As publishers shift to a games-as-a-service business model, additional content should have a growing importance in digital console revenue in 2017, SuperData reports.
The data firm expects worldwide digital console revenue to reach $7.8bn (6bn) in 2017, with $4bn (3.1bn) coming from additional content such as as DLC and microtransactions. In its Digital Console Market and Monetization Trends report, SuperData confirmed that publishers rely on additional content more and more to extend games’ life cycle.
Three-quarters of the total digital revenue earned by the top console titles from January 2015 to May 2017 came from add-on content,” the report read, pointing to publishers such as Ubisoft, EA and Activision Blizzard. But of course the most relevant example of this trend remains Take-Two’s GTA V (pictured), who became the highest-earning digital console game of all time due to additional content,” SuperData said, adding that the games has earned $1.4bn (1.07bn) in digital console revenue, with 78 per cent coming from add-on content.
Overwatch and Rocket League are two other examples of games successfully utilising microtransactions, with SuperData’s report pointing out that Overwatch players have already spent $61m (47m) on console to buy random packs of in-game items like character outfits.” Map packs and new characters are the most common purchases of additional content, SuperData added.
But correctly timing add-ons remains key to be successful post-launch, as SuperData’s senior analyst Carter Rogers explained: Players are still weary of games that release alongside numerous paid add-ons, believing content has been cut from the game itself. 2K’s Evolve saw immersive consumer backlash at launch for this reason, which hurt the game’s long-term potential.”
However, 44 per cent of players buying Season Passes do it when they purchase the game and 39 per cent of the first-year additional content revenue for all titles is made between the three-to-six month timeframe after game releases.