VentureBeat has a nice article with Foundation 9 Entertainment that helps define the downloadable console games market. Here are the key points:

  • F9E estimates that the XBLA market will hit $140 – $160 million in 2010, up 15% over 2009
  • Microsoft’s Xbox Live revenue, including subscriptions and movie downloads is estimated $1 billion a year
  • There are 43 million Xbox 360 owners
  • Approximately 25 Million Xbox 360 owners go online with Xbox Live
  • XBLA games sell for about $9 on average.
  • There is $140 million in XBLA revenue —30% goes to Microsoft

Our friends over at VentureBeat have sent over a code that will save you $50 off of registration to the event. We were at last year’s GamesBeat and it was definitely worthwhile. I would recommend it to anyone looking at the business behind virtual worlds, online games, venture capital for game companies, or funding in general. It pulls a good mix of game industry/Silicon Valley.

GamesBeat@GDC 2010 will be held on March 10th in San Francisco and will feature the theme Disruption 2.0.  The one-day executive conference will explore the future of gaming and the effects of the iPhone, iPad, social media, digital distribution, and online gaming on the industry.  Leading speakers will include:

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Videogames: The Shadow Distribution Platform
• Across all platforms, more U.S. consumers are playing newly released videogames than a year ago:
— 47% have played via a home console – up from 31%
— 42% have played on their PC – again up noticeably from 26% last year
— 17% have played on a handheld – up from 11%
— 13% have played on a mobile phone/smart phone – up from 4%

In its report Videogames: The Shadow Distribution Platform, Deloitte makes a number of predictions:

• Across all platforms, more U.S. consumers are playing newly released videogames than a year ago.

  • 47% have played via a home console – up from 31%
  • 42% have played on their PC – again up noticeably from 26% last year
  • 17% have played on a handheld – up from 11%
  • 13% have played on a mobile phone/smart phone – up from 4%

Venturebeat has better info saying that it is estimated that 60% of U.S. homes have a game console.

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Dean Takahashi at GamesBeat has some data on virtual goods from a research study commissioned by PlaySpan today:

  • 31% of the people who have bought virtual goods have also sold them.
  • In-game virtual currency is the most frequently traded virtual good between players
  • Sellers of virtual currency have earned a median of $22 in the past year
  • 49% of social network gamers who have bought virtual goods also made a sale (median earning $50)
  • 25% of virtual goods buyers also made a sale (median earning $98)
  • 69% of buyers of virtual goods have not sold virtual goods, however 30% were interested in doing so
  • Sellers had a median age of 21, an annual household income of $30K and 89% were male


VentureBeat wrote about EEDAR’s analysis of the top selling games of the past three years and their correlating average MetaCritic score. It shows that games don’t necessarily sell due to a high Metacritic score.

The basic flaw with the Metacritic and GameRankings systems is that they don’t actually provide a gauge for mass-market consumer reviews of a title. Take games like Ubisoft’s PETZ line which sold well. The games reviewed pretty poorly in the games media and most of the games in the line have low MetaCritic scores. The industry needs a tool that can take into account mass-market interest and the reviews an average person would give the game, who isn’t a core gamer.

VentureBeat reported that new gaming platforms are gaining very large install and user bases:

  •  iPhones and iPod Touch  – 30 Million Unit Install Base
  • Facebook – 150 Million users
The market for titles on these platforms is growing, however we predict that because of the low quality of many of the titles, and lack of quality control standards, consumers will become increasingly weary of trying and buying these titles.
Facebook and Apple need to put in additional content review in order to protect consumers from bad content. User generated content is great for talented people to get noticed and even create a business, but there is so much junk out there that it is getting increasingly difficult for quality titles to get noticed.
With a more stringent qualification process, consumers would have a better experience overall and that helps Apple grow their brand.