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New RAR metric decides what'll happen to third-party devs sans Sony

Nick Doerr
04.16.07
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Former Susquehanna analysts Jason Kraft and Chris Kwak raise this important question in a recent... analysis: "This biggest question is this: What will the market share of the three console platforms look like in five years, and how will this impact each publisher?" They find this question more important than revenue acquired due to in-game advertising or if big titles will be downloadable, or if Halo 3 and GTAIV will squeeze third party titles.

Kwak-Kraft (teehee) observed various trends and came up with results for four of the biggest third-party developers, which we've summarized for you. They developed something called the Revenue Attach Rate as a basic metric measurement for the gaming market -- it seems to study where the market share matters most for which developer (Sony would clearly benefit most from the PS3, for an extremely simple example... as it stands, Capcom would benefit from a higher RAR with the XBox 360). Anyway, here are the third-party developer findings:

  • EA: If Sony share bleeds, more realistic franchises should move to the XBox (Madden) while moving others like Tiger Woods Golf to the Wii.
  • Activision: If Sony bleeds its market share, Activision would benefit most by moving to the XBox, especially with their recently acquired Guitar Hero franchise. Call of Duty sold better on XBox anyway.
  • THQ: Doesn't matter. They've got an equal footing in all consoles.
  • Take-Two: They'll be crippled if Sony bleeds too much market share, since they released one franchise on Sony's systems and generated revenue with that one while XBox received over a dozen titles and generated revenue equal to Sony.

What they neglect are the major RPG publishers -- sure, they're not the biggest publishers around, but if Sony starts to keel over, what's going to happen to Atlus? Will all those titles they make 4 copies of disappear? Will they move onto the DS exclusively? What about the lovable Nippon-Ichi? Who knows. Without Sony, RPGs seem to be handheld-only. Let's hope it doesn't come to that. Do you have any thoughts on what'll happen to certain publishers if Sony starts to fall away (they won't... hypothetically speaking)?

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