The research shows that publishers have the potential to nearly double their income on any given title through revenue generated by both purchasable and sponsored downloadable content. Xbox 360 games offering downloadable content sell more by 129%; PlayStation 3 games sell 16% more. According to the paper, console storefronts represent a major opportunity to offset growing development costs and stabilize revenue momentum between major releases.
“Our study shows that the marketplace is rapidly evolving into utilizing revenue options beyond retail game sales,” Geoffrey Zatkin, COO, EEDAR, said. “In an environment with crippling production costs, publishers have new ways to dramatically impact their financial gain, while making gamers happy, if they understand how to utilize the new generation of console storefronts. At EEDAR, we are studying ways game makers can be more successful by offering better products that yield more revenue.”
The study evaluated each Console’s Storefront in terms of their online offerings. Nintendo's Wii leads in the quantity of downloadable games, Xbox 360 offers the highest number of original downloadable games and PlayStation 3 trails behind in both categories. The PlayStation 3 charges the most for its downloadable content, while Xbox 360 has the largest roster of downloadable content to monetize.
EEDAR found that PlayStation 3 has 19.2 Gb of downloadable game titles and game content, while Xbox 360 has 106.5 Gb, which makes a case for why Microsoft is offering the Xbox 360 Elite with 120Gb of hard drive space. The average size per piece of PlayStation 3 downloadable content is almost double that of an Xbox 360 piece, which shows that PS3 users may run into trouble with storage space.
Despite having more downloadable games, the Wii makes no use of other online functionality while 45% of PlayStation 3 downloadable games and 84% of Xbox 360 downloadable games utilize online functionality such as leaderboards, online multiplayer, voice chat, stat tracking, etc.
So far developers have not rushed to embrace Console Storefronts as a dedicated outlet. Only 12% of all downloadable games are original titles, the rest being re-releases from earlier platforms. Microsoft is dominating in this area, with 77% of these original titles available exclusively on the Xbox 360.
Highlight facts from the study include:
- 187 downloadable game titles are available on Console Storefronts; Wii has released 51% of these:
- PS3 Prices range from $4.99 to $19.99, Median of $5.99, Average $6.17
- Wii range from $1.00 - $10.00, Median of $6.00, Average $6.69
- Xbox 360 range from $5 - $15, Median of $10, Average $7.53
- 100% of downloadable Wii games are re-releases from previous consoles such as the original Nintendo Entertainment System or Nintendo 64
- Wii has far exceeded both PS3 and Xbox 360 in providing downloadable games
- The Wii released 95 titles in its first 7 months
- The PlayStation 3 released 29 Titles in its first 7 months
- The Xbox 360 released 21 Titles in its first 7 months
- 39% of downloadable games are from the Arcade genre, followed by 21% from the Action genre
- 94% of downloadable Arcade genre games are re-releases from previous systems
Downloadable Game Content (Not Including Movies/Music/TV Shows)
- Seventh Generation games (PS3, Wii, Xbox 360) with downloadable demos and trailers have a strong correlation with higher sales
- On Average, Seventh Generation retail games with both a downloadable demo and trailer generate 69% more revenue than games without either
- On Average, Seventh Generation retail games with a downloadable demo generate 62% more revenue than games without either a demo or a trailer
- On Average, Seventh Generation retail games with a downloadable trailer generate 72% more revenue than games without either a demo or a trailer
- For the new generation of consoles, 94% of available downloadable content is on the Xbox 360; 6% on the available content is on the PlayStation 3. The Wii does not offer downloadable content
- The total value of all Xbox 360 downloadable content is worth more than 40 times as much as the total value of all PlayStation 3 downloadable content
- 80% of the downloadable content on the PlayStation 3 is free; only 29% is free on Xbox 360
- Average price of downloadable content is between $1.69 (Xbox 360) and $1.97 (PS3)