The NPD announces it will finally begin tracking digital game sales in their monthly reports on US game sales.
"As has been experienced across a wide variety of industries, digital has made a big impact on the overall gaming market, and we've risen to meet the demand for a reporting mechanism that tracks those sales in a timely and accurate way", states Joanne Hagermann, President of the US Toys & Games division of NPD.
It's a decision that's been long-overdue, especially with digital sales playing a much bigger role in the industry in recent years. The NPD had originally promised in 2011 that it would be including digital data as part of its sales figures, but it only recently came to fruition.
Major third-party publishers like Ubisoft, EA, Capcom, Activision and Square Enix have all voiced their support. However,several publishers first-party studios have remained silent. "This is really the first step. We recognize that there's still a ways to go, we want more publishers to join, we want to be able to project for people who are not participating,"says NPD Analyst Liam Callahan." It's an evolution, it's something that takes time and our philosophy was really to start - if we waited to have every publisher in the world to sign up it would take forever. We'll be improving this as time goes on."
Digital game sales will be combined with physical sales in each report, which will be released the third Thursday every month, starting July 21st. Each chart will feature annotations on games whose digital sales are not being tracked. It will track the revenue from Xbox Live, Playstation Store, and Steam. Certain publisher-exclusive stores like Uplay are not yet included. While DLC and microtransactions will also be tracked monthly, that information will not yet be released publicly.