funded, the team has also switched up the stretch goals as bit, as you can see in the image below. The studio, OtherSide Entertainment, is fronted by Paul Neurath, […]

  • Latest Evolve patch fixes progress and save game data loss on Xbox One

    A patch for Evolve has been released on Xbox One which fixes lost progress and save game data users had reported. The patch also fixes an issue with shadows and flashlight, makes incremental improvements to matchmaking, invites, and rejoining, and there were progressions balance changes. “The issue with lost progress and saved games was mostly […]

  • Online servers for Ridge Racer Unbounded shut down in Europe

    Online functionality for Ridge Racer Unbounded is no longer available, Namco Bandai Europe has announced. Solo mode and the track editor are still playable, minus the sharing options. Ridge Racer Unbounded was released on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in March 2013. Thanks, MCV.

  • OlliOlli will be a cross-buy title on 3DS and Wii U

    Curve Digital has announced OlliOlli will be a cross-buy title when it releases on 3DS and Wii U. The Roll7 title will be the first third-party title to offer the functionality on the systems. OllliOlli will be released on the eShop March 5 The game launches on Nintendo’s eShop on March 5th, followed by Xbox […]

  • Darkbeast electrifies latest Bloodborne video

    The latest Bloodborne video shows off another monster in the game. This one is Darkbeast and he’s full of electricity. The video is the last of IGN’s month-long coverage of the title.

  • Future Assassin’s Creed games will have greater focus on modern timeline

    Ubisoft plans to focus more on modern timelines in future Assassin’s Creed games, the company suggested during its latest community livestream. During the Twitch stream, one of the lead writers for the Assassin’s Creed series, Darby McDevitt, said the modern timeline for Brotherhood’s town of Monteriggioni could inspire future development. “That only came about because […]

  • Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 is coming to Xbox One next month

    Halfbrick has announced Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 for Xbox One will release next month. The mobile title made its way onto Xbox 360 garnering 1 million downloads as of March 2012. It has a new multiplayer mode for up to four players with Battle and Party modes along with a new progression system. An announcement […]

  • New GTA 5 PC screens – shit the bed!

    Rockstar has pumped out 15 new screens for the PC version of Grand Theft Auto 5. Don’t touch them, because they’re electric. And if you touch them, you’ll get shocked. The PC version of GTA 5 has been delayed until April 14, which both sucks and blows. BUT! There’s a new trailer coming between now […]

  • Sony Japan accidentally erases 20th Anniversary PS4 contest entries

    Sony Japan has accidentally erased all information obtained from PlayStation owners who entered to win a 20th Anniversary PlayStation 4. Those who purchased PlayStation 3, PS4, Vita or Vita TV between December 4 – January 15 were handed a calendar with a code which entered them into the contest. Somehow, all data collected from the […]

  • Hearthstone datamine suggests Blackrock Mountain expansion on the way

    Hearthstone’s next update may be based on World of Warcraft’s Molten Core raid, if datamined information posted on Hearthpwn is spot-on. According to files mined from the latest patch, three new cosmetic card backs are on the way, one of which is called Molten Core. The data suggests that pre-ordering the Blackrock Mountain expansion will […]

  • Using Battlefield Hardline single-player gadgets increases your metagame rewards

    Gadgets contained in Battlefield Hardline’s campaign mode have been detailed, and each provides the player with various ways in which to solve crimes. According to design director Scott Warner, one way to “diffuse” a conflict when confronted with criminal activity is to flash your badge and ordering the criminal to freeze. Putting your gun on […]

  • Mortal Kombat X video is all about story mode, new characters

    After promising a new Mortal Kombat X reveal “soon”, NetherRealm Studios has made good on said promise by releasing the story trailer. The video shows parts of the story mode featuring Mileena, which takes place 25 years after the events of 2011′s Mortal Kombat. Outworld has become a larger threat and new fighters joining the […]

  • Destiny’s shotgun and pulse rifle buffs mean it’s time to rethink your load-out

    Destiny’s most-ignored weapons got major boosts this week. It’s time to start thinking about how to work them into your set-up. Even if you’re used to using scout rifles and sniper rifles as a general loud-out (neither class was touched by 1.1.1), the buffs to pulse rifles and shotguns should make you rethink your contextual […]

  • Battlefield Bad Company 2: five years later, what did it do so right?

    It’s been five years since the release of Battlefield Bad Company 2. What did the much-loved entry in the franchise do for the Battlefield series? Westie’s played Battlefield Bad Company 2 for over 1,260 hours on PS3 and PC. That’s dedication. In his latest video he discusses the stand out moments from a FPS classic, […]

  • War is hell in this Zombie Army Trilogy gameplay trailer

    Here’s five minutes of headshots, shambling zombies and an undead Hitler from Rebellion’s upcoming Zombie Army Trilogy. The Sniper Elite spin-off arrives on PS4, PC and Xbox One March 6 and includes three games (obviously) and a new Horde mode.

  • Titan Souls releases on PS4, Vita, PC on April 14

    Ace indie giant-slayer Titan Souls will be released on PS4, Vita and PC on April 14. Publisher Devolver confirmed the date to Eurogamer. Those of us in Europe will have to wait until a day later for release. Titan Souls is a tough-as-nails indie game where you have one life to slay a giant enemy. […]