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Console exclusive DLC is "unproven" - analyst

Xbox 360 GTA IV DLC will be "a key test", says analyst

Console exclusive DLC strategies such as GTA IV's 360-only 'episodes' are still unproven, Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian has said.


Speaking to CVG, Sebastian said that competition between platform holders to secure exclusive DLC will increase over time.

Microsoft reportedly paid in the region of $50 million for exclusive GTA IV DLC, which is due for release in "fall 2008", and Sebastian says that the new content will be "a key test" of the costly strategy.

"I think it's reasonable to assume there is some correlation between game sales and the availability of exclusive content for a particular platform," he said, "but the content needs to be high quality and add something to the overall game experience."

Microsoft has been the most active of the platform holders in running with the strategy, having also tied up deals for exclusive Fallout 3 and Tomb Raider: Underworld content, while Sony announced recently that the PS3 version of Mirror's Edge will be getting exclusive DLC post launch. While it has yet to do so, Sebastian also said that Nintendo would get in on the act in the future.

"I think it's inevitable that Nintendo will introduce more online content and services, but in the near-term it's pretty clear that consumers are finding a lot of value with the offline gameplay offered by the Wii," he said.

"We're still in the early stages of growth, but over time, there is going to be more competition for online content as Sony and Nintendo enhance the services available to their users, and close the gap with Microsoft.

"It's more cost effective for the platform manufacturers to lock up exclusive online content than entire games," he added. "This also serves to enhance the profile of their online services, which they see as a key source of long-term growth in this industry."

So less console exclusive games but more exclusive DLC in the future. How much does exclusive DLC influence your purchasing habits, readers?