NPD Group Has Made A “Critical Step” Towards Digital Sales Tracking
The NPD Group, which is a US market tracking firm, has said that it has recently made a “critical step” towards launching a digital games sales tracking service.
In case you’re wondering what the relevance of this is, previously the firm tracked only physical sales. This made it very difficult to judge the success of titles particularly on the PC platform, where a massive amount of sales are digital, probably most of them actually.
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Digital is constantly growing, and the firm has come under increasing criticism for its monthly video game sales figures completely disregarding the digital games market.
However, NPD Group’s president of the games division David McQuillan has said that recent developments at the firm represent a ‘critical step’ towards the end goal of tracking of digital sales. This is a service that NPD is eager to begin this year, as we draw nearer to the launch of the PS4 and Xbox One, which are more digital-focused consoles.
“We fully realize that the market needs the same level of information for the digital categories as exists for the physical business today: SKU-level POS [Point of Sale],” said McQuillan according to Games Industry.
“The progress on that effort up until recently has been slow and frustrating at times, but today I am very happy to share that the pace of progress has changed recently. NPD has formed a leader panel to track digital POS sales of full game and add-on content downloads. It is an important and critical step toward that goal. Leader panels are often formed as a precursor to a formal launch of a POS tracking service,” he said.
“Full market transparency, including digital is incredibly important to the health of the industry,” added McQuillan. “The problem for the industry has been that digital POS data isn’t being clearly laid out. That’s about to change.
“The NPD games leader panel is currently comprised of nine leading games publishers. The initial focus will be on full-game downloads and downloadable content for consoles, PCs and portables.”
McQuillan did not specifically reveal which nine publishers were on board with NPD, but he did confirm that it has a partnership with research firm EEDAR, which will serve to help track download sales on consoles, portables and PCs worldwide. Retail sales tracking, however, will remain US-only.