Train2game News Broadband Genie Download Research

image

UK broadband comparison website Broadband Genie has today released research revealing game downloads and patches discourage many (55%) gamers from a purchase due to long download times, with 22% saying anything over 10GB is too much.

Many recent triple-A games have been as large as 46GB to download, whilst expansions and patches can be anything from a few MB to more than 15GB.

The average broadband speed in countries such as the UK, US and Germany is around 13Mb, while many other countries around the world fall far below that. On a 13Mb connection a 40GB game will take around 7 hours to download assuming the connection runs at full speed the entire time, but in reality the actual download time could be much longer due to other activity on the connection and network congestion.

Rob Hilborn, head of strategy at Broadband Genie, says: “Games have exploded in size in the past few years, yet broadband speeds across the world are struggling to keep pace. With exclusive digital deals and more games coming with day-one patches and regular updates, gamers have to suck up the long wait times or be excluded altogether.

“This is only going to get worse for those on slow connections as games continue to bloat and become increasingly reliant on fast broadband. Some gamers will be excluded from access to good deals, expansions and online multiplayer. But unfortunately there’s no easy fix for consumers as the onus is on governments and providers to speed up the rollout of fast broadband.”

The survey also revealed PlayStation gamers are more likely to take advantage of its digital store (54%) than Xbox users (41%). However the majority (72%) still think physical copies provide the best value, but digital has the advantage of offering faster access to games and a wider range of titles.

Rob continues: “ The digital stores on the current generation of console are much more user friendly than their predecessors, so it’s no surprise to see users taking advantage of them. Only the other day we heard Fallout 4 sold more digitally than through retail on day one, which is amazing.

“Unfortunately, unlike Steam on the PC, the Playstation Network and Xbox Store have fewer big sale events and charge full price on new releases for the convenience of being able to download them, which means in most cases you’re still better off buying a boxed copy if you want the best value.”

Train2Game News Broadband Genie research results

image

The growth of digital gaming has grown exponentially over the last few years. However, increasing download sizes and the continuous need for updates are making online games less accessible.

Research carried out by the independent broadband switching site, Broadband Genie has revealed that 2.68 million gamers (ref 1) have a broadband package with a data usage cap which could impact their ability to download and play games.  Furthermore, over half of those that play online still experience lag.

·         More than half (52%) of gamers regularly play online
·         More than 25% of gamers prefer to buy their games online, 35% have no preference
·         Of those that buy digitally, 36% have an advertised speed of 24mb or less, and 13% have speeds less than 8Mb
·         More than half of online gamers (59%) experience lag, with 10% of these gamers experiencing lag very frequently. That equates to more than 7 million online gamers across the UK (ref 2)

Rob Hilborn, head of strategy at Broadband Genie said, “Internet speeds are simply not keeping pace with advances in gaming technology. If you take a release like Batman Arkham Knight, it needs approximately 30GB to download – the same rings true for the boxed PC version.  30GB can take anywhere between 6 to 10 hours to download at 10Mbps and around 3 hours to download at the latest Ofcom average speed of 22.8Mb.”

This data usage exceeds the monthly download limit for many of the cheaper broadband deals, as well as some of the more expensive contracts (ref 3).

“It’s a big problem for many online gamers. If they exceed their monthly download cap, they’re likely to incur additional charges or a restriction to their service,” said Rob.

Other findings from Broadband Genie’s research:

·    Of those that experienced lag online (59%), 29% use ADSL, 34% fibre and 29% cable
·    Of those that play online and don’t experience lag (41%), 34% were Virgin users, 23% Sky, 22% BT
·    Of those that play online, 18% play on average between 1-5 hours a week, 14% between 6-10 hours and only 6% play more than 21 hours a week
·    30% play action adventure games, 21% FPS, 17% strategy and 11% simulator