Chart-Track director Dorian Bloch has told GamesIndustry.biz that UK retailers "have been at the forefront of data capture for decades," and that he's confident that yesterday's 1.23 million Modern Warfare 2 sales numbers are accurate.
He was responding to Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter, who cast doubts that the numbers were correct, suggesting Chart-Track had counted pre-orders before they had passed from retailer to consumer.
"UK retailers have been at the forefront of electronic data capture for decades, which in turn allows us to capture daily sales from 99 per cent of retailers on our panel," said Bloch. "That's over 6000 retail outlets plus all the etailers - currently 25 different store fronts."
Bloch detailed that pre-orders are only counted as they physically change hands on the High Street, or in the case of online sales – as they are shipped from warehouse to consumer.
"Every retailer on our panel supplies Electronic Point of Sale data. In the specific case of pre-orders through retailers with High Street stores, we can and do pick these up sometimes months before a product actually launches and these are set up by the retailer to report as a specific retailer code. When the product goes live we begin to track sales on the actual barcode for that product, along with the actual selling price for every single transaction."
"In the specific case of online retailers and pre-orders, the moment they ship a product it registers as a sale in the daily transaction files we are sent. Online retailers have to ship the product in advance in order to hit the street date, so we will pick up actual sales (shipped to the customer) prior to the day one release. These are re-dated to day one."
Bloch added that he expects Chart-Track will update the day one figures next week, at the same time ELSPA publishes full-week sales for the game.