Punch Club was quite a success for tinyBuild and Lazy Bear Games: it’s sold over 300,000 copies, which is a great result for a new Steam game in 2015. Still, it could have sold a bunch more. In fact, according to stats collected by Alex Nichiporchik of tinyBuild, at least 1.6 million people have pirated the game. That’s roughly five times more than it has sold legitimately thus far.
According to Nichiporchik, Punch Club appeared on torrent websites within hours of its launch last year. The biggest concentration of pirates was in Brazil, with 11,627 copies downloaded illegally on the day tinyBuild implemented Portuguese language localisation. Russia and China followed in second and third place. It’s worth noting that games are notoriously expensive in Brazil, due to high taxes.
“While it’s difficult to fight piracy — and most DRM-enforced ways are horrible for the paying customers — it’s hard to deny it has an impact,” Nichiporchik wrote. “Looking back I believe what we should’ve done is enabled cross-platform saves on launch. This way people who pirate the PC version may have converted better into buyers on mobile or vice-versa.”
It’s worth checking out the full blogpost for some deeper insights into the stats (and some pretty pie charts, too). The highest number of paid downloads happened in Germany, with the United States and France following. Meanwhile, the game was pirated 1,137,000 times on PC, Mac and Linux, and 514,000 times on mobile.