A report (PDF) from Electronic Entertainment Design And Research has reached an obvious conclusion — video games of higher quality generate more revenue than those of lower quality, and games with online interactivity features generate more revenue than games without. The interesting part is that this difference has been quantified, and it seems to be higher than a lot of people may think. Example: “Average gross sales for a retail game title in the United States during this period were $11.5 million. Games which achieved a Metacritic score above 90 grossed sales up to 531 percent more than this, but were less than 2 percent of all titles released.” The study compared PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii.
In terms of online connectivity, the report found that games which allow users to play each other online earn close to twice that of games which do not, but that 45 percent of retail games and 65 percent of downloadable games do not utilize any online functionality. The action genre is the worst, making up more than 25 percent of all available titles yet being one of the lowest users of multiplayer features. “Games that use some degree of multiplayer capability [but not necessarily head-to-head play] also tend to make nearly 25 percent more revenue than those without,” notes Reuters.
Other items of interest:
— The PlayStation 3 has released the highest overall quality of games, averaging a Metacritic Metascore of 73 across its retail portfolio while the industry average is 69.
— The Nintendo Wii had more than twice the total number of game titles released (retail and downloadable) than either the PlayStation 3 or the Xbox 360, a total of 154. However, 98 percent of titles for the Wii have no online functionality at all.
— Xbox 360 had the highest proportion of games which incorporate online features at 77 percent, compared with 23 percent of PS3 games having online features.