EEDAR, Sony's PlayStation Network Welcome Back program did more than boost user morale: it actually boosted purchases of downloadable titles. Using data gathered from IGN GamerMetrics, ownership of downloadable titles jumped from 13 percent in March, before the PSN first went down, up to 17 percent in June. The jump isn't surprising, given the free titles Sony made available. Even taking those out of the equation, though, downloadable ownership was still up to 15 percent in June.
The firm also noted that interest in sequels to the free games, notably LittleBigPlanet and Dead Nation, rose significantly. Specifically, LittleBigPlanet 2 trailer views were up 69 percent on GameTrailers, while Google Insights data indicated a greatly increased number of searches for the term "Dead Nation 2."
Based on the increased interest in sequels to the free titles in the Welcome Back program, EEDAR suggests a possible new model for sequel releases. Essentially, in order to drum up interest for upcoming sequels, publishers could release their respective predecessors for free for a limited time. The report acknowledges that this is a risky maneuver, though it notes that the free titles would only have to boost sales of their sequels by a small margin for the practice to be profitable.