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Valve: no Steam data for digital sales charts

Jason Holtman says "idea of a chart is old"

PC publisher Valve has confirmed that it won't be releasing its sales data from download service Steam to any digital chart tracking service.

Speaking in an interview with MCV, head of Steam Jason Holtman said that he felt that the data would be counterintuitive if released to the world at large, preferring to retain it for developers and publishers only.

"The idea of a chart is old," claims Holtman. It came from people trying to aggregate disaggregated information. What we provide to partners is much more rapid and perfected information."

Valve provides those who have games hosted on Steam with hourly updates of download figures in an attempt to keep them up to date with the precise effects of marketing pushes and offers. But releasing that data, in the form of monthly figures, to anybody else, would be a mistake, says Holtman.

"If you look back at the way retail charts have been made, they have been proven to be telling an inaccurate story. They apparently had shown how the PC format was dying when it was actually thriving."

Whilst the essence of that argument is surprisingly in harmony with the requests of sales trackers NPD and Chart-Track, which have both pledged to try and include digital sales in their figures, Valve reaches very different conclusions.

"The point is, it's not super important for a publisher or developer to know how well everyone is doing. What's important to know is exactly how your game is doing - why it's climbing and why it's falling. Your daily sales, your daily swing, your rewards for online campaign number three. That's what we provide."

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