Battlefield 3 Loses $2,000,000 in Launch-Day Sales to Pirates
It's no secret that the Battlefield 3 PC experience is better overall than that of the console versions. This is to be expected, as DICE built the PC version first, scaling back features and other elements so the title could perform on admittedly-weaker consoles. For instance, the PC version of Battlefield 3 supports massive 64-player combat, with gigantic sized maps to accommodate this. But the console versions support just 24-players, with the smaller map sizes reflecting a much different experience. There's also a noticeable differences in graphics, with some reporting that the reduced texturing on far-off players can make it hard to zero on a target, as well as some other problems which make the PC version the preferred experience for those who can run it.
I'm not trying to insinuate that console gamers are getting a bum deal, that's just the price you pay for running the game on your $200 console as opposed to a dedicated $1000 gaming rig. However, you think the PC community would be more supportive of the fact that they get the best version of the game, and not immediately run out and start torrenting the thing on launch day.
Already, a working crack of Battlefield 3 is running rampant on torrent hubs such as ThePirateBay.org, with over 30,000 people actively leeching the game from peers. With the full release of the game retailing for $60, that's just about $2,000,000 in lost sales to piracy on just the first day. Of course, it's a leap of faith to assume these pirates would've purchased the game if not for this crack, though it's obvious DICE can't be happy with these cheapskates happily pilfering their latest blockbuster.
Luckily, the cracked version of the game only gives access to the single player campaign, and it seems unlikely a multiplayer crack will be found given that EA's new Origin system is required to play online. Then again, many of those pirating the game claim to be doing so due specifically due to EA's controversial Origin requirements, with the content delivery service's EULA once stating that EA has to right to collect third-party information from users to share with potential vendors (this section has since been revised).
Neither EA nor DICE has personally commented on the piracy, though with Battlefield 3 already on track to sell millions, these 30,000 or so pirates may be nothing more than an annoyance.