After the PlayStation Network debacle, Sony decided to offer a "Welcome Back" package to alleviate the pain and distrust.
It was somewhat controversial but EEDAR's findings have indicated a successful endeavor. All four titles featured in the promotion ( inFamous , LittleBigPlanet , Dead Nation , and Wipeout HD ) were in the top 25 of consumer reported title acquisitions in June 2011, according to IGN GamerMetrics.
Furthermore, 17% of IGN users acquired a title from the PSN in June, which is up from 13% in March before the Network was attacked. And if you're wondering about the impact the free content had on the numbers, 15% of IGN users stated they acquired a digital title after we factor out the four Welcome Back games. Overall, the PlayStation 3 enjoyed a 44% share among 7th Generation home consoles, as compared to 40% in March.
Here's one final important piece of information, especially from a business standpoint:
"Three independent data sources (IGN, GameTrailers, and Google) indicate that the Welcome Back program caused an increase in awareness and acquisition of titles where a newer iteration was available (i.e. LittleBigPlanet 2). In one case, it increased the awareness and possible purchase intent of sequels even though a sequel was non-existent (i.e. Dead Nation 2)."
EEDAR thinks this Welcome Back program "may have highlighted a new successful sequence strategy for video games," and that publishers should consider releasing older titles for free when a new iteration in the series arrives. Not a bad idea, that.