Research company EEDAR has revealed that it believes downloadable content could yield an additional 3-5 per cent of top line revenue for every major title released.
Analyst Jesse Divnich cited Activision Blizzard's Call of Duty: World at War map pack as a prime example, with the downloadable content selling over 1 million units - which he notes is an additional gross revenue figure of USD 10 million.
"EEDAR notes that there is a considerable opportunity for all publishers to produce an additional 3-5 per cent in top-line revenue with every major triple-A title by leveraging the DLC market," wrote Divnich, and went on to suggest that this was just the beginning.
"As DLC becomes more mainstream and embraced by consumers as a means for entertainment distribution, we expect revenue opportunities to grow even larger. By the end of 2010, the average triple-A title should be able to earn an additional 10 per cent in revenue by releasing additional content through digital distribution.
"For context, a game similar to Call of Duty: World at War could generate an additional USD 40 million-plus in revenue through the release of DLC by 2010 through sales of additional maps, weapons, and new game functionality/modes."
Divnich also cautioned publishers seeking to release mature-rated content on the DS platform noting that sales of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars were likely to come in lower than had been generally expected in the US.
"Based upon EEDAR estimates, GTA: Chinatown Wars is expected to produce unit sales in the 200,000 range in the United States for March, 2009," wrote Divnich. "While this figure seems low, these figures are in-line with consensus for what is expected from a Nintendo DS title targeted at the mature demographic.
"It appears the industry may have been over-zealous with initial expectations on how GTA: Chinatown Wars would perform based upon the news it had received one of the highest quality scores for a Nintendo DS title. It is important to note that there have been many other titles that achieved a quality score above 90 on the Nintendo DS and have failed to sell fewer than 300,000 units within three months [of launch] in North America (irrespective of ESRB rating). "The results from Chinatown are an important benchmark for the industry as it will be the best performing mature rated title on the Nintendo DS to date coupled with one of the strongest mature-rated game brands. Publishers looking to expand their portfolio at the hint that the Nintendo DS could support more mature rated titles may see these results as a caution; however GTA: Chinatown Wars will most likely post a profit for Take-Two."