OPINION: We need real market data

With a hole of 500m in the High Street when it comes to games, I don’t think anyone expected fireworks from the end-of-year data.

In the digital era, are these figures still relevant? For the majority, , they still are of course. But while we can spin nice and chunky ‘billion pound stats’ any way we want, ultimately the 1.45bn number potentially focuses on as little as two-thirds of the market. DLC, social games, downloads… even pre-owned – it all goes unmeasured.

And this week a rival entertainment medium put us to shame. Video’s respective trade group had a gamut of data for both physical and digital on hand to prove DVD and Blu-ray’s 2.6bn robustness.

Pre-owned aside, there is something the games industry can do to show we’re worth it, too. And that’s share some sodding data.

It’s becoming increasingly shameful that key companies hoard the numbers detailing digital sales.

Something’s gotta give when it comes to the persistent reluctance amongst bigger players to ringfence stats and info. And it’s up to publishers and retailers to coerce their partners and colleagues and help create some outward confidence that goes beyond an accountant smiling at an internal spreadsheet.

Otherwise next year, at a time when the market is expected to show another decrease, it might start to look like games are a dying breed, when we all know they are more pervasive than ever.

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