Game digital download rates are far higher on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 than their predecessors, as discussed on a recent conference call with Ubisoft executives.
In a call to highlight Ubisoft’s first quarter performance in 2014, Ubisoft executives noted that one in ten Ubisoft games sold for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 were downloaded digitally. While a breakout between consoles was not provided, a Ubisoft executive noted download rates are slightly higher on Xbox One when compared to PlayStation 4, but that downloadable games average out to approximately 10% of the full sell-through of the company’s games. The remaining 90% of sales are of traditionally packaged physical games.
The download rate is remarkably higher than Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, where only 3-5% of a game’s sales were through digital channels. The latest consoles have larger hard drives and more capable online storefronts, which may be driving increased digital downloads.
Ubisoft also noted that Watch Dogs, the company’s latest hit, sold 14% of its units as digital downloads. The strong digital sell-through of the company’s marque 2014 title is a remarkable showing compared to last year’s Ubisoft hit Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag, which averaged 7% of units sold digitally.
During the call, a Ubisoft executive noted, “It’s really helped to increase margins. It does more on console than it does on PC in the US for example. On the whole it’s very positive.”
Note: CONSULGAMER is unable to confirm which executives were cited above as introductions and names were not provided during the investor conference call.