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NPD To Add Some Digital Sales Data To Monthly Retail Report

by Mike Futter on Jul 11, 2016 at 03:36 AM

With digital distribution taking hold and becoming a significant part of new game sales, the NPD group found its monthly data becoming less compelling. The organization, which has long reported retail video game hardware, software, and accessory sales in the United States, found itself in need of change.

Starting this month, the group will be adding select digital data to its monthly reporting. NPD has convinced a number of major publishers to sign on at this point. Included in the next report will be:

  • Activision-Blizzard
  • Capcom
  • Deep Silver
  • Electronic Arts
  • Square Enix
  • Take 2 Interactive
  • Ubisoft
  • Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Data will be collected from PlayStation Network and Xbox Live. Additionally, NPD will start reporting PC software sales as a line item, inclusive of both physical retail units and digital copies via Steam.

In order to keep the data directly representative of collected information, NPD will not be extrapolating digital sales to cover those publishers and storefronts that aren’t offering up details.

Not included yet are Ubisoft’s Uplay service, EA’s Origin storefront, and the Nintendo eShop. Further, the first-parties (Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft) haven’t yet signed on to share digital data for their own published titles.

The NPD report will be a week later this month, arriving on June 21, to account for the new data.


Our Take
This is an important step for NPD. While we’ve continued to report the data as a snapshot of retail sales, it’s with the caveat about missing digital information. This gives us more confidence in the reporting and I’m hopeful other publishers, including first parties, will sign on.