These numbers "under-represent the true magnitude" they warn, and represent only a "small selection" of ESA titles. Italy biggest pirate.
Aside from a good pizza, some fancy coliseum construction or organized crime - those Italians are dedicated to online software piracy too according to ESA's figures. They accounted for 20.3 percent of that 9.78 million. Spain, France and Brazil were all next with 12.5, 7.5 and 6 percent respectively.
"These figures under-represent the true magnitude of online game piracy," said the ESA, reports GamesIndustry.biz. "They address only downloads of a small selection of ESA member titles." They focused on 200 games shared over big p2p platforms.
Those included BitTorrent, eDonkey, Gnutella and Ares.
"And while they account for illegal downloads that occur over select P2P platforms, they do not account for downloads that occur from 'cyberlockers' or 'one-click' hosting sites, which continue to account for high volumes of infringing downloads," they added.
"ESA’s reporting demonstrates a strong correlation between countries that lack sufficient protections for technological protection measures and countries where online piracy levels for entertainment software are high."
The International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) was part of the research and has filed their findings with the United States Trade Representative (UTSR), and has recommended that 35 countries be placed on a 'watch list' with possible sanctions.
As the videogames industry becomes more dominant so too does the scrutiny. Looks like the piracy war is shifting ever more toward games than movies and music.