A new report from US trade body the Entertainment Software Association has pointed the finger at five nations which it says account for over half of the world's illegal internet game file-sharing.
Citing a report filed by the International Intellectual Property Alliance, 54 per cent of illegal games content – what it describes as an "extraordinarily high level" – stems from just five countries: France, Spain, Italy, China and Brazil.
These nations are highlighted as the chief offenders from a list of 33 that "aren't taking adequate measures to address copyright infringement", according to Gamasutra.
In total ESA member companies have reported over 144m internet connections involved in the illegal distribution of games, with the five aforementioned countries accounting for 78m of these.
"Our industry continues to grow in the US, but epidemic levels of online piracy stunt sales and growth in a number of countries, including Italy, China, Spain, Brazil and France, where we see crushing volumes of infringing peer-to-peer activity involving leading game titles," ESA president and CEO Michael Gallagher claims.
"Game publishers lose opportunities for export sales, and the US loses opportunities to expand our export economy, and consumers in those countries lose local benefits of having a thriving game market."
The trade body now wants action – most likely in the form of trade sanctions – to be taken against the likes of Spain unless they commit to increasing the action taken on such illegal online activity.