LGC 09: UK PC chart to include download sales from 2010

ChartTrack director Dorian Bloch has this evening revealed that the firm will start including PC download sales in its charts from the start of 2010.

"From the start of next year, whoever is ready to contribute data, be they publisher or digital distributor will be able to come on board from the beginning of next year," he said in a talk at the London Games Conference.

The new version of the PC chart will show combined sales of retail and digital sales on the platform, because "the PC market isn’t dying, it has just moved on" he said.

A few years ago, The Official Chart Company started to similarly combine retail and digital sales in its music charts – as consumers transitioned from CD singles to MP3 downloads.

Bloch said a PC download chart is needed because an ‘ever important’ part of the business is not being reprted on.

The ChartTrack system will also hide exclusive deals so publishers afraid of sharing too much data don’t have to give away specifics but can contribute to overall revenue numbers for their titles.

But added that there won’t be a console downloads chart as format holders are still too reluctant to share data – hence the PC only focus for now.

And at first the focus will be on the core PC titles published by UK firms to help establish the chart – social, MMO, microtransaction isn’t in the listing, but could follow later on.

Bloch offered up dummy charts of what these reports would look like, showing how the digital data would boost the variety of data in things like publisher, retailer and format share charts.

All of ELSPA’s membership is backing the idea – meaning that first-party sales data from publisher-owned digital stores such as EA Store, UBI Shop, Atari Store, Blizzard Store, Sega’s E-Shop and digital initiatives by Mastertronic and Capcom could all be counted.

The chart would provide a raft of benefits, said Bloch, including proving the maturity of the market – "An analysed market reveals a certain degree of maturity, instead of a perceived image of protectionism", he said.

Plus IP holders will benefit from industry recognition. "Publishers, Developers, Content Holders want to achieve documented success," Bloch explained.

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