MS: Paid DLC Causes Games to Sell $21M More, Overall Xbox Live Marketplace Sales Total $240M

Xbox 360 titles supplemented by paid downloadable content on the Xbox Live Marketplace sell an average of $21M more at retail, Microsoft interactive entertainment business manager Kevin Salcedo revealed at the company's recent GameFest event.

According to Gamasutra, the manager stipulated that the boost in sales typically required the content to be launched within a 30-day "sweet spot." The data reflects growing industry trends in which more and more games are arriving to retailers with DLC already available, or with content planned well in advance of release.

"Right now we have over 12 million users in over 26 countries, with $240 million in [Xbox Live Marketplace] transactions revenue so far, with $180 million in the last 12 months alone," Salcedo added.

Downloadable content also keeps consumers hanging onto titles longer than those titles which are not supported by content updates.

"On average, titles that have downloadable content on XBL marketplace have seen a 16 percent [longer] period of people holding onto that title, which keeps them from selling to secondhand stores," he said.

In addition to extending the shelf-life of a game, downloadable content can prove a viable marketing tool for titles already on the shelves. Originally planned for the early fall, the first piece of content for Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto IV was recently delayed to publisher Take-Two's 2009 fiscal year first quarter.

The publisher said the content was delayed "in order to provide a better balance in Take-Two's release schedule," suggesting that the content was pushed back for marketing reasons rather than development hiccups. The availability of new downloadable content could possibly boost holiday sales for the open-world shooter, originally released this past April.