Newzoo: How DLCs Influence Engagement for PC and Console Games

The new report reveals that the inclusion of DLCs leads to an approximately 11% increase in monthly active users.

Newzoo has recently released a report revealing how downloadable content influences player engagement for PC and console games. The firm analyzed DLCs' impact on games studying over 1,600 DLCs released during the period from April 2020 to April 2023.

Key Takeaways

  • On average, DLCs boost monthly active users (MAU) by approximately 11% across PC and consoles. However, following their release, there is a fluctuation in audience retention, ranging from 2% to 13% depending on the scale of the game.
  • DLCs tend to have the greatest impact on medium-sized games (those whose MAU count is ranging from 250,000 to 2 million at the time of DLC release). These games experience a surge of 22% in MAU following the introduction of downloadable content.
  • Certain game genres have shown greater benefits from DLCs compared to others. The most significant impact the release of a DLC had on MAU growth was in strategy games (+30,5%), followed by role-playing (+21,1%) and simulation genres (+19,6%).

The Sims 4 Case

  • At the end of 2022, EA announced that The Sims 4 was transitioning to a free-to-play model. Following this change, the game experienced a significant increase in weekly active users (WAU), with a peak reaching 189%. Currently, the game's WAU has stabilized at 56% higher than that of the paid version.
  • In March 2023, the company released the free Infant Update for The Sims 4, followed by the paid Growing Together update just two days later. The introduction of both free and paid DLCs resulted in a 16.7% increase in WAU. As a result, the paid DLC became the most successful in the game's history.

The Dead Cells Case

  • During the months when new DLCs were released (totaling three), the average MAU increase reached 156%.
  • The most successful DLC release was Return to Castlevania in March 2023, which resulted in a staggering 225% increase in MAU.
  • During the months when DLC was released, the proportion of new users within the MAU varied between 16% and 43%.
  • Although the growth in MAU was impressive, a significant portion of users, specifically 87%, did not return to play the DLC.

You can learn more by reading the full report here. Also, don't forget to join our 80 Level Talent platform and our Telegram channel, follow us on Instagram and Twitter, where we share breakdowns, the latest news, awesome artworks, and more.

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