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U-Decide 2010 Preliminary Results, Part 2

By Neil Schneider

Yesterday, we presented a few charts from the preliminary findings from 2010's edition of The U-Decide Initiative.  As a reminder, here are some of its key features:
  • Data collected from July 7th to October 1st, 2010
  • Jointly partnered and promoted with Panasonic, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Steelseries, Zalman, Blitz Games Studios, Computer Power User, and Meant to be Seen.
  • Purposely targeted to gamers (console & PC)
  • 1,169 respondents (735 traditional 2D gamers that don't own 3D equipment, 434 experienced stereoscopic 3D gamers that do)
  • These preliminary results are 100% based on the 2D gamer portion to avoid skewing.
  • This is a tiny sampling of the data collected.  A full report will be released in November, 2010.
  • 75% of respondents are based in North America, 15% are from Europe, and the remaining 10% span the world.
  • According to the Entertainment Software Association, over 50% of adults play video games.
The work continues!

Is There Money to be Made For Game Developers?

One of the leading issues for stereoscopic 3D game developers is whether or not there is money to be made from having a special 3D mode, and whether or not gamers would be willing to spend a premium on this mode.

3D Premium for 3D PC Games (2D Gamer Sample)

According to traditional 2D gamers, there is a clear willingness to spend a bit more for 3D compatibility (if they owned a 3D display).  Approximately 40% of respondents are willing to spend anywhere from $3 to $5 more on a $50 game title on PC.  Another 12% is ok with playing as much as $10 more.  Over 15% suggest premiums as high as 50% to 100% more for their video games.  We are unconvinced that premiums this high would sell very well with gamers, but it's a good indicator that 3D compatibility has measurable value associated with it.

3D Premium for 3D Console Games (2D Gamer Sample)

Willingness to pay a premium for 3D compatibility is a bit less for console gamers versus PC gamers, but not by much.  Just under 40% are comfortable with the $3 to $5 range, and almost 12% will go as high as $10.  As with PC, we aren't big believers in the $25 to $50 premium range for console 3D games, but almost 14% of 2D gamers suggest this as a possibility.

Up until now, 3D gaming has been treated as a free feature on PC and console video games.  Do you think this trend will change?  Why or why not?  Do you see this as a feasible way for game developers to make some extra money out of stereoscopic 3D gaming?  What criteria would game developers need to meet for a premium like this to be feasible?