UK charts overhaul: Digital data will finally be counted

A new combined physical/digital chart set for 2019

Games publishers and developers have agreed to share digital download data in the UK.

And from 2019, that data will be combined with physical sales figures to create a combined chart that will paint an accurate picture over what games are performing best in the UK.

The download chart will be provided by the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE) and data services company B2Boost, who have been trialing the project. More details on the UK (and European) download charts will be revealed early next year.

However, the chart will lack physical sales information as analytics firm GfK currently has an exclusive agreement over boxed games data - an agreement it holds with the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA members include GAME, Amazon, the supermarkets, Grainger Games and The Hut Group).

However, ERA has now announced that it is ending that exclusive agreement and has struck a separate deal with ISFE so that physical game sales can be combined with its digital numbers on one platform. This new arrangement will take effect from January 2019.

GfK will still be able to publish its physical-only charts from that point, but ERA's data will no-longer be exclusive to the company. GfK's UK games team is the sames one that has been providing charts for the UK games market for over 20 years [under its previous name of Chart-Track], and it remains one of the most respected suppliers of data in the industry.

A combined digital and physical chart already exists in the US, and it is compiled by NPD.

"This is an innovative and exciting direction for games data to take," says ERA CEO Kim Bayley.

"GfK has been the gold standard for physical games data and charts for more than two decades and we are delighted to confirm our relationship with them through to mid-2019. At the same time, we recognise that ISFE and B2Boost have captured digital data, which our members are looking to analyse alongside the physical market. This twin track solution looks to be a win-win for all concerned."

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