Digital Console: Additional Content in Today’s Market

Additional content will make up over 50% of digital console’s total revenue for 2017. This is especially important noting that it makes up 75% of the total revenue for the top earning console titles for 2015-2017. Reliance on additional content is furthered by the yearly decrease of retail sales (2016’s holiday season was the worst for retail games in the US in 20 years). Publishers must learn how to establish a proper timetable and road map for new console IP to gain maximum revenue.

Understanding the array of additional content offerings that digital consumers are interested in purchasing within specific genres and games is vital for maximizing monetization models. This report goes into depth on publishers who have not optimized their digital console offerings or mistimed their releases, resulting in weak retention rates, public backlash, and lowered revenue. Best practices are examined through games that have built their monetization models on the successes of mobile and free-to-play, utilizing live-ops and identifying the right DLC and additional content streams. Building on a dataset that goes back over a decade, the report offers unique insight into the types of additional content that will optimize performance and revenue.

This new report builds on SuperData’s industry-leading research on full-game digital downloads, microtransactions, DLC, and season passes within the digital console space. It’s a vital analysis for publishers and platforms in the console market.

The following are some findings from our analysts on the digital console industry and its consumers:

39% of first-year additional content revenue for all titles is made in the first 3-to-6 months, leaving game publishers with a tight time frame to release new content.
Digital console consumers are hungry for more content as soon as they are done with the core gameplay. Most single player games have a gameplay timeframe between 10-to-40 hours within their single-player mode. It is not hard to see why over a third of console players believe that publishers should release content every 3-to-6 months. Over a fourth of them believe additional content should be released at least once a month. Publishers are warned to be wary of releasing content too close to the release date, since consumers see that tactic as profiting off content that should otherwise have been released with the full game.

Microtransactions continue their path to become a staple of more multiplayer games, but fail in single-player titles.
The release of Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Syndicate has earned $5 million in microtransactions, a fraction of what properly-employed microtransaction models can return. Assassin’s Creed’s fans cite frustration at this “money grab” and expect to be able to progress through the core gameplay without paying. The lack of need for social currency when playing single player games makes vanity items and temporary boost items an unattractive proposition.


  • Table of Contents
  • Executive Summary
  • Note from the Analyst

Additional Content in Today’s Console Market

  • Worldwide Digital Console Revenue
  • Regional Digital Console Revenue
  • Total Digital Revenue for Top Earning Digital Console Titles
  • Digital Console Free-to-Play vs. Premium Game Revenue

Successful Additional Content Practices

  • Monthly Revenue
    • Grand Theft Auto V (+ Monthly Average Player Spending)
    • Overwatch
    • Rocket League
    • Call of Duty: Black Ops III
    • Battlefield 1
    • FIFA 17
    • Destiny (+ Content Types Purchased by Player)
    • How Microtransactions Make Sports Games Like FIFA 17 Successful
    • How the Games as a Service Model Gave Destiny a Second Life

Additional Content Practices with Mixed Results

  • Monthly Revenue
    • Battleborn (+Monthly Audience)
    • Assassin’s Creed Unity
    • Evolve
    • The Division  (+Monthly Audience)

Best Practices for Additional Content

  • Average Spending and Conversion by Game Lifetime
  • Player Expectations For Content Frequency
  • When Players Buy Additional Content
  • When Players Buy Season Passes
  • What Types of Additional Content Players Purchase
  • Microtransaction Revenue for Key Single-Player and Multiplayer Titles
  • Key Takeaways

Spotlight on Mobile Payment Methods

  • Definitions of Mobile Payment Methods
  • Top Mobile Payment Methods By Device
  • Key Mobile Payments Developments
  • Top Mobile Payment Methods by Country
  • Why Users Prefer a Payment Method
  • Getting Users to Switch to a New Mobile Payment Method


  • Terminology
  • Game Platforms & Categories
  • Game Genres


  • Methodology
  • About SuperData
  • Contact
  • Fine Print



PDF deck: See data, insights, and best practices for digital console additional content strategies. This report allows you to optimize offerings and timing to ensure maximum performance.

Download a sample of the full report


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