The much acclaimed first-person shooter, developed by Crytek, was pirated almost four million times on PC alone.
A full month before its launch in March 2011, unfinished copies of the game leaked onto the internet. Publisher EA was "deeply disappointed" by the leak and encouraged consumers to wait for the retail version.
However, although the game was downloaded tens of thousands of times, the torrent rush escalated after Crysis 2's official release to total 3,920,000 downloads by the end of 2011.
Crysis 2 overtook Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3, the second and third most downloaded titles with 3,650,000 and 3,510,000 downloads respectively.
FIFA 12, the latest game in EA's football franchise that appears annually in pirated games charts, was downloaded 3,390,000 times, closely followed by Portal 2 at 3,240,000.
Pirating has become major concern for video games publishers, particularly on PC. Pirated PC games are frequently copied in the their millions compared to consoles games which are relatively harder to pirate. The ease of accessing pirated PC games has led to ever more draconian uses of DRM (digital rights management) by EA, Ubisoft and other publishers, which have been greeted by consumer outcries against DRM and the poor treatment of PC gamers.
Unlike its predecessor, which was originally released as a PC-excusive, Crysis 2 also appeared on consoles. Though a version of it leaked onto the Xbox 360, it did not appear in the system's top five most downloaded 2011 titles.
Frankfert-based Crytek started as life as PC developer striving to push the technical limits of gaming. In 2009, they purchased Free Radical, the Nottingham studio behind TimeSplitters and subsequently Crysis 2's multiplayer.