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Some pirates like to collect games and I'm sure they try a lot of them, but I don't think they play them just because they're pirated. Not for any length of time, anyway. The game still has to be fun to keep them playing for more than 20 minutes.

In the past, I've analyzed piracy rates to see which games were worth playing.

Black markets are still markets, and still have supply and demand. It's a fallacy when game developers don't use piracy numbers to indicate demand for their games.

Absolutely, and all the major publishers analyse piracy numbers in extreme detail.

But I still question the assumption that they play games because they've been pirated. Pirated games have retention rates just like legitimate copies.

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