Football Manager 2013 pirated over 10 million times

Thursday, 14th November 2013 01:53 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Over 10 million people illegally downloaded Football Manager 2013, and its developer knows the IP address of every single one of them.

Speaking at the London Games Conference 2013, as reported by MCV, Football Manager producer Miles Jacobson said the game was cracked in May 2013, but the crack included a feature allowing Sports Interactive to log the IP of everybody who nabbed it illegally.

Of the 10.1 million pirates, Jacobson revealed the largest chunk came from China, with 3.2 million downloads. Another 1.05 million were from Turkey, and Portugal and Turkey came in next with 781,785 and 547,7000 respectively.

One illegal download was apparently made form inside the Vatican.

Sports Interactive is good-humoured about the astounding figures, with Jacobson commenting that it would be “ridiculous” to equate the piracy with lost sales. He said only about 1.74% of pirates would have purchased the game had a crack not been available, which sounds small but adds up to $3.7 million in lost revenue. Based on decreased activations, Jacobson believes 176,000 sales were lost as a direct result of the crack.

18% of those who downloaded the game illegally played it five times or more, so about 1.8 million players are enjoying a game they didn’t pay for.



  1. FeaturePreacher

    Seems like cloud gaming can’t come soon enough for developers like this.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. GrimRita

    Bull shit! Do they really believe this game is THAT popular outside the UK? Or has this ‘story’ appeared because FM2014 isnt doing all that well?

    Yearly updates at full price has probably driven some to pirate the game, or like me, to skip one or two seasons because it just doesnt offer value for money @£35

    #2 1 year ago
  3. revolting

    More surprising to me is that over 10 million people wanted to play this glorified spreadsheet.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Darkfield

    @3 It is a great game, I usually purchase it as a birthday gift for my brother who puts hundreds of hours in it. It’s a very good sim.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Arnvidr

    @2 Why would its popularity be limited to the UK? Football is huge in many places.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. foofly

    Yea, I can see this being popular anywhere football is popular, which is a lot of places.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. El_MUERkO

    I bought it, the match engine was broken, they never fixed it, I have not bought 2014, nor have I pirated it, the match engine is supposedly still broken.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. TheWulf


    That’s what I was thinking. Piracy can be absolutely fantastic for marketing, as you can use it to make your game sound more popular than it really is. The fact of the matter is that most pirates just download something to just see what it is, then discard it quickly.

    The number I honestly find the shakiest is the 18% of people keeping the game around, as that doesn’t fit the psychological profiles of how pirates work. There’s so much free stuff out there that usually they just quickly move onto the next thing, and some of them even buy the things they’ve really enjoyed.

    I guess there are countries with very different cultures that I’m not taking into account here, though. Maybe the thing with China is true? Or maybe it’s just blatant racism. Who knows? I don’t.

    Still, that 18% seems really shaky, and the numbers as a whole.

    Furthermore, it’s worth taking into account that a nontrivial amount of pirates come from economically challenged countries. So whilst they might have scraped enough together for an old PC, they can’t exactly afford new games for it all the time. Often, indies and small devs get pirated even more than the mainstream, and this is because the mainstream requires higher-end hardware and optimises so, so poorly (I’m looking at you, Rockstar).

    So those people wouldn’t be customers anyway.

    I just find this brouhaha about pirates to be dubious at best, and it’s even more dubious when a game with a minority popular appeal claims to be absolutely huge in places where it most likely isn’t.

    Nice marketing, not so sure about the facts.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. varsas

    @2 Is the fact that they logged the numbers that unbelievable?

    @8 Jacobson makes the point that the numbers do not equate sales…

    #9 1 year ago
  10. Stephany Nunneley

    Pie Chart and spread sheet added.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. DSB

    I don’t see any reason to be all kneejerk and defensive about it. It sounds more than reasonable to me. He’s pretty much just saying that games have problems selling in emerging markets.

    176k sales is a loss, but it’s hardly earthshattering.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. fihar

    Don’t talk about things you have no idea about buddy.
    Most of my college buddies in Indonesia regularly plays FM, usually all throughout the year until the next installment comes around.
    The same thing with PES and FIFA and none of them ever think of going legit, even though I know of one that has now landed a very lucrative job with an oil company.

    I imagine this is happening in every country in Southeast Asia that isn’t Singapore or Malaysia and quite probably in almost every third-world country as well.

    #12 1 year ago

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