[Joriel Jiminez]
So, okay, seriously, there are a lot of people out there stealing games. Like, lots. "Over 9.78 million" in just December of 2009, more specifically, according to a recent study conducted by the International Intellectual Property Alliance and the Entertainment Software Association. Scouring "the most popular peer-to-peer platforms" for a group of 200 titles, the study found that the worst offenders (by country) were Spain (12.5 percent), France (7.5 percent), Brazil (6 percent) and China (5.7 percent) -- the ESA also points out that these stats "demonstrate a strong correlation between countries that lack sufficient protections for technological protection measures and countries where online piracy levels for entertainment software are high."

Worse yet, the figures are repeatedly noted as being an under-representation of actual piracy numbers. "While they account for illegal downloads that occur over select P2P platforms, they do not account for the downloads that occur from 'cyberlockers' and 'one-click' hosting sites, which continue to account for high volumes of infringing downloads," the ESA echoes. The IIPA has since submitted the findings to the United States Trade Representative who could potentially impose sanctions on certain countries based on the recommendations.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.