NPD Prepping Service to Track Digital Game Sales

NPD Prepping Service to Track Digital Game Sales

NPD Group logo

NPD Group is working with nine prominent publishers to develop a reliable method to track digital game sales.

Digital distribution is changing the way consumers spend money. With often cheaper digital options, many consumers have abandoned physical versions of movies and music wholelsale and, as time goes on, the decline of physical products has been making its way into the videogame industry. Driven by services like Steam, many gamers are becoming more and more attuned to the convenience of digital products. This, in turn, is a development that studios and publishers are happily supporting thanks to the decreased expenses of digital versus the many costs of producing a physical product.

An ongoing problem, however, has been the lack of a convenient way to track digital sales. While NPD is able to pin down overall consumer spending on videogames, it still struggles to provide exact figures for digital products. Soon, however, that may no longer be the case. "We fully realize that the market needs the same level of information for the digital categories as exists for the physical business today: SKU-level POS. The progress on that effort up until recently has been slow and frustrating at times, but today I am very happy to share that the pace of progress has changed recently," said David McQuillan, president of NPD's Games group. "NPD has formed a leader panel to track digital POS sales of full game and add-on content downloads. It is an important and critical step toward that goal. Leader panels are often formed as a precursor to a formal launch of a POS tracking service."

According to McQuillan, NPD is currently working with nine leading game publishers to help develop a method to better track digital distribution. The emerging system, however, will be different in some ways from the services tracking retail sales. Whereas NPD's focus on the physical games front is North America, its view of digital sales will be global. "Global coverage in this area is extremely important to our clients, and it is a necessary element of the solution that we are working to provide." Though NPD currently isn't able to confirm when it will start integrating digital sales into its regular reports, it hopes to have its digital tracking services up and running in the near future.

Source: GamesIndustry International

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How adorable.

As if any digital distribution platform is going to give anything other than cooked/fudged numbers. How can you deride how the industry is dying, and its all because of pirates, Used, rentals and other things outside of publisher control when you can clearly see exactly how many copies are really being moved and how obscene the profits generated from such actually are?

So yeah, Expect "floating point calculations" on par with 12 million MMO subs and other manufactured nonsense.

Huh, that's a relief. My first thought reading the title was not NPD the business group but NPD the German neonazi party... I don't want Germany's neonazis tracking my steam purchases!

Quaxar:
Huh, that's a relief. My first thought reading the title was not NPD the business group but NPD the Germany neonazi party... I don't want Germany neonazis tracking my steam purchases!

I was thinking exactly the same. And I walk right into this trap every single time there is news about the "National Purchase Diary" Group.

Every single time I go "WHAT THE FUCK FUCKING NAZIS KEEP YOUR FUCKING FILTHY FUCKFINGERS OUT OF MAH GAEMZ!!!"

This is good, digital sales are so big nowadays that tracking them is getting pretty important so we don't have to constantly speculate about how good or bad the industry is doing.

i am very happy we are finding more and more ways to get a realiable way to gather reliable statistics.

Also it seems i am in before the "omg they are destroying our privacy we must protest and ruin them" comments.

viranimus:
How adorable.

As if any digital distribution platform is going to give anything other than cooked/fudged numbers. How can you deride how the industry is dying, and its all because of pirates, Used, rentals and other things outside of publisher control when you can clearly see exactly how many copies are really being moved and how obscene the profits generated from such actually are?

So yeah, Expect "floating point calculations" on par with 12 million MMO subs and other manufactured nonsense.

Do you EVER have anything pleasant to say? When was the last time a publisher derided any of those for the death of gaming (beyond ClffyB)?

...Sorry, I don't even know why I'm asking you, the ludicrous cynic king of well-poisoners.

OT: Finally, accurate-ish stats. Too bad we didn't have this back in the "OH MAH GAAAWD PC IS DEAAAAD" days.

viranimus:
How adorable.

As if any digital distribution platform is going to give anything other than cooked/fudged numbers. How can you deride how the industry is dying, and its all because of pirates, Used, rentals and other things outside of publisher control when you can clearly see exactly how many copies are really being moved and how obscene the profits generated from such actually are?

So yeah, Expect "floating point calculations" on par with 12 million MMO subs and other manufactured nonsense.

1. The big publishers only make around 2% net profit

2. The big publishers are public companies and their accounts are open to the public, so if their sales figures are false they are committing a criminal offence. The investors would be very quick to call in the authorities if they didn't get the money that they are expecting.

3 Used game and rentals all require a sale in the first place which would show in the figures.

So they will have data from select sources that will display statistic that go in favor of their business model... you know there is a level of coverage where these things actually become relevant and below that it's all nonsense, worse yet it can be very harmful in cases when they are taken as a credible source.

Much like Metacritic now having the power to make or break studios on completely asinine statistics they themselves put together through unknown calculations.

lacktheknack:

viranimus:
How adorable.

As if any digital distribution platform is going to give anything other than cooked/fudged numbers. How can you deride how the industry is dying, and its all because of pirates, Used, rentals and other things outside of publisher control when you can clearly see exactly how many copies are really being moved and how obscene the profits generated from such actually are?

So yeah, Expect "floating point calculations" on par with 12 million MMO subs and other manufactured nonsense.

Do you EVER have anything pleasant to say? When was the last time a publisher derided any of those for the death of gaming (beyond ClffyB)?

...Sorry, I don't even know why I'm asking you, the ludicrous cynic king of well-poisoners.

I do in fact on occasion say many things to generate bemusement. When I find something I can try to I DO try to make moods lighter. I DO try to help people in this community honestly when they ask for it. I try to spark genuine and relevant conversation.

I am sorry I do not come off as a big bucket of sunshine. I speak to the facts that people either unintentionally or through their willful subversion ignore. I really DONT like having to make such statements but the simple fact is that if these negative things did not exist then they would not need the likes of me to point them out. Rest assured these things NEED to be pointed out. When you deal with cancerous like behavior, the longer you allow it to grow and fester, the harder it is to repair.

Here is the problem, quite frankly its the apathetic and self serving attitudes of the consumers in this industry that have created these problems, Not Microsoft, Not Sony Not Valve or any corporation. You cannot fault them in this because they are doing EXACTLY what they are supposed to do in capitalistic/free market structures. Ensure the greatest return on investment while minimizing any and all overhead possible to maximize profit margins. Even if they shirk the law, Use litigants to buy legislation, Lie to their customers, they are doing exactly what they are supposed to do.

However We the consumers FAIL on our responsibilities. We are supposed to be informed. We are expected to utilize our money wisely and in our best interest. We are supposed to use our economic power to keep corporations run amok in check. We are expected in this same free market system to be savvy enough to sense when we are being taken for a ride. However we absolutely fail in that in this industry.

However people do not quite understand that this generation is currently writing all of our economic futures.

With Internet and gaming culture creating a new economic revolution we are currently writing how these new things will play out. THAT is why you see me posting these things. Because I can see our apathetic generations that are willingly abandoning consumer rights and protections. They are making not only themselves more susceptible to further corporate abuse, but through this neglect and apathy we are allowing these corporations to freely write the rules on which the future of our global and national economies will be built upon. This "I do not care as long as I get what I want" mentality is exactly WHY we are seeing such blatant power grabs and heinous anti consumer practices. These people do their homework and know exactly HOW to corral the apathetic self important masses into doing exactly what they want and have one hell of a batting average to show for it. And for every "victory" these corporations manipulate out of their customers weakens us all and deprives us more and more of the tools we long ago learned we need to keep this type of action in check. All you have to do is follow the path that has been paved and treaded many times before us to know exactly where this all leads and quite honestly, peoples self importance and their uninformed apathetic "decision" making worked down the line adversely effects every gamer, and if we do not take dramatic steps now in the very near future every single consumer. Through this defiant neglect we are going to see what is done in the gaming industry and other arenas of "geek culture" in our very near future become the standard operating procedure for all means of future digital distribution and when you grasp that in the next 10 to 20 years that physibles are going to absolutely explode you understand that the failures that we allow to become those standard operating procedures today are going to be what these corporations if left to their own expected devices will use when we start printing every thing we use from the media we consume to the food we eat.

So yes when I see self serving people glorify steam as some benevolent benefactor, I absolutely will call out the fact that anything sold on steam or their ilk has automatically less value than its physical counterpart. I will not shy away from calling out the fact consumers gleefully abandon their money in exchange for nothing tangible through 90% of digital distribution platforms. I will not turn a blind eye to corporations giving bogus figures to justify saying "Oh we are struggling to make ends meet" and "We have to do this to protect our product so we can have some hope to maybe stay in business" when it is clear to anyone who dares take the time to actually look at think for a moment that this shit doesnt quite add up.

So sorry to inconvenience and annoy you with my black cloud by presenting reality. Which is worse? To get rained on by the likes of me pouring down a deluge of information people are willfully oblivious to? Or to pretend like none of this is happening, has happened before, will happen again and ignore all of it and give those armed with accountants, litigants, marketers, and every other imaginable devious manipulative tool at their disposal to flood the entire world in a never ending torrential downpour of shit and just wait for the time that all these things people are willfully giving up today has to be taken back by force in blood in the future. If I come off with a bleak and negative perspective, my apologies. I only mirror what society has allowed to exist. If the problem were not so blatant, I would not need to say a thing.

viranimus:
snip

Taken back by force... in... blood...

1. Not everything is analogous to Game of Thrones.

2. I'm not deriding your message, just your presentation.

We're actually very much on the same page. I'm naturally suspicious of Kickstarters, I'm moving away from Steam towards gog.com (in music, I've already hit the stage of "physical album or nothing"), I'm becoming more of a retro/indie fan to not have to deal with current industry if I can help it, etc. I've even finally become a dedicated EA hater after what they've done to the new Mirror's Edge.

I despise how modern companies view the consumer, and I REALLY despise the fact that they're kind of right.

Etc, etc.

The thing is, you're wrecking your abilities to get your message across because you're so consistently vengeful and mean. Not "down", not "black cloud", but actually snarly and irritating.

Your first two words in this thread were "how adorable", which makes the worst first impression possible.

What's the difference between us? You're an antagonistic well-poisoner, and I'm a small plaintive call to "PLEASE try gog.com, it's really cool, guys!"

I imagine we're equally ineffective, just in opposite ways. You're too antagonistic, and I'm not passionate enough.

Just... consider. What's more likely to be taken to heart, this?

viranimus:
How adorable.

As if any digital distribution platform is going to give anything other than cooked/fudged numbers. How can you deride how the industry is dying, and its all because of pirates, Used, rentals and other things outside of publisher control when you can clearly see exactly how many copies are really being moved and how obscene the profits generated from such actually are?

So yeah, Expect "floating point calculations" on par with 12 million MMO subs and other manufactured nonsense.

..or this?

viranimus doppleganger:
Well, it's a step in the right direction, but I'm not convinced that publishers are going to give us numbers that go against their own rhetoric on used games, piracy, etc. They don't want for people to see how well they're doing in the digital market. I can see these being fudged, or even straight-up manufactured.

Feel free to add emphasis where you want, or extra talking points. But the point where you come across as straight up mean is where people begin to stop wanting to read your stuff.

I know you can do it, the mega-snip I did you you was a good example of you being passionate about something without it getting stupid (except for that last paragraph).

Who are the NPD and what exactly is the end goal of this?

albino boo:

viranimus:
How adorable.

As if any digital distribution platform is going to give anything other than cooked/fudged numbers. How can you deride how the industry is dying, and its all because of pirates, Used, rentals and other things outside of publisher control when you can clearly see exactly how many copies are really being moved and how obscene the profits generated from such actually are?

So yeah, Expect "floating point calculations" on par with 12 million MMO subs and other manufactured nonsense.

1. The big publishers only make around 2% net profit

2. The big publishers are public companies and their accounts are open to the public, so if their sales figures are false they are committing a criminal offence. The investors would be very quick to call in the authorities if they didn't get the money that they are expecting.

3 Used game and rentals all require a sale in the first place which would show in the figures.

The most popular (and possibly biggest , idk) online only games retailer Valve are not a PLC being owned solely by GabeN. So they don't have to publish any figures at all.

Zipa:

albino boo:

viranimus:
How adorable.

As if any digital distribution platform is going to give anything other than cooked/fudged numbers. How can you deride how the industry is dying, and its all because of pirates, Used, rentals and other things outside of publisher control when you can clearly see exactly how many copies are really being moved and how obscene the profits generated from such actually are?

So yeah, Expect "floating point calculations" on par with 12 million MMO subs and other manufactured nonsense.

1. The big publishers only make around 2% net profit

2. The big publishers are public companies and their accounts are open to the public, so if their sales figures are false they are committing a criminal offence. The investors would be very quick to call in the authorities if they didn't get the money that they are expecting.

3 Used game and rentals all require a sale in the first place which would show in the figures.

The most popular (and possibly biggest , idk) online only games retailer Valve are not a PLC being owned solely by GabeN. So they don't have to publish any figures at all.

Valve is primarily a retailer selling other publishers titles. The other publishers know their own sales figures from the number of keys issued and used and money received from valve. They only games that would be missing would valves own.

My other point is we don't know if Gabe is even the majority shareholder in valve. Its highly unlikely that valve was set up without rising capital from private sources, so there is almost certainly other shareholders.

albino boo:

Zipa:

albino boo:

1. The big publishers only make around 2% net profit

2. The big publishers are public companies and their accounts are open to the public, so if their sales figures are false they are committing a criminal offence. The investors would be very quick to call in the authorities if they didn't get the money that they are expecting.

3 Used game and rentals all require a sale in the first place which would show in the figures.

The most popular (and possibly biggest , idk) online only games retailer Valve are not a PLC being owned solely by GabeN. So they don't have to publish any figures at all.

Valve is primarily a retailer selling other publishers titles. The other publishers know their own sales figures from the number of keys issued and used and money received from valve. They only games that would be missing would valves own.

My other point is we don't know if Gabe is even the majority shareholder in valve. Its highly unlikely that valve was set up without rising capital from private sources, so there is almost certainly other shareholders.

Valve was originally a partnership between Gabe and Mike Harrington, Harrington dissolved the partnership and sold his half to Gabe shortly after the original half life making Gabe the sole owner.

Zipa:

albino boo:

Zipa:

The most popular (and possibly biggest , idk) online only games retailer Valve are not a PLC being owned solely by GabeN. So they don't have to publish any figures at all.

Valve is primarily a retailer selling other publishers titles. The other publishers know their own sales figures from the number of keys issued and used and money received from valve. They only games that would be missing would valves own.

My other point is we don't know if Gabe is even the majority shareholder in valve. Its highly unlikely that valve was set up without rising capital from private sources, so there is almost certainly other shareholders.

Valve was originally a partnership between Gabe and Mike Harrington, Harrington dissolved the partnership and sold his half to Gabe shortly after the original half life making Gabe the sole owner.

Where do think Gabe got the money to buy him out from?

albino boo:

Zipa:

albino boo:

Valve is primarily a retailer selling other publishers titles. The other publishers know their own sales figures from the number of keys issued and used and money received from valve. They only games that would be missing would valves own.

My other point is we don't know if Gabe is even the majority shareholder in valve. Its highly unlikely that valve was set up without rising capital from private sources, so there is almost certainly other shareholders.

Valve was originally a partnership between Gabe and Mike Harrington, Harrington dissolved the partnership and sold his half to Gabe shortly after the original half life making Gabe the sole owner.

Where do think Gabe got the money to buy him out from?

He could of taken a loan from a bank for one.

The music business has been able to do this for years. The NPD is finally evolving? No one press B to scare them during the process...

Zipa:

albino boo:

Zipa:

Valve was originally a partnership between Gabe and Mike Harrington, Harrington dissolved the partnership and sold his half to Gabe shortly after the original half life making Gabe the sole owner.

Where do think Gabe got the money to buy him out from?

He could of taken a loan from a bank for one.

At the time valve would have been worth about $50-$75 million so Gabe would have needed a personal loan of $25-37.5 million dollars or just under 100% of net worth. Thats too high a risk profile for a bank in a industry in which bankruptcy is all too common.

Sounds like they'll have their hands full pulling this off. But I guess if they really want to know, they'll work hard to accomplish it. Seems that the companies need to know how they're doing or something. Silly as it all seems.

lacktheknack:

viranimus:
snip

2. I'm not deriding your message, just your presentation.

We're actually very much on the same page.

Ok. I do absolutely get what you are saying. Honestly I snipped most the rest because it is examples coming back to this central point. In fact I completely agree with you that presentation of a message is paramount on how well it is received.

Taken back by force... in... blood...

1. Not everything is analogous to Game of Thrones.

 

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