Study shows that achievements sell games

by: Chuck -
More On: Xbox 360
A study by Electronic Entertainment Design and Research has proven what most of us had already kind of figured out, Xbox 360 Achievements help sell games.  They looked at game scores and sales numbers and determined that games with a higher volume of Achievements tended to have higher average scores and higher sales and that titles with a better diversity of achievements tended to do better.  It's a nice survey and it certainly validates the Achievement system. I haven't heard of the EEDAR before this PR but the methodology and testing system seems pretty airtight.

Research Shows Gamers' Purchase Decisions Are Influenced by Achievements;
Developers Can Utilize More Diverse Inclusion to Increase Revenue And Success

San Diego, Calif. – Oct. 16, 2007 – Electronic Entertainment Design and Research (EEDAR) has just released a revealing new study based on the Microsoft Xbox 360 Achievement System. The study concluded that, in general, game titles that have a higher volume of Accomplishments correlate with both a higher Metacritic Metascore and higher gross sales in the United States. The data also indicated that not all developers are utilizing these design options. In fact, 29% of all Accomplishments are Completion Accomplishments; one of the easiest to develop and integrate – leaving way for additional opportunities within the Accomplishment categories.

The new study, Accomplishments Unlocked 2007, conducted by EEDAR, the first company to provide a published classification system for Accomplishments, focused on the Xbox 360 Accomplishment system and the impact it has on Metacritic scores, sales and profitability. The results showed a strong connection between a game title’s diversity of Accomplishment types with that game’s profitability – pointing to the idea that the more diverse the Accomplishments available to the user, the more enjoyable the game, higher review scores, more units sold.

“Consumers want their games to include both variety and abundance of Accomplishments,” said Geoffrey Zatkin, COO, EEDAR. “Our research shows that incentives such as Accomplishments impact sales choices such as which game title to buy and which platform to buy it on; they also extend the replayability of a title.”

EEDAR's study showed game titles that incorporate online elements into their Accomplishments generate 50% more money than those that do not. It also found evidence that consumers are taking the time to review the available Accomplishments for a game before making purchasing decisions; game titles which keep their Accomplishments secret generate less revenue than those who expose them to players upfront.

Also, research indicated that game titles can generate up to 50% more revenue by including Accomplishments with Viral Marketing aspects (User Generated Content, Community or Customization Accomplishments).

About Study Methodology
Electronic Entertainment Design and Research (EEDAR) analyzed the 4,615 achievements incorporated in 124 retail and 63 downloadable game titles available for the Microsoft® Xbox 360™ during the period November 1, 2005 through June 1, 2007.

As part of the report, EEDAR also released the first published classification system for Accomplishments, identifying 16 unique types of accomplishments and examples of how to best implement them. In addition to the Accomplishment classification system, the report referenced many additional factors including genre, ESRB rating, gross sales in the United States, Metacritic® Metascore®, online dependency and multiplayer capability. The report identified highly informative success and revenue correlations between Accomplishment types and the analyzed factors.

EEDAR gathers its information from a variety of sources and goes to great lengths to verify the accuracy of its information, as detailed below. Where information is publicly available from an authoritative source, such as the issuer or the responsible industry agency, that data is used as authoritative – and then double checked by an EEDAR researcher. Where information is not publicly available, EEDAR's internal staff performs directed studies to gather the appropriate data using custom-built data collection and analysis applications. Each researched fact has an objective observation system which ensures that researcher bias is eliminated. Our data research is performed by multiple researchers simultaneously to ensure that individual facts are cross-checked before being input into the classification system established for that fact. Once information has been entered in the EEDAR Games Database (EGD), quality assurance staff review the data using boundary analysis tools to identify errors and pinpoint difficulties in the classification systems.

Interested parties can purchase the report at
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