69% of Survey Respondents Play Online Computer Games. With 24% Upping Their Browser-based Play This Year, Game Purchases Online and Game Downloads are Gaining Traction.
Boston, October 10, 2012 – hybris, a leading provider of multichannel commerce and communication software, announced today the results of its 2012 US PC and Console Gaming Survey which was conducted to determine consumer opinions, behaviors and buying patterns regarding buying PC, Mac and console games.
The study found that over half of PC and Mac and console gamers play weekly. And of those who had purchased new PC and Mac game content in the past year, while 47% bought boxed computer games at bricks-and-mortar stores such as Wal-Mart, 34% purchased games on retailer websites, and 13% bought from game studio or publishers online. In addition, 41% bought game downloads on retailer websites such as amazon.com, 24% on game studio or publisher websites, and 21% on digital platforms such as Steam.
Of those respondents who had purchased new console game content in the last 12 months, 71% bought boxed console games in-store, with a further 49% on retailer websites. 45% purchased console downloads on digital platforms like the Xbox Marketplace.
The instant gratification of downloads was seen as a major plus by consumers. The main advantage of game downloads, noted by 57% of game buyers, is the ability to install them and play right away, followed by lower pricing (42%) and the reduced need for storage (37%).
The survey also found that downloadable content (DLC) is growing gaming revenue. Of those surveyed, 55% had bought downloadable gaming content such as levels, weapons and expansion packs in 2011, with almost 20% spending $50 plus. 27% of game buyers would prefer to buy DLC from an online retailer, followed by in-game purchase at 16%, and digital platforms such as Origin or PSN at 15%.
“While bricks-and-mortar retailers currently garner a good amount of game sales, digital purchase channels are increasing in importance – and opportunity. Digital downloads of games and gaming content have a huge potential to continue to grow with faster Internet services, full game streaming on consoles and with providers increasing the appeal of digital game content,” said Cliff Conneighton, vice president of product strategy at hybris. “Our survey also found that online game play is up this year, suggesting that online gaming is becoming a viable alternative to traditional console and PC gaming as developers and publishers bring more titles to the web. It is imperative for gaming providers to focus on their digital strategies in order to fully capitalize not only on current but also on future opportunities in this evolving space.”
The survey also revealed that free trials and free-to-play games are driving game sales. When asked what might compel them to purchase more games, 70% of game buyers said free trials, and 60% cited free-to-play titles. A further 58% would be likely to purchase more gaming content if it were available for download.
In addition, findings showed that conversion rates are high for free trials and free-to-play titles. Of those surveyed, exactly half (50%) had played an upgradable trial version of a game in the past 12 months, with 26% upgrading to a paid game. A further 32% had played a free-to-play title, with 21% reported buying additional content to extend or enhance a game.
“DLC increases the longevity of titles – along with margins – allowing developers and publishers to experiment with lower cost ownership models such as freemium and free-to-play. In order for retailers and game publishers to encourage further adoption in the digital gaming channel, they will need to continue to innovate and provide more compelling reasons for consumers to purchase and play online,” added Conneighton. “For example, they should consider linking game versions across machines as some providers currently are, or providing other appealing enhancements. They could also find ways to enable people to re-sell their games as they can with DVDs. Strategies like these will help to meet consumer needs and drive digital business growth.”
Analysis of the survey findings is available in a new report, PC and Console Gaming: The End of the DVD?, which presents in detail consumer perspectives on digital game content including PC and console game buyers’ attitudes towards packaged and downloaded software; gameplay preferences and their impact on the pay-to-play model; spending patterns, payment drivers and channel preferences; and usage of free trials and free-to-play games and conversion rates. The report is available for download from hybris at http://www.hybris.com/gaming.
In addition, hybris will be conducting a four-part, on-demand webcast series on opportunities in the digital gaming space, launching on Thursday, Oct. 11. Topics include Gaining Competitive Advantage: Gaming's Shifting Business Model (with Lewis Ward of IDC), Capture Your Share: Seizing the Moment to Dominate (with David Cole of DFC Intelligence), Taking It to the Next Level: Building Lasting Customer Connections (with Lewis Ward of IDC) and From Promise to Reality: Getting Cascading Commerce Done Right. To register, visit http://www.hybris.com/gaming.
About the hybris 2012 PC and Console Gaming Survey
The hybris online study polled 504 US adults over the age of 18 who have purchased PC or Mac or console games or gaming content in the past 12 months. The survey was developed to examine consumer attitudes and behaviors towards buying PC or Mac and console games.
hybris helps businesses on every continent sell more goods, services and digital content through every touchpoint, channel and device. hybris delivers "OmniCommerce™": state-of-the-art master data management and unified commerce processes that give a business a single view of its customers, products and orders, and its customers a single view of the business. hybris' omni-channel software is built on a single platform, based on open standards, that is agile to support limitless innovation, efficient to drive the best TCO, and scalable and extensible to be the last commerce platform companies will ever need. Both principal industry analyst firms rank hybris as a “leader” and list its commerce platform among the top two or three in the market. The same software is available on-premise, on-demand and managed hosted, giving merchants of all sizes maximum flexibility. Over 400 companies have chosen hybris, including global B2B brands P&G, W.W. Grainger, Pirelli, Rexel, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Thermo Fisher Scientific and Thomson-Reuters, as well as consumer brands Starbucks, Nespresso, Gymboree, Levi’s, Galeries Lafayette, Lufthansa, Migros, Nikon, Bridgestone Tires and Toys”R”Us. hybris has operations in 15 countries around the globe. hybris is the future of commerce™. For more information, visit www.hybris.com.
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