Downloads to shake up games charts

The move reflects the increasing importance of downloads in the entertainment sector in general – with the music industry, of course, already fully embracing non-physical sales of singles and albums. And the step will also further underline the strength of the ChartTrack UK data, which is already the envy of other territories around the world.

The fragmented nature of the sector means that negotiations are on-going, but ChartTrack has detailed plans in place already.

“We’re some way off downloads becoming a big part of the business, but it’s coming,” said ChartTrack’s Dorian Bloch. “And part of our mission statement is to follow the market wherever it goes.”

It is expected that downloads will appear first in the PC charts once retailers start to offer games via their websites, but as Bloch points out: “We can’t incorporate some retail downloads without incorporating them all.”

Downloads via Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii, however, present a tougher challenge. “Console download data is held by the format holders, and for us to get that data will require a lot of negotiation as they might not necessarily be forthcoming with it straight away,” Bloch stated. “With consoles, the integration will probably be later rather than sooner as someone needs to independently verify the sales. And we hope that will be us.”

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