Music charts to add games

Video games could shape the outcome of this year’s UK singles Christmas No.1.

The Official Charts Company has told MCV that it wants to see music games’ DLC sales counted in the charts it compiles.

Provided a deal is thrashed out between publishers and format holders, music downloaded to play in the likes of Rock Band, Guitar Hero, SingStar and upcoming games like DJ Hero, will be combined with the current download charts.

The Official Download Chart started in 2004 and from the following year included that data in the weekly Top 40. Since then there have been numerous artists which have topped the charts based on download sales – but now the Official Chart Company wants to make its listings more accurate by monitoring the rock and pop songs sold through video games.

We have been in discussion with record labels and the various games companies that host games which allow users to download master recording versions of artist tracks. In theory they could be eligible to be combined with downloads of the same tracks that take place from the wide range of digital retailing services that currently make up our chart panel,” said Omar Maskatiya, chart director at the Official Chart Company.

Over 2m downloaded tracks are sold a week via iTunes and other similar services.

Globally, some 40m tracks have been downloaded by Guitar Hero fans according to Activision; over 30m are thought to have been downloaded on Rock Band, and millions more have been downloaded for the PS3 version of SingStar.

Maskatiya added: Our brief is to ensure that the charts are the most accurate barometer of the best selling tracks or singles in the UK. And the information we have to date suggests that the incredibly successful Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises can generate significant volume of master recording downloads that we would like to capture within our weekly survey.

We are at various stages of discussion in terms of capturing these additional downloads so we are not talking about inclusion from next week, but it is certainly high on our agenda to follow through between now and the end of this year.”

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