As the slide to digital becomes more and more prevalent, we'll finally be getting a chart combining physical and digital sales for the first time in 2019.
The download chart will be provided by the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE) in combination with data firm B2Boost. GamesIndustry.biz, who broke the story, said that news on a UK, and separate European download chart will be revealed early in the new year.
However, the big news is that in January 2019, this chart will include physical sales too, as the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) will be giving sales information on boxed games to ISFE. This means a combined chart for the first time and no more speculation, hopefully, when a sequel to a game sells less than its predecessor in the physical space.
Right now, ERA have an exclusivity deal with GfK who put together the physical charts and have done for the last 20 years. ERA will still be providing GfK with the data, but as of January 2019 that will no longer be exclusive, opening the way for this combined chart.
This will massively affect the PC market, which now sells barely any volume in physical copies, but does a roaring trade digitally due to a series of well established online marketplaces.
MCV has long campaigned for publishers to share their digital sales data, started the #digitalcounts campaign to try and raise awareness. The US has a combined physical and digital chart already, courtesy of NPD.
CEO Kim Bayley said in a statement on ERA's website: “This is an innovative and exciting direction for games data to take. GfK has been the gold standard for physical games data and charts for more than two decades and we are delighted to confirm our relationship with them through to mid-2019. At the same time, we recognise that ISFE and B2Boost have captured digital data which our members are looking to analyse alongside the physical market. This twin track solution looks to be a win-win for all concerned.”