Only 6% of consumers buy console DLC - NPD

Industry-research group finds small minority download premium content via Xbox 360, PS3, or Wii over three-month period; 15 percent got content online via PC or Mac.

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Downloadable content is all the rage in gaming at the moment, with such high-profile titles as Mass Effect 2, Alan Wake, and Red Dead Redemption getting premium add-ons. However, according to a recent survey by the NPD Group, only a small minority are getting DLC via connected consoles.

According to a survey by the industry research group spanning three months, 75 percent of consumers 13 and older did not download digital content on any platform at all. Some 15 percent downloaded content via a PC or Mac, 4 percent through a smartphone, and 2 percent connected via a Blu-ray Disc player or a digital video player, such as Apple TV or Roku. (The sample size of the study was not provided.)

The remaining 6 percent downloaded content via a connected "game player," a category that covers the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii. Russ Crupnick, NPD's vice president and senior entertainment analyst, put a positive spin on the relatively low number.

"The promise of the connected experience is coming, as prospective Blu-ray owners want their players to come with connectivity, and half of game consoles are already connected," he said in a statement. "The doors are also opening wider for music, video, gaming and other forms of entertainment."

Anita Frazier, NPD's top analyst for toys and video games, elaborated on the gaming aspect of the study. She said that, thanks to online connectivity, the demographic of what is considered a "gamer" is broadening.

"Today's gamer might be a hardcore teenager playing games online with his friends, a 40-something female playing Farmville on Facebook, or everything on either side of that spectrum," Frazier said. "We would not have seen this type of audience diversification and expansion if it weren't for connected Internet, smartphone, and online gaming options."

Discussion

276 comments
blueguykisame
blueguykisame

see i dont minds rock star's reasonably priced and content-packed DLC's. From midnight club to RDR. And Gears of War 1&2. 1's are all free now, and you can get all fronts for only $20 for gears of war2, which includes a short campaign extra and around two dozen or more maps - which is amazing value. Also, CoD5 and 7's map packs aren't TOO bad since they also come with a zombie map which is an ok value.. but like MW2's add-ons.. overpriced and with 2 re-used maps on each pack.. and same-day dlc's are ridiculous.

packtop
packtop

I l,ove dlc i bought a lot of exclusive dlc games but what i hate about dlc is when like kingrutoz said same day dlc (dragon ages), dlc that should have been released with the game(Assassins creed 2) Also overpriced dlc how many of therm they have too many to count them all. Some compagny start to be really bad with them too EA is probably the worse to date but i'm sure more are coming in the future.

kingrutoz
kingrutoz

but you know what i hate? same day DLC, really? just put it on the friggin disc! not everybody has Live or playstation network. but they make us pay full price for a 30 dollar game then charge us 5-20 dollars a dlc for the rest of it

l777l
l777l

@BlackaliciousX Indeed the physical form of distribution alone doesn't guarantee perfect performance. However, in my view it's a contributing factor (to that), a better foundation than digital distribution. As I currently see it, digital distribution (in practice) almost inevitably produces said negative effects -- not every time in every aspect, of course. Personally, I understand your situation and the advantages you've mentioned. I would like to have the ability to chose what form I want to buy specific products in, be it books or video games. Digital media can be rather convenient, effective. But if I generally had to chose one form over the other, I would chose physical.

BlackaliciousX
BlackaliciousX

@l777l I agree with your desired conclusions that "more complete games, less fractured content, better quality assurance and ultimately better prices" should not be an issue. There are ways around this issue through intelligent consumerism. Simply having a hard copy will not ensure the above conclusions. I am a fan of DLC. Personally I dislike having a huge library of anything that requires second, third, etc bookshelfs for me to store it in my tiny apartment. This is more true since I have moved every year for the last 6 years. Besides I feel it is less wasteful in general. But in it's current form there is a clear problem.

Anti_Chaos
Anti_Chaos

My only problem with DLC is that Valve does it for free via PC, but I have to pay for it if I want it on my Xbox. As good of an interface the 360 has, I kind of regret buying Left 4 Dead 2 for my 360 because of this.

Kratos_Kills
Kratos_Kills

@MooncalfReviews I agree and I hope it gets lower.

l777l
l777l

I would prefer (console and traditional) gaming to remain as physical in distribution as possible. This would mean more complete games, less fractured content, better quality assurance and ultimately better prices (as competition and stock clearing in retail is essential; plus otherwise publisher would immediately dictate prices). It would also mean that consumers (players) have more control, ownership. There is an isolated exception for smaller productions, but - in wishful thinking - I would also prefer games such as Limbo and Shank (and more 2D games in general) to be distributed on disc.

CooperShockey
CooperShockey

I look at it like this. I've been playing games avidly since before NES. If I think back to some of my favorite games over the years, I wonder, "How awesome would it be; to be able to go back and spend a few more hours playing new levels of Bionic Commando, or (lol) Ducktales?" I'd be into some new Tony Hawk 2 levels or Metal Gear Solid content. I wish Okami and Bully had come out in time to be able to take advantage of this. Personally, if I really enjoyed playing a game I don't mind spending a few extra bucks to go be able back and continue that experience. Some people say it's a rip-off and that they are just milking us for extra cash (Mafia 2), but if you really liked a game, it's cheaper to buy the DLC than to buy an entirely new game when you are bored with one you loved.

Vladfree88
Vladfree88

Npd SUCKERS why i must buy anything game or fck ADD's to it when i can download for FREE besaid i even never had Xbox Live! trust me brian376 who's working hard like me by 50£ per day just can't spent everytime grow up child!

brian376
brian376

i dont see why people dont buy the add ons instead they will waste points on outfits or name changes and add ons for games are normaly stuff that wouldnt work with the story in the game so they just became add ons like there called of course an option to buy the game with the add ons already on it wouldnt be bad ethier but anyway if you download one add trust me you will be hooked.

MooncalfReviews
MooncalfReviews

Good. The less people buy it the more they will be forced to put in the actual game.

Paul2004
Paul2004

I can honestly say ive never downloaded a DLC, or even been on Live for that matter lol. I dont like the thought of paying for a number of different add on's that could be wiped easily, i prefere a disk where i always have a backup no matter what happens. DLC's are over priced and not worth the money IMO, it add's 1-2 hours and some extra's but big wow. Fallout 3 is the only game ive played DLC's on but that was the GOTY edition with the disk.

W00kie_Smuggler
W00kie_Smuggler

To be honest I'd much prefer them putting as much downloadable content as possible on disc to buy, like the expansion packs back in the day. I kinda get this feeling that my money has disappeared when I don't have anything physical to show for it.

rem234
rem234

And why do so many people say its a scam. Fact is, it is not a scam, you get new content, that is something for what your paying for. Dont trash on the developers, they gave you a full game and then went the extra mile and worked for extra months and months to give you more of the game they gave you. Its not stuff thats part of the game its stuff that goes beyond the game that you bought. Note i am referencing the companies that give you full finished titles not like AC2 where some of the game was not finished so you could buy it as DLC. That was crap

rem234
rem234

Why are people so quick to hate DLC, Its a great medium for giving people expansion packs and new content for a fraction of the price. Dont get me wrong, there are plenty of DLC that isnt worth your time, these are your special guns and whatever. But there is a lot of DLC that is worth it. And it gives people a chance to play more of their favorite games without waiting for a sequel. People say that it should be included in the game and not as something extra, well then a lot of games would take much longer to make putting in all the extra content. Mass Effect2, Fallout, DragonAge, BorderLands, are just a few examples of great DLC given to players to keep them playing. Dont say you never want DLC or that its stupid, its the developer trying to give more to the fans. If you dont want it fine, but dont ruin it for the rest of us.

Captain_Tom
Captain_Tom

This would be compelling only if 100% of games actually had DLC available.

chris9545
chris9545

I just wait and buy the game of the year editions

wwlettsome
wwlettsome

When did the video game publishers decide that the airline fee strategy was the way to go for selling games? You mean you want to take a bag with you? $$! You mean you want the end of the game? $$! Or the beginning? $$! Ok, so you want the middle too? $$! And you wanted a gun for your FPS? $$! A storage chest for your RPG? $$! $$! $$!

organbank
organbank

lol "downloaded content is all the rage" Sure....

C8M
C8M

Study sounds wrong. Why would the XBL point cards be the top selling accessory on NPD lists every single month if nobody was downloading content?

andy180084
andy180084

I checked in the xbox marketplace and it appears the MW2 "care packages" are the highest downloads. Why do people pay $15 for a pathetic DLC for a broken game. MW2 sucks people, play BC:2

andy180084
andy180084

That's because DLC content is a ripoff. They cost a large amount of money for something stupid like 30 minutes of gameplay. The only impressive DLC's ive seen are in fallout 3 and ME2.

speedfreak48t5p
speedfreak48t5p

GTA 4 had great DLC with GREAT VALUE! 10 hours of story, plus side missions and multiplayer for $20. That's over 20 hours of additional playtime. Developers should look at what Rockstar has done.

stheno67
stheno67

I've bought DLC for games I really love, like Mass Effect. But even still, I always have that feeling that I've paid too much.... And btw as a 40-something female gamer, you won't catch me ever playing Farmville.

Diskdrive
Diskdrive

I prefer to pay for my games once - not two times. I'm a little afraid that the industry will start to sell us games piece by piece. I wonder how many times the industry will be able to fool players like that and I'm afraid the industry is wondering too. (sorry about the English :) )

T-Prime
T-Prime

Not providing the sample size makes me wonder how real or dubious this is. I see a lot of people buy DLC, but then again, if the legions of Wii-only owners like my grandparents count, that would pull the percentage down drastically. What could the % of 360 and PS3 owners be, I wonder?

Tso11
Tso11

ShadowOfKratos Like I said, actually on the system it self without going to a unaffiliated website?

bonereaper69
bonereaper69

Yah i totally agree with slash_out i never buy dlc, its a waste, should of been included in the game in the first place. Only time i have ever used M$ points was when i bought the first MW2 mappack. And yes i feel ashamed for doing so now. Other than that i have never bought dlc and never will.

Slash_out
Slash_out

It's simple. I never ever pay a single cent for any DLC and never will. They will never have a penny from me if they try to charge me more for a part of the game.

MaxDisco74
MaxDisco74

I'm so glad to see the number of people downloading content is low! I have been refusing to download most content because its priced WAY too high for the extra minutes of play you get, and I've been hoping others were doing the same so it would send a message to the industry. I can't help but to buy all the CoD map packs because I want a fluid online experience which won't boot me if I don't have a particular map, but when it comes to those "extra mission" type DLC, I try to leave it alone. Remember Il-2 Sturmovik? Didn't Gamespot find out that the company had "DLC" already on the disc, yet charged you more to just unlock the content? That's criminal. I also do not buy any Blu-Rays that are priced over $19.99. More than that amount is more like a video game price, but your Blu-Ray movie only entertains for a couple of hours. I Really hope others mirror these shopping habits so we'll have a chance of seeing such media come down a bit in price.

ShadowOfKratos
ShadowOfKratos

@Tso11 Actually there are many themes with video preview... But here's my take on Themes as DLC... I think it's BS!! What developers should do is make use of those platinum trophies as a means to unlock themes (preferrably Dynamic themes). I mean, what the f**** are trophies for anyway (I mean that in a productive way)?

Nerissa
Nerissa

DLC= Abuse is rampant among publishers. There is good DLC that truly extend the life of the game and then there is bad, paying 5.99 for 2 costumes etc. that should be unlockable content not DLC content.

Bangerman15
Bangerman15

i like dlc but sometimes u know some dlc shouldve been in the game already to begin with... but then u have massive dlc that are usually worth like oblivion shivering isles expansion or that fallout3 one broken steel i think? but then theres so small dlc's where it adds like only a hour or 2 to actual gameplay and then u think to yourself damn i really paid 10 bucks for this when it shouldve been in the game to begin with... or when shooters release a map pack with maps fro mthe game before it and make u pay for it. i mean really now we should have the choice to integrate the maps into the new game for free from our old game or something! i mean mw2 perfect example for their rereleases of maps, its not like they had to fix the maps or anything for the cod4 maps to work in mw2 since they use the same freakn engine but yet they charge u for them.

Henninger
Henninger

DLC is ruining gaming. I used 2 think it wuz a good idea but now i c that its creating a poop storm (cant say the other word that begins with S). The publishers have found a way 2 make u pay anywhere from 70-100 bucks 4 a game. 60 4 the game, 10 4 this BS expansion, 5 4 these BS costumes which were unlocked by playing the game back in the day, 15 bucks 4 these maps, & another 10 4 another expansion that might actually b worth playing. Thats 1/3-1/2 of the cost of ur console on 1 game. Now 4 the ppl who say u dont have 2 buy it, just stop rite there. Yes i dont have 2 buy it. But seriously u guys who say that must like wasting money on things that r already on the disc & just need an encryption code 2 play. R there true expansions out there. Yes. But i'll give u 1 example u cant deny. Yoda & Vader from Soul Calibur IV. Wutever version u bought had that character that wuz "exclusive" 2 that console. When u turned the system on & started 2 play the game, u c an open spot on the Star Wars tier. A little while later u have 2 pay i think it wuz 5 bucks 2 play as the missing character. U know wut u just did, u paid money 2 play as some1 who wuz already on the disc. & thats just 1 example.

The_MaiN_MeNu
The_MaiN_MeNu

Boycott DLCS!!!!! so they'll go back to where they come from, jewland. (no offense)

TrueProphecy22
TrueProphecy22

I've problems with developers that ship extra costumes, extra outfit colors, extra levels, etc... at premium prices near or even at the launch of their games. Sometimes the value of the DLC is in question, other times, you wonder exactly why this hour long content wasn't included in the game for 60$ and now costs 5$ more. Take an example - Prince of Persia... they released the ending to the game as premium DLC. Another example - Blaz Blu releases at launch 'color packs' at a premium of 5$ a pack, for different character colors. Another example - Valkyria Chronicles releases an extra hard mode at a premium price. Another example - Call of Duty releases three new maps, three ported maps for 15$. And before someone jibes me about "Well then you don't have to buy it." I'm simply explaining why so many people don't buy DLC.

texballla424
texballla424

Only thing i hate about dlc on games is they make it sooo much later that ive already beaten the game. so im not going back to pay more money for a mission or 2 in some game i already beat 3 moths ago theres just no point. n games now days have no replayablitly except online shooters and sports games.

blaqphantom
blaqphantom

im glad its only 6%, maybe then it would convice devs to stop doing it (i highly doubt it.)

inaka_rob
inaka_rob

sounds like 94% of people are missing out on a lot of stuff.

brok
brok

@YoungWave What's your point? you've just said exactly what I was saying, just in many more words. I can't even tell if you're agreeing or arguing with me there.

brok
brok

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

GodzillaX8
GodzillaX8

The DLC packs for Mass Effect 1 and 2 are great (the mission packs, not the stupid weapons and skins crap). The DLC pack for Alan Wake was great. The DLC packs for Borderlands were great. The DLC packs for Neverwinter Nights were great. The DLC packs for Dragon Age were great. The DLC packs for Fallout 3 were great. The DLC packs for Oblivion were great. Minerva's Den for Bioshock 2 was great. How many more examples do I need to list of DLC done right before ignorant morons realize that DLC is overall a GOOD thing as it allows them to give us more gameplay and more content for a fraction of the cost? Most DLC packs are not things that "should have been included with the game" but hours of extra content for a very minor price. Very often, DLC consists of content that was created specifically to be DLC, or at worst, content that was cut from the game because they decided it wouldn't be feasible to finish the content with the budget and time constraints of the game's development, but releasing it later on as a DLC package enables them to spend more time and money developing it, whereas otherwise it would just have been cut and never seen the light of day at all. If you don't like a game, or don't care if you get to play a few more hours of it, great, don't buy the DLC, but for those of you that love a game that has DLC, why are you so apprehensive to pay a little extra to support it as well as get some great content in return?

Captain__Murphy
Captain__Murphy

90% of DLC = complete crap. Just make an expansion. Still laughing at Zaeed.

LastRenshai
LastRenshai

i have to agree with jknight5422's post here....until they start making DLC that's really worth it, sales aren't going to pick up. Also, to me, it seems like more games are being released with DLC that should of already been included with the original game.

slickvic1990
slickvic1990

@Zloth2....ur right. i didnt specify. i meant digital ONLY distribution. my bad

sleepnsurf
sleepnsurf

Fallout, GTA and a couple of other games were worth it, thats all.

jknight5422
jknight5422

The tradeoff on the amount of money spent versus the amount of DLC given is horrible. I'm not gonna pay $10 for an 1-2 hour's worth of additional gaming. It isn't worth it.

pineapplearmy
pineapplearmy

It seems like there is a major theme here. Gamers are willing to pay for real additional content like multiple quests in new game areas that offer at least several more hours of playtime. We even like to buy this content when we feel that the original game was complete and a good value. I think Oblivian and Fallout 3 are good examples. What we don't like is them trying to sell us stuff that should have been in the game in the first place. Mafia II is a great example. I would have bought GTA IV style DLC for Mafia II if I didn't feel like they left about half the game out. They could have fleshed out the city with jobs and side quests, and then sold me some DLC, but they didn't so they have lost the opportunity to sell me DLC. I'm glad DLC exists, but I hope we will hold the game companies to a high standard as to what we expect from the original $60 game, and what kinds and quantites of content warrant an additional purchase.

joeborg14
joeborg14

Sounds about right. The only DLC I've ever bought are ES: KoN and SI. This was way back when DLC was reasonably priced. $10 for 10 hours of gameplay? Sign me up! $15 for four multiplayer maps? I'll pass. Every time.