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Winchester

Profitability & Demographics of XBLA and PSN Downloadable Games

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Looking for a place to start out several years from now. I'm currently gathering information in demographics and the profitably of indie games on XBLA & PSN. From looking at the outside of all the things, only major titles from corporations seem to sell really well in these systems compared to indie games. Unfortunately I can't seem to find any information splitting the statistics down to genres and demographics. There doesn't seem to be any information on what genres seem to be bought the most out of these systems as information of this type isn't released by both console makers. Does anyone have any articles related to the matter?

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Microsoft currently does not make XBLA demographics available to developers. It's unknown even how and what they track. At the Montreal International Games Summit this past November, Jim Sink from MS said that they're looking to make demographics available at some point. So gathering XBLA stuff might be tough at this time.

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That's two questions.

1. Profitability: You won't get rich from one XBLA game. But what you could get is noticed, and maybe work offers.

2. Demographics: Surely the demographics vary depending on the game. A remake of a simple old arcade game is going to get one audience. A hip new game with a unique thought-provoking game mechanic rather than just running, jumping, and shooting is going to get an entirely different audience. So you're gonna have to narrow the question down if you want to get a better answer.

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Quote:
Original post by tsloper
That's two questions.

1. Profitability: You won't get rich from one XBLA game. But what you could get is noticed, and maybe work offers.

2. Demographics: Surely the demographics vary depending on the game. A remake of a simple old arcade game is going to get one audience. A hip new game with a unique thought-provoking game mechanic rather than just running, jumping, and shooting is going to get an entirely different audience. So you're gonna have to narrow the question down if you want to get a better answer.


Technically I'm requesting both. What I meant to say was the profitability of games through demographics in genres. It's a guarantee that some genres will sell better than others, regardless of the game's nostalgic value or not. What I was hoping to find was the sales of the games themselves, then splintering that list down to specific genres.

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I am working on several XBLA titles and can confirm the above - Microsoft only tell developers the sales of their own titles and those developers are bound by NDA not to release the info publicly. Martin Brown from Team 17 got a bit of a telling off from MS after he stood up at an industry event and mentioned sales figures for worms on XBLA.

One other issue of importance. An indy game can make a profit on low sales if the development cost is low or not if they are too high. So, just knowing the sales figures isn't enough. You would need to know the budget. A high budget game might sell more due to better production values but still might not make a profit compared to a "worse" but cheaper to develop game.

Quote:
Original post by ElectricVoodoo
This information is not public but if you are interested in an educated guess you can read this article:

http://randomlygenerated.blogspot.com/2006/08/numbers-behind-live-arcade.html

One thing I can say is that the the assumptions made at this site are wrong. The numbers used do not equate to sales and thus don't give any indication of revenue earned. Can't go into details as the source of this info is MS and the details are thus covered by one of the many NDAs I have signed.

[Edited by - Obscure on January 2, 2008 1:19:49 PM]

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