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NPD tightens reporting of monthly sales figures

No hardware or software unit figures to be released by US sales monitor

US sales monitor The NPD Group has said that it will no longer report unit sales numbers for game hardware and software in the US.

The group will release a top ten of games by title, not individual SKU as it had done in the past. Recently the NPD reigned in numbers for the top ten, only revealing solid data for the top five games. But as of this Thursday, the group will not reveal unit sales at all.

Instead analyst Anita Frazer will offer some insight into sales of new releases "at both the SKU and title level."

While the company has reflected sales through bricks and mortar stores of boxed product, it has not been able to offer any insight into key markets such as digital sales through services such as steam and the lucrative second hand market, as well as growing mobile, social, rental and other monetisation avenues.

The company did promise to release a quarterly report to the press on total consumer spend, and will continue to support subscribers to its paid data service to release sales figures for their own products.

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Latest comments (6)

Jack Loftus Contributing Editor, Gizmodo6 years ago
And just like that, hundreds of video game blogs lost their biggest monthly story.
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Lucas Seuren Freelance, Only Network6 years ago
@Jack, not per se, they might actually gain some stories. The NPD will still release some numbers and Frazer will give an analysis of those numbers, which makes one small story. On top of that, all three publishers will probably still show their numbers, because it's publicity.

The question is what we are going to see. I doubt Microsoft will publish disappointing sales numbers. On the other hand, those numbers usually find their way to the media anyway.

Guess we'll wait and see.
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Ryan Locke Lecturer in Media Design, University of Abertay Dundee6 years ago
It seems like a wise decision - NPD figures didnt always represent the truth of sales figures considering what didnt get included in thier reports. Obviously what goes on in our high streets is still massively important - but when sales figures are released that didnt include mobile apps, digital downloads and social sales - it was making itself increasingly redundant.
Check out August's Footnote.

"For the first time in its data release to the press, the NPD Group added a footnote to the software sales segment noting that it “includes sales of new physical games sold at retail” but “does not include revenue from used, digital downloads, DLC, rental, subscription, mobile or social network games”. "

Consider, just how big a chunk is thus not included.

[link url=http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2010-09-20-npd-downloads-now-bigger-than-retail-on-pc
]http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/20...[/link]

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Show all comments (6)
Brent Thale Software Engineer, Visceral Games6 years ago
Although I agree that this particular survey (which measures a subset of the U.S. packaged-goods market) has become less relevant over time, it's interesting that the loss of this one company's report removes/obfuscates access to the only somewhat reliable sales information available to the public. It's painfully obvious that most video game news sites simply pass along this type of information and there are very few publically available alternatives based on actual research.

Like Gordon Gekko says in "Wall Street": "Stop sending me information and start GETTING me some.", this was one of very few reports that was actually getting good information. Hopefully a replacement can be found that more accurately reflects the current nature of the entertainment software market.

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Private Industry 6 years ago
So the NPD report will become very useless without providing actual numbers and just give a normal list with the top 10 games.
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Otakar Schon Technology editor, Economia6 years ago
the numbers may not make it to the public anymore. Big publishers may issue press releases with their success stories but the overall numbers wont be available. the industry is quite secretive. I know how hard it is to get a peek at local game sales charts not to mention ability to publish them here in CZ...
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