For over a decade, online piracy has been a problem for major entertainment companies whether it’s music, movies or games, and certainly HBO’s Game of Thrones has been a high value target for people looking to get around the cable channel’s draconian insistence to have people pay for its service. So considering how much Game has been talked about in the media lately, it should come as no surprise that it is one of the most downloaded shows on the web. Well, it turns out that’s only half right.
A website called Torrent Freak is reporting that the season 3 finale of Game of Thrones is not only one of the most downloaded episodes of TV ever, it is the most downloaded episode of TV ever. According to Torrent Freak, over 170,000 people were sharing the episode within just a few hours of its first appearance online, a number that swelled to over 1 million within 24 hours; a record that “no other TV-show comes close to” matching.
The piracy of Game of Thrones has been a big issue as the series has gotten more popular, and one of the series’ own directors commented on how the illegality of episodes being ripped has helped build buzz for the show (comments he had to walk back shortly after mind you). With this news that Game now owns the record for being the most illegally downloaded, unless HBO suddenly becomes free, I think it’s probably unlikely that people are going to suddenly stop. Perhaps the channel should just take it as a compliment.