Football Manager 2013 Pirated 10 Million Times, Says Devs

Logging IP addresses on pirate versions? Cleverley done.

We always approach piracy figures with a healthy skepticism, but this is interesting. Sports Interactive says that Football Manager 2013, the previous iteration of the game, was pirated 10.1 million times. The report they’ve just sent out goes on to break down those figures by country, and estimates the likely lost revenue as a result of illegal downloads.

The best part is that Sports Interactive and Sega are being totally reasonable about it. Speaking at the London Games Conference as reported by MCV, FM producer Miles Jacobsen said that it’s “ridiculous” to equate these numbers with lost sales.

According to the release sent out by Sega, the game was cracked in May of last year, but that crack included a flaw that allowed the game to “phone home” and for Sports Interactive to log the IP address of every person who grabbed it. IPs are a poor way of pinning down individuals, but they can be used to estimate quantity.

China is reportedly the largest source of piracy, with 3.2 million illegal downloads. Sports Interactive looked at the drop in activation rate after the patch, which overall they say fell by 17%. Although it’s not quite that simple, as they also provide figures for individual countries. Here’s the full chart for the top 10, showing the number of illegal downloads and the drop in post-crack activations:


Illegal downloads

Legitimate activation in the post-crack period


















South Korea


– 50%




+ 7%




– 37%




– 59%




– 91%




– 58%

That means that activations in Italy and Thailand actually went up after the crack was released. Which is strange.

It’s heartening that Sports Interactive isn’t using these figures to leap to any unjust conclusions. They do estimate however that 1.74% of pirates would have bought the game if the crack didn’t exist, and that this adds up to a $3.7 million loss in net revenue. When I asked for clarification on that how that 1.74% was reached, a representative for Sports Interactive said that they looked “at the differences in sales between FM12 and FM13 during corresponding periods, taking into account pre-crack increase and post-crack decreases across every country.” I’ve asked for more information and, if we hear back, will update this post tomorrow.

It doesn’t sound like Sports Interactive or Sega have any intention of adding more inhibitive DRM to future versions of the game as a result of the piracy. If anything, it’s remarkable that it took six months for the game to be cracked in the first place.

Football Manager 2014 is now out and is excellent. Read Adam’s Wot I Think, our Verdict, or send someone round to my house to stage some sort of intervention because I can’t stop thanks.


  1. Immense Being says:

    Interesting. Since working as a data analyst in my last gig, I’m interested in their reasoning for how the 1.74% was reached as well. Hopefully they get back to you on that.

    • Zetetic says:

      It’d make me quite happy to see some damn run charts instead of these fairly inscrutable claims about % rate changes pre- and post- some point in time.

    • Baines says:

      From the sound of it, they extrapolated a “non-cracked” future for 2013’s sales based on how 2012’s sales progressed. The difference between the estimated “no-crack” future and reality gives them an estimated number of people who did not buy the game because a crack was made available. From there, they could compare the estimated number of lost sales to the estimated number of pirates and get an estimated total percentage of people who would have bought the game if a pirated version hadn’t been available.

      I wonder if that percentage was lower than they’d expected.

      • Talksintext says:

        But does this take into account the fact that many potential players expected a crack and just waited for it? What if there was a very limited possibility of a crack (or if copyright was very strictly enforced), would more people buy the game then? I would guess the sales would be much higher.

  2. amateurviking says:

    Any info on whether these regions got proper localisations of the game and/or had legitimate avenues for buying it?

    • tossrStu says:

      According to Miles Jacobson’s comment under MCV’s article:

      We experimented […] by releasing a “student edition” of the game in Turkey before we were cracked. Sold low 5 figures of it. Was very happy with that. Then we got cracked and over a million people in the country illegally downloaded it.

      The game did include a Turkish localization, AFAIK.

  3. Shiri says:

    1.74% is ridiculously low compared to the usual implications, so very interesting if true.

    Also worth noting which countries those are – not the US or (mostly) Western Europe. South Korea is a bit odd though.

    • Klydefrog says:

      What makes you say South Korea is odd? Just interested.

      • Shiri says:

        As far as I know they have a moderately strong gaming culture, relatively good GDP/equality/the usual suspects, and nothing like, say, Brazil’s draconian import tariffs. On the same note, Russia being missing is pretty interesting.

        • Master Realtor Marklew says:

          Tell me about it… I live in Brazil and had to resort to piracy till’ 4~5 years ago, when I got a decent job, thanks to release titles usually costing $70 up to $120 on retail, with ridiculous import taxes and stores’ profit margins. Now, about everyone I know that buys PC games does so on Steam or GOG, where we pay the north-american prices.
          COD Ghosts, for example, is costing circa R$ 170,00 ($73) on the stores where it is cheaper, but R$ 109,00 ($ 46,95) on Steam.

          • The Random One says:

            Actually, I think that since Steam “offically” accepted Brazil late last year we’ve been paying less than the Americans, from eyeballing Steam prices compared to other international retailers at least.

    • Snargelfargen says:

      Yeah, piracy has been most popular in countries with lower wages and higher inflation for a while now. Those places really need different pricing models, although the artificial price differences would make western audiences understandably upset.

      Hmm, I suppose attitudes towards intellectual property law vary quite a bit across countries too. It would be interesting to see the prevalence of online piracy compared to counterfeit clothing.

      • Marar Patrunjica says:

        Pretty much this. Add to that the fact that football is most popular in lower income territories and that the game has not seen regular discounts (I believe it was 9.99 as a daily deal at one time, but that’s the lowest it got, so still pretty high) explains the problem quite well.

      • harbinger says:

        I know that at least in Portugal, file sharing for personal use is legal: link to (similar to how they decriminalized most drugs and by doing so helped stave off drug criminality).
        It is not surprising to see China at the top either, they don’t really have much respect for “Intellectual Property” as a concept at all as long as it isn’t their own, even for commercial undertakings: link to

        As far as I know they have also forbidden the sale of any consoles in the country till very recently so the PC kind of reigns supreme, but publishing games there isn’t allowed without using a Chinese intermediary e.g.:
        “The problem for Valve is that China won’t allow them to release Steam there; Chinese law forces them to make a deal with a Chinese publisher in order to gain access to the market. “We’re actively looking for a partner to work with over there,” said Lombardi. “It’s pretty cut and dry – you need a Chinese partner to be in China, period.””

        Countries like Thailand, Brazil, Poland, Serbia, Croatia with relatively low wages and high comparative prices aren’t a surprise either.

        There’s two things that kind of throw the numbers though, and that is that they calculated the number by the amount of IPs connected, when in fact a lot of people could be using providers with dynamic IPs and they could have counted certain people multiples of times.
        The other is that number of piracy ~6 months after a game has originally come out can’t really tell you that much about the effect on release, even two weeks after release the numbers will be diluted since a lot of the people really interested in a game will probably impulse-buy.

        • Lanfranc says:

          We need to be a little bit careful with the conclusions here, because whilst there is a high absolute number of downloads in China, they also have a huge population, so the piracy rate is actually very low: Only about 1 out of 422 Chinese have downloaded it. The rate is extremely high for Portugal, on the other hand, with (if the numbers are correct) 1 out of 14 Portuguese having done so.

          Ordered by rate, the list looks like this:

          Portugal 1/14
          Croatia 1/19
          Serbia 1/29
          Turkey 1/72
          Italy 1/111
          Poland 1/119
          South Korea 1/130
          Thailand 1/183
          China 1/422
          Brazil 1/562

          • Artist says:

            Yes, yes, the blinding power of the %s…
            Good call.

          • The Random One says:

            Wow, almost one out of ten Portuguese pirated this game? Maybe pirating FM13 should be their national sport!

            (Or, as Funso Banjo says below, they just get all dynamic IPs.)

          • badseed says:

            Well, the game *is* very, very popular here in Portugal (as in, almost every guy I went to high school with played every version from CM2 until now, and not many copies were legal). It doesn’t help that games are freakin’ expensive here, and rarely go on sale. Steam, GOG, and the advent of the bundle era saved me from a life of piracy, I tells ya!

          • CptPlanet says:

            You are way too kind to that brainless tool.

          • Bigmouth Strikes Again says:

            I’m Portuguese and a PC gamer. Anedoctal for anedoctal, I don’t know *anyone* who plays this, myself included. The suggestion that in a country of 10 million — not everyone with a PC, much less an internet connection, goes without saying — over 780 thousand pirate this, is absurd. And if we start adding to that number those who actually bought it, then it goes from being absurd to complete bollocks.

          • Bigmouth Strikes Again says:

            **anecdotal**. Bloody silent consonants…

          • signatus says:

            Unlike in the UK, Portugal ISPs have dynamic IP addresses. I wonder if the big numbers for Portugal are due to the cracked version phoning home from different IP addresses despite being the same person who pirated the game.

            I find it hard to believe 1 in 14 Portuguese pirated the game, considering 18% are above 64, so unlikely to pirate or maybe even play games.

            WIth that said, piracy in Portugal sure is high, I don’t know any player that doesn’t pirate games in one way or another.

      • Talksintext says:

        Seriously. I live in a pretty low income country, where the typical game price of $50 is 20-25% of someone’s monthly earnings. Obviously, not only is piracy rampant and legal, it’s literally the only way to buy games here (yes, they’re bought, in stores, pirate stores, on main streets in the central business district).

        Offering these games for $5 but clearly stating that they can only be activated and played from an IP in that country would go a long way towards increasing sales throughout the developing world and fighting a mass culture of piracy. Perhaps it will take 25 years or more to change views on piracy here, but they certainly aren’t even trying right now, and they seem to have given up on even selling merch here.

        Even Steam doesn’t work from this place, so it can be quite hard to get games legit-like.

        • drewski says:

          The problem is that as soon as you offer that sort of price discrimination, people set up websites to distributed legitimate codes/boxes to people in rich countries for very low prices…as indeed already happens.

          A lot of companies do offer a lot of price discrimination, but to do it to extreme levels might well hurt their revenues more than just ignoring piracy and continuing to charge higher prices to richer countries.

    • Trespasser in the Stereo Field says:

      Maybe it’s just because those of us in the US probably have little interest in a soccer manager. Er, football manager.

      • Talksintext says:

        Yeah, I heard Rugby Manager also had low piracy rates in the US, as did Tea Drinker 2014. Clearly Americans are the most virtuous people around…

    • harbinger says:

      Since South Korea also seemed somewhat odd to me, I looked around and apparently the Football Manager franchise isn’t even sold in the country: link to
      “Unfortunately, we cannot distribute Football Manager 2012 in Germany, North/South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and China due to licensing issues.”

      And for instance it also doesn’t appear on the Chinese Steam if you search for it: link to
      Hardly surprising to see high piracy numbers in countries a game isn’t even legally sold in.

  4. wodin says:

    I think if the game is good many who pirate would go onto buy it. I reckon many pirate in replace for demos..if they like they buy if not they uninstall.

    • RedDragon says:

      But this game has a demo available.

      • LawL4Ever says:

        Even games that have a demo available are often pirated as replacement for a demo since demos are often very restrictive and also can create a false impression (for example, a game might be fun for the 60 minutes some demos last, but quickly get boring afterwards.). So pirated copys are used as a kind of “extended” demo version, and those who both like the game and have the money to buy it will then buy the full game.

        • mouton says:

          It depends, of course. But most demos tend to be reasonable. Asshat 5-minute demos piss me off, though, and actually make me eager for some rum.

      • Bull0 says:


      • mouton says:

        A demo is the best way for me not to pirate a game in the first place.

      • Rutok says:

        I dont know why the RPS Article doesnt mention it, but:

        “Jacobson’s figures also reveal that only 18% of those copies were played five times or more.”
        from pcgamer.

        So it seems that a pretty big percentage of pirates used their version exactly like a demo.

        On the other hand, i find it interesting that the big majority would not even play the game for free.

    • Shinan says:

      I’ve heard a lot of anecdotes that claim this but it seems to me that none of the numbers presented ever really support this claim at all.

      Of course it’s usually indies that provide numbers. I don’t know if the turnover rate is bigger with AAA titles.

      • DougyM says:

        Well there was the multiple studies by the music industry that showed that pirates spent more money on music than people who did not pirate (on average).

        Which would suggest that at least in those cases the pirates were not doing it because they could not afford to buy the music but because they wanted to know if an album was good or not before they spent £10+ on it.

        I can only speak for myself but i pirate games all the time and the good ones get bought, ive been turned into a fan of many series and ended up owning pretty much all of their games. I mean in the last 4 months ive probably spent about £300 on new games (BF4, RTW2, Kerbal SP, XcomEW, GTA V, FM2014, EUIV etc.)

        • Jupiah says:

          I don’t think there’s actually that many pirates who pirate to “try before they buy”. Or at least that’s not the whole story. I think part of it is also that they spend all their disposable income on music/games/movies already, but they still want more so when the money runs out they pirate the rest. Those heavy pirates who also spend more money on legitimate purchases than non-pirates tend to be the “collectors” who want to own everything.

          • Awesumo says:

            I think you’re wrong. For example. Take MineCraft. That game was extremely heavily pirated, yet was a best seller. You can be fairly certain that there was a lot of cross over.

    • Baboonanza says:

      And I think that’s bullshit. Maybe a tiny percentage of pirates do that for a small percentage of games but as a general trend? No. People will play the game and then not buy it because they’ve already played it, because people don’t like paying for things they don’t have to.

  5. daphne says:

    Turkey represent! I can confirm that FM is a very Big Thing here (I would guess that it’s second only to FIFA and the typical FPS suspects) and that piracy in general is rampant.

  6. Discopanda says:

    What? A company released real figures on piracy? And didn’t flip their shit about it?

  7. hotmaildidntwork says:

    I’d love to see an attempt to tie those countries together statistically, find things that they have in common. It seems like a highly varied selection.

    • NotToBeLiked says:

      Except for N-Korea, they all have pretty low average wages but still access to broadband internet.

  8. Didden says:

    I bought last years Football Manager and it was terrible. This years is very good. Playing it now.

  9. NotToBeLiked says:

    I’d like to know a bit more about how they actually gathered those numbers. If they purely look at the number of IP’s, they overlook the fact that in many countries ISP’s use dymanic IP’s for home users. Which means a single downloaded copy might register a new download every 24 hours…

    • mouton says:

      Very likely the game phones home some additional data, that can easily weed out duplicates.

  10. Buffer117 says:

    Oh my god a sensible analysis of Piracy, not the usual we have lost x many millions of pounds in revenue due to all these people who absolutely would have bought the game if they couldn’t pirate it (and not mentioning those that may have pirated and subsequently bought it, or vice versa).

    Can a company now show us what percentage of legitimate customers get pissed off if their game has draconian DRM? (Hi EA and Ubisoft!) is it higher than 2%? I have downloaded cracked copies of games I own in the past so I can play them as the legitimate one wouldn’t work! Does that get included in corporate figures?

    Anyway, congratulations SI on not going mental, can you please chat to some other devs and their publishers and spread your knowledge.

    • fish99 says:

      …but they did say they lost x millions of pounds of revenue. $3.7 million, which sounds like a lot to me.

      • drewski says:

        Maybe 1/15th of the revenue they eventually pulled in, judging by their estimated sales numbers.

        So not fun to lose, but not crippling either.

  11. bangalores says:

    Considering how popular this game is, I can’t for the life of me understand why someone hasn’t made a similar management sim for baseball, basketball, or American football. Europeans aren’t the only ones who want this type of sports game!

    Also, please don’t refer me to Madden/2K’s franchise mode or MLB Front Office Manager. Those games come nowhere close to the level of detail and polish found in FM14.

    • DantronLesotho says:

      LOL, as an ignorant American I actually thought FM14 WAS for American football. But I don’t give a toss about sports either way so that’s probably why I never thought about it.

    • Stellar Duck says:

      Out of the Park Baseball or something like it was the subject of a Three Moves Ahead episode. I didn’t listen too closely as baseball is next to French kissing cobras on my list of things I really don’t want to do, but I do recall that the people on the episode sounded like it was a good game and had a lot of fun with it.

    • BockoPower says:

      Because 90% of the Americans don’t play such “boring” games where you don’t have a direct control of things. Just give them something to mash buttons for and they are game.

      • bangalores says:

        Your keen insight into the American psyche has finally solved this great mystery for me. To think I know so little about my fellow countrymen!

        Sarcasm aside, last time I checked COD/BF/”button mash” games were quite popular in Europe too ;)

    • Jason Moyer says:

      I haven’t played any basketball text sims since the Apple ][ days (there was a fantastic college basketball game back then which I’ve never been able to find again) but as far as baseball/football go, there’s Out Of The Park Baseball and Front Office Football, both of which are phenomenal. The OOTP guys are also making a text-based hockey sim now; I don’t know how that compares to the previous standard, Eastside Hockey Manager.

      • drewski says:

        I was going to suggest those two also.

        FOF2007 is the most recent, but I believe the fansites update the rosters every season.

  12. DantronLesotho says:

    I would love to find out if they analyzed how this compares against their market penetration. Like, if it resulted in a net loss of the given revenue, but if they now had a higher market penetration, thereby enhancing any later revenue. These are stats people; I would think they could provide a wealth of useful piracy information.

    Also I would love to see someone make a game that, once cracked, requests that usage information gets sent to the developers anyway to find out how to reduce piracy in the future in terms of helping the market. Even a survey built into the game of “why did you pirate this?” or “We know you pirated this, but would you mind if we collected usage information anyway?”

    • mouton says:

      “we know you pirated this” would be bad PR, as it would inevitably cause false positives here and there. But I agree that games could send the data anyway. Many probably do, actually.

  13. Bull0 says:

    1% seems pretty reasonable. I’m looking forward to reading comments from people who insist that even 1% of pirates would never have bought the game.

    • tormos says:

      Nobody has made that argument, so don’t hold your breath.

    • jrodman says:

      Even 1% of pirates would never have bought the game!

      Piracy is a public good, it enriches our lives and has no downside at all. I commit piracy every day in order to bring the Rainbow Connection to your lives.

    • mrpage says:

      If we’re honest with ourselves it seems too low, and my unscientific instinct is that they must have lost more sales than that.

  14. Popotter says:

    What? Spain is not in this list? That can only mean that Spanish localized version had a better crack, that never “phoned home”. Else we would have blown Portugal and Italy together out of the water :-)

  15. RuySan says:

    The figures for Portugal are ridiculous. It’s almost 10% of the population!

    • Funso Banjo says:

      The figures are flawed for Portugal. In Portugal, every time you switch your router off, you get a new IP address. The game called home every time it was played, and each different IP address was treated as another pirated copy.

      Sports Interactive just collected IP address logs, so if the same player played 10 times, but turned off his router each night, that would have accumulated 10 different IP addresses, and counted as ten different pirates as far as the study went.

      • fish99 says:

        It’s a nice theory but I doubt many people turn their router off every night.

        • citizenjc says:

          They don’t need to actually, the ip release time is quite short (can’t be exact but it’s less than a week).

      • cqdemal says:

        This should also apply in almost all of Thailand.

  16. pool1892 says:

    I wonder about Germany. I am German and the game is not for sale around here (EA has exclusivity for the German League and they sell their inferior product). I have been buying keys or discs directly from the UK for the last maybe 5 years, but I learned about football manager via, ahem, other means before that and it has been a guilty pleasure for me ever since.
    People in Germany are crazy about football and quite a lot of the guys in my peer group know and love the Sega FM. So either I am an outlier or there must be a lot of people in Germany pirating this game since it is not easily available otherwise.
    Maybe they excluded Germany from the list?

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      It’s even more galling that the EA garbage gets called “Fussball Manager” here.

      Germany might be included in “Other”, or it might be deliberately excluded from the data because they’re not allowed to sell it here. Hard to know.

  17. JRHaggs says:

    I admire the level-headed nature of this report. Very conservative, it seems to me, in its extrapolations.

    I’ll cop to being an FM fanboy though.

  18. BillygotTalent says:

    I guess the number for Germany is really high, because there is no legitimate way for us to play FM2013. I had to buy from a third-party site to get a steam key. Fuck EA and their exclusivity contract.

    • drewski says:

      You probably hit on the reason Germany isn’t as high – people in Germany, judging by threads here, are used to dodging around regional restrictions with creative ways of legitimately, if not necessarily legally, paying for content.

  19. SkittleDiddler says:

    I’m glad to see that Sports Interactive didn’t pull a dive on their analysis of these numbers.

  20. Jac says:

    RPS I love you but please never utter the phrase “net revenue” again. Net of what? Just “revenue” will suffice.

  21. teije says:

    Interesting interview with Johan from Paradox on their attitude towards piracy.

    link to

  22. Vernalagnia says:

    it’s kind of interesting to see that many people pirating a game … and not blocking it with their firewall.

  23. Nuno Miguel says:

    I seriously doubt the Portugal numbers. That would mean roughly 10% of the population would have to have pirated it. In a country where only about 31% of the population have a broadband connection, that’s just not believable.

  24. Zanchito says:

    I can honestly say that piracy actually increases sales in my environment. The price of a game/CD/movie is ludicrously high compared to our wages, so many people just download the stuff (as in Portugal, it’s legal for personal use). I regularly check with my friends and relatives to know what do they do with their files, because this is a topic that interests me, and the overwhelming majority of the downloaded stuff is never actually played / listened to / watched, it just sits in the drive and gets deleted after a few weeks. Of the 12% or so remaining downloads that are actually used, most of them would have not been a sale, firstly because the perceived quality of the product isn’t as high as expected and also importantly because the asking price is too high. Most people buy stuff on sales / deals, even when they already have the downloaded piece. However, people are more than willing to actually go out and purchase stuff they’d have never checked out if they hadn’t downloaded it (or something by the same author / company), and in the end, people who pirate more actually spend more money on media too. People who pirate less spend less money (both in absolute and relative terms) and generally wouldn’t have bought the original if they couldn’t download it.

    Lastly, there’s something to be said about price points (recently movie theaters all over the country did a special joint promotion selling their tickets at 40% of the usual price and the total revenue jumped 450%) and general availavility (there’s a lot of demand for online series and movies, but nothing like Netflix is available in the country, so people resort to secondary sites. These same people confirm they’d pay for a service like Netflix, but the local broadcasters turn a deaf ear to the requests. It’s not often people physically come to your company asking you to take the money from them and the company rejects it. Well, it is common here, but that’s another story).

    • Exxar says:

      It’s similar where I live. Besides having been a wild west in regards to software distribution for a long time, an average game these days can easily cost you 10% of an average monthly pay due to low income and unfavorable exchange rates (we pay in euros here, the same amounts as is the dollar price but euros exchange to the local currency at 1.3 the rate of dollars). And when your household spends 80% of its income on stuff that’s really essential for living (hello high cost of utilities, food and the ubiquitous bank loans and rents), not even including clothing, most people aren’t very keen on paying what are perceived as exorbitant game prices.

  25. aldo_14 says:

    I was amused to read there was 1 cracked copy ran from an IP address in the Vatican. Clearly, we now know why Pope Benedict had to resign.

    • The Random One says:

      They could have turned that into a sale via a Latin localization.

  26. says:

    YAAAAY, CROATIAA! Smack-O-Po-Nents! Burn-A-Stadi-Um! Etc, etc, etc…
    Anyways, that obligatory thing out of the way, yes, the assessments of the esteemed fellow commenters are correct.
    We’re low-income, high unemployment, stratospheric debt, still-in-recession country with a longstanding “culture” of software pirating. The import taxes and prices equal to European standards (and those, in turn, equating Euros to Dollars) make the process of buying a single recent game extremely hard to stomach to an average croatian gamer. Things do change, but extremely slowly. Our government is clueless in the ways of new technology (few years ago our elected politicians got themselves brand new laptops. But quickly realized they couldn’t handle digital voting with a simple <5 button program on a Win 7, so they went back to raising hands and manual counting) and education of wide populace in basic IT knowledge is and was lacking, so computer enthusiasts didn't have much legitimate choice and had almost none repercussions when pirating. So it became rampant and ubiquitous.
    So when you now want a new game, it's like saying good day to go to.. erm.. nearest pirate site and download the šit out of it.

  27. dsch says:

    So, sales of FM 13 dropped in May, i.e., the end of the football season and 6 months before the release of the next minimally-updated annual instalment. Must be piracy.

  28. MyLongAccountName says:

    Hi, random angry Chinese gamer here. I would like to point out that the Chinese number probably has something to do with SEGA region-lock China mainland out of 98% of their catalog, actually every single one except Company of Heroes 2 for some reason, which put them behind Take Two in the region locking madness list, whose sole offering, according to Steam, is the original X-COM. Maybe Captain Zelnick don’t want anything to do with yellow monkeys and their dirty money or something.

  29. Borsook says:

    Considering the type of people interested in football, this is not surprising.

  30. DanMan says:

    “18 per cent of people who downloaded illegally played the games five times or more”.

    That means no more than 18% of all these people would even consider buying the game.

  31. strangeloup says:

    I like to imagine the “post-crack period” refers to a methamphetamine comedown.

    Also, I tried one of these once, and was 100% baffled. Screen full of incomprehensible numbers, any of which when clicked on would take you to another, differently-arranged screen full of incomprehensible numbers. It was like some sort of spreadsheet hell. *shudders*