The NPD Group has acknowledged that its decision to report on US retail sales in less detail has been a bitter pill to swallow for some in the industry.
But it said the move is necessary as the news of month-on-month declines at bricks-and-mortar stores has caused "unnecessary angst" and doesn't acknowledge the new games economy of digital sales coupled with pre-owned growth.
"While this news was, in some cases, a hard pill for some to swallow, we believe it is an important step for the industry," said Anita Fazier, analyst at NPD. "Why? Because we've long acknowledged that our reporting of monthly point-of-sale purchases (covering new physical sales of hardware, software and accessories only, not used game sales) did not represent 100 per cent of the consumer spend on the industry.
"Since new physical sales at retail have been down for some months now, the news that the industry is beleaguered has been widely covered, and it has caused unnecessary angst for many," she added.
"So, while the monthly POS sales reporting still represents the majority of the consumer spend on the industry, we believe that by reducing our reporting on that portion of the market, and augmenting it with our new report, Games Industry: Total Consumer Spend, which looks at, and measures, the other avenues consumers are acquiring games content, we would provide a better, more comprehensive look at just how big the games industry is."
Early details of that report, to be released later this month, has found that sales of mobile, online, digital and second-hand games, accounts for up to $2.9 billion for the first half of 2010, or 40 per cent of the US market.
Added Frazier: "The games industry is experiencing one of the most transformative periods in its rich history; new technologies and ways of gaming, new consumers being introduced to gaming, and new avenues of distribution all play major roles and we're excited to be evolving our coverage of the market to accommodate the industry."