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EA slams NPD over digital sales

Publisher says NPD data "a misrepresentation of the entire industry"

EA has criticised US sales data group NPD, saying that the firm's failure to account for digital download figures gives a skewed picture of the market.

Speaking to CNN, EA corporate communications executive Tiffany Steckler has said that NPD is ignoring a hugely important part of the games business.

"Using NPD data for video game sales is like measuring music sales and ignoring something called iTunes," said Steckler. "We see NPD's data as a misrepresentation of the entire industry."

Using NPD data for video game sales is like measuring music sales and ignoring something called iTunes

Tiffany Steckler, EA.

Recently, the publisher has been conducting a push towards the download market, with chief financial officer Eric Brown declaring that his company is aiming at a target of 40 per cent digital revenue from DLC, microtransactions and the publisher's casual arm, Playfish.

NPD publishes American sales figures each month, and has become a touchstone for the US video games market, but the organisation does not include any sales data from outside traditional brick and mortar retailers in that report.

Instead, NPD publishes a quarterly paper dedicated to digital retail.

That's a big concern for EA, whose CEO John Riccitello claimed that digital would overtake physical product this year. Already, the company predicts a revenue of $750 million from digital sales for the financial year ending March 31.

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Dan Pearson

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