UK digital charts: whats the hold up?

The industry must unite and start sharing data if we’re ever going to get a digital download chart.

That’s the message from UKIE this week as pressure mounts from the highest level for the industry to move away from retail-only sales rankings.

In the US, Electronic Arts has hit out at American data monitor NPD for not including download sales. The publisher said: NPD data for video game sales is like measuring music sales and ignoring something called iTunes,” before calling it a misrepresentation of the entire industry”.

Here in the UK, the PC games download chart is on the cusp of leaving its beta phase – but needs the support of everyone selling games online to be taken truly seriously, and prove that a digital chart can be a reality.

MCV first broke the news of the UKIE-backed ranking last summer, but since then the organisation has said little else about the chart.

This week, we can reveal that the chart is almost ready, yet it still needs that last push of support.

It’s been difficult to coordinate because some of the people we deal with that look after this data have pan-European responsibilities, and some aren’t even in the UK. But we’re close now,” explained UKIE commercial manager Sam Collins.

We started with the UKIE members, but not every member of UKIE accounts for the digital sales in the UK.
We do now have enough robust data that we could turn into a chart – but what we really need are other people, not just UKIE members, to come on board.

This isn’t about just UKIE – it’s the whole UK market and we want everyone to be involved.”

Many companies are keen to see the digital chart come to fruition. UKIE’s efforts already has the backing from the likes of Electronic Arts, Atari, NCsoft, Sega, Ubisoft, Square Enix, THQ and Warner Bros.

The UK download chart is a chance to accurately gauge how these markets operate, and really answer a burning question that many want answered publicly,” one publishing exec with an active interest in the charts told MCV.

But should we lose this opportunity it could consign us to irrelevance if more companies don’t support it, and fast.”

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