Market tracker The NPD Group is to begin counting digital games in its sales reports.
Sourcing SKU-level information from digital points-of-sale, the service will initially roll out in the US in order to provide a more accurate overview of the games market than the current physical-only information allows.
Most of the big triple-A publishers, including EA, Activision, Ubisoft, Capcom, Square Enix, Warner Bros, Take-Two and Deep Silver, have signed up to give over their data, but the three platform holders – Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo – are yet to agree to share, as are other major labels, such as Bethesda.
The digital data will be combined with the existing stats on physical sales and released each third Thursday of the month. Games that don’t include digital numbers will be marked as such.
Sales are counted across the main platform storefronts – PlayStation Store, Xbox Live and Steam – but not across smaller off-shoots such as Battle.net and Uplay.
The ultimate plan is to estimate data even for those publishers that haven’t yet signed on to have their digital sales tracked, but for the moment NPD will work with EEDAR to get its feet into the digital pool.
“As has been experienced across a wide variety of industries, digital has made a big impact on the overall gaming market, and we’ve risen to meet the demand for a reporting mechanism that tracks those sales in a timely and accurate way,” said Joanne Hageman, NPD president for US toys and games.
“With the participation and support of leading publishers – whose co-operation makes this possible – we are excited to launch an industry-first service that addresses a long-standing need.”