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DLC Generates More than $1 Billion for PS3 & Xbox 360

A downloadable content report for the PS3 and Xbox 360 finds digital sales are playing an important role in the industry.

According to a press release from Forecasting and Analyzing Digital Entertainment (FADE), a market research and consulting firm that focuses on digital game downloads, lifetime sales of DLC across the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 have reached impressive sales numbers.

FADE estimates that by mid-May 2011, downloadable content across the life of both systems had generated more than $1 billion in revenue. The PlayStation 3 has an estimated $640 million in earnings while the Xbox 360 has earned an estimated $750 million. This is the first downloadable content report for the PS3 and Xbox 360 created by FADE.

FADE found the average release for DLC happened 180-190 days after the retail game launched. However DLC is increasingly releasing earlier than that average, like the Call of Duty: Black Ops First Strike Map Pack. The pack released 89 days after Black Ops came out.

Benjamin Schlichter, FADE Director of Research & Analysis, said DLC for games has an average attach rate of 10 percent, but blockbuster releases are seeing a 15-25 percent attach rate.

Here’s the top five lifetime pieces of DLC, by estimated revenue. FADE said the top five is based on DLC that has Trophies and Achievements. (Note: The release date and price weren’t included in the press release. The price listed is the release date price. The DLC may have seen sales and permanent price drops since release.):

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops– First Strike Map Pack: 2.6. million downloads (Xbox 360- Feb. 1, 2011, $15)
  • Grand Theft Auto IV– The Lost and Damned: 1.5 million downloads (Xbox 360-Feb. 17, 2009, $20)
  • Halo 3-Mythic Map Pack: 2.6 million downloads (Xbox 360-April 9, 2009, $10)
  • Halo 3– Legendary Map Pack: 2.5 million downloads (Xbox 360-April 15, 2008, $10)
  • Grand Theft Auto IV-The Lost and Damned: 1.2 million downloads (PS3-April 13, 2010, $19.99)

The First Strike Map Pack has been downloaded by 21 percent of Xbox 360 Black Ops owners. Other games mentioned in the report are single player titles like Fallout 3 and Mass Effect 2. Fallout 3 has seen 3.9 million downloads for its DLC, while Mass Effect 2 has 1.6 million downloads for its variety of content.

Founded in December 2008 and launched in July 2009, FADE analyzes digital sales for Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, WiiWare, Steam, iPhone, and other mobile applications. The group offers monthly and annually detailed analysis reports on games and platforms through a paid subscription or a single order.

Photo by Activision

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