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EEDAR: 55% of 360 owners have purchased a downloadable game

Customers prefer DLC within three months of game purchase says research firm

Market research firm EEDAR has released new statistics relating to the downloadable content and game market, which suggests that customer acceptance for the delivery system is continuing to rise.

The data is derived from a GDC session given by EEDAR president and COO Geoffrey Zatkin, entitled Alternative Business Models for Digital Games & Content. In the session he revealed that 55 per cent of Xbox 360 owners have purchased at least one downloadable game. This figure rises to 64 per cent for "core genre fans".

As part of his talk Zatkin discussed EEDAR's expectations that downloadable revenue for the traditional console market would grow in excess of 35 per cent year-over-year in 2011, rising to a total of 26 per cent of all console software sales by 2014.

EEDAR research suggests that 76 per cent of all console owners are aware of downloadable content, with 67 per cent of online console owners aware of the content - but only 44 per cent having ever purchased any.

A full 90 per cent of customers apparently prefer the release of downloadable content within three months of purchase of the original game. As Zatkin notes, publishers have increasingly begun to launch new content within just a few weeks of a new game's launch, in many cases promoting its arrival before the main game is released.

Zatkin also suggests that price is not the main barrier to increased downloadable sales and that current pricing is at the lower end of most customer expectations. However he did suggest that publishers explore incentives and the idea of using achievement and trophies as discount coupons.

Rather than price he names six factors which he believes are more of a hindrance to sales: awareness, console connectivity rates, online store front structure, releasing timing, game completion rates, and discovery and marketing.

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David Jenkins