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(Graphic: Business Wire)

Digital River, Inc. (NASDAQ: DRIV) today announced the availability of its new white paper report, “2013 Game Changers: How will the next generation of consoles affect your business?” The free study provides a revealing look at the factors that are driving a fundamental shift in the games industry, led primarily by the growing influence of the digital world on platforms, distribution and game play.

Prepared for Digital River by SuperData Research, a leading provider of digital games research, “2013 Game Changers” provides a variety of actionable insights for businesses involved in the games industry. The findings are based on SuperData’s syndicated digital games sales data from 2.8 million monthly paying online gamers as well as its customized survey of 1,105 respondents conducted earlier this year. Highlights of the study include:
  • Unboxed versus boxed games—The surge in interest in digital distribution and browser-based game play has transformed gaming, as evidenced by the growth of unboxed sales from just $1 per capita (U.S.) in 2000 to $14 in late 2012.
  • Reversal in game devices—In 2008, just a few short years after the Xbox 360 ®, PS3 and Wii were released, consoles reigned supreme with 42 percent of gamers using them as their primary gaming device. Today, half of gamers use versatile PCs as their primary device. Handhelds and mobile devices have undergone a similar shift in popularity.
  • Publishers face multiple choices—With the impact of physical versus digital sales as well as new platforms like OUYA and Valve’s Steam Box influencing the market, publishers have to make bigger decisions than ever before. The wrong strategy can spell failure not only for individual titles, but devices and consoles as well.

“With so many factors impacting both gamers and industry participants, it is no surprise that platform, distribution and sales considerations—particularly game construction, monetization and consumer engagement—also are transforming,” said Jeff Hemenway, Digital River’s group vice president of global gaming. “We’ve been fortunate to support very successful transitions to the new digital and global age with some of our industry’s largest publishers and developers. We are constantly driven to help our clients plot and execute strategies to grow in this fast-paced environment.”

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