It seems like just yesterday when online functionality was a new, exotic feature that was far from required for most games. Now, it seems, online functionality is practically a must if a publisher wants to squeeze as much money as possible from a release. Reuters is reporting on a new study by research firm Electronic Entertainment Design and Research that shows, so far in this generation, console games that allow online play bring in nearly twice as much revenue as games that don't.

This isn't that surprising, considering mega-sellers like Madden, Gears of War, and Resistance are weighing on the online side. Would these same exact games make half the money without an online component? It's hard to say, but it's definitely a possibility, and one that should worry online-shy Nintendo. According to the study, only two percent of Wii games included an online component as of June 1, compared to 23 percent of PS3 games and a whopping 77 percent of Xbox 360 titles. That could translate to a lot of early revenue left on the table for the big N. Look, just make the Super Smash Bros. Brawl's online functionality relatively painless and all will be forgiven, all right?

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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