Yesterday, the NPD Group reported October's US game software sales were down 27 percent year-over-year. Today, as reported by VentureBeat, analyst Doug Creutz of Cowen and Company told investors that's bad news, but not necessarily for the people who make games.
"[Sales were down] driven by tough comps and the drag from a significant percentage of next-gen software units being sold digitally," Creutz said, adding, "This is not so much a problem for the publishers as it is for brick-and-mortar retail."
With the NPD tracking only US retail game sales, Creutz said it is missing out on the increasing amount of sales that happen directly from platform-holders' storefronts.
"Given the strong shift toward new-gen games that is apparent from recent data, and the fact that digital currently appears to be taking as much as 25 percent share of total new-gen sales depending on the game, we continue to expect total Q4 physical unit sales to be down double-digits year-over-year," Creutz said.
The NPD Group has been attempting to incorporate digital sales into its reporting for years. In February, it confirmed it had a group of publishers participating in a pilot program where they exchange such information, but as yet has not made that information available to the public.