NPD changing monthly reporting

Industry-standard reporting firm ceasing hardware, software unit sales figures, adding PC game software.

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Each month, console war partisans get ammo from the US game-industry report from The NPD Group. Starting this Thursday, though, that practice will come to an end. In a note issued this morning, the game-industry tracking firm announced it will cease releasing unit hardware numbers each month, instead only releasing an overall hardware dollar-sales figure. The big-three console makers, however, are free to release unit sales data on their own.

Also gone from NPD's monthly reports will be unit software sales figures for the top five-best-selling products or SKUs (Stock Keeping Units). Going forward, the company will instead release a chart of the top 10 games, which takes into account sales of single titles across all platforms but will not include any unit totals whatsoever. Rankings will continue to be drawn from physical retail sales only and will not include digital downloads.

Finally, after years of keeping PC games separate from its monthly video game sales figures, NPD will begin including them. That means each month will have non-PC and PC game dollar-sales figures, as well as a total of the two. PC game sales will also be taken into account when determining the top 10 software rankings, and PC titles will also appear in the chart when warranted.

The next NPD report is expected on Thursday, October 14.

Discussion

79 comments
MEDzZ3RO
MEDzZ3RO

@buying1999 Lastly,both Sony and Microsoft have shown interest in making sure there console lasts until 2015 but the 360 is already falling behind PC and PS3 graphically with titles like GT5 and KZ3 on PS3 and Crysis 2 and Rage on PC. Label me as a fanboy or thumb me down if you wish but all of these facts reflect changes in the industry that unless Microsoft try and do more then advertising multi-platform games (like they've started to) they will fall behind. The PS2 proved that software (notably exclusives) sells a system. It's the hot-topic subject in the gaming industry at the moment as analysts suggest next year will be the year of the PS3 and Sonys "long game" will pay off.

MEDzZ3RO
MEDzZ3RO

@buying1999 I think you've forgotten some major issues that affect what you've said. The 360 is 1 year ahead in the market but is still less then 5 million units ahead of the PS3;Sony are selling in excess of 7million yearly which is more then the 5 million yearly gap separating each system. On top of that,the 360 is losing all it's major developpers to both PC and PS3: -Valve are bringing Portal 2 to both PC and PS3 aswell as bringing Steam to PS3 (meaning a Left 4 Dead port may be on the cards) -Epic are making Gears 3 for PC already but have recently stated they are "open to the PS3 platform",again,meaning a port is possible. -Bungie have recently parted ways with Microsoft announcing they are going to make a multi-platform game,no doubt for all 3 HD systems. -Mass Effect 2 (the highest rated 360 game) already on PC is coming to PS3 early next year. PC and PS3 still both have loads of the "better exclusives" that aren't due to appear on 360 anytime soon. On top of this,Gran Turismo 5 improves in arguably every single way on what Forza 3 was.This leaves next to no "big sellers" exclusive to the system. PS Move capitilizes directly upon the steadily dying Wii market with its motion controllers being near enhanced replicas whilst Kinect is essentially an enhanced eyetoy with limited use in genres.

LOXO7
LOXO7

So we can blame the PC that info is being taken away.

buying1999
buying1999

PS3 fanyboys hate VGChartz. It constantly reminds them that their mighty pshdwii is in LAST PLACE.

MrGreenBeanz
MrGreenBeanz

VGchartz.com is a good site for video game numbers. You guys should check that site out.

Sins-of-Mosin
Sins-of-Mosin

Stupid choices. Now there is no reason to even bother looking at the reports.

wiidsduelpack
wiidsduelpack

Only the richest companies survive and can charge more for games and keep current prices. I have not found sales in video games. Sounds like I am poor, but I've seen sales of clothing, food, some electronics of over 40%. / Reality, there won't be sales in video games for the long future. Only in the holidays and not by much or some other company going bankrupt or flopping sales

blackace
blackace

The NPD Group sucks. They just want to pay for their numbers. I'm just wondering if there are any other sources to get this data from? I'm sure their are big companies that big big money for all the numbers and eventually that information will be leaked. I think everyone should find another source besides NPD and VGChartz. ******************************************************************* @darkfir LOL they might as well just stop doing anything. I am not a big fan of sales numbers but that was their purpose now they are kind of useless. -------------------------------------------------------------------- Yeah, I'm sure they are going to lose a lot of subscribers. I would cancel my subscription immediately if I found this out. They report on other sales besides games and hardware though, but game publishers and developers want to see the numbers and if NPD isn't going to give them, they will go elsewhere to get them.

lazycomplife
lazycomplife

I can guarantee that sales figures will be released by activision after the fall of NPD, and that you CoD fans will still be able to say you were one of the million sheep that bought the trashy game.

Otaku-RP-Gamer
Otaku-RP-Gamer

If you guys say that there are other alternatives to the NPD Group, then please share them!

thelegendlives5
thelegendlives5

So what the hell are they tracking exactly if they don't offer any numbers? Heck anyone would know that Halo reach is number one in September and Black ops will be number one in November. You don't really need to be a genius to figure that out. This is stupid! Number one seller could be two million and number two might be a couple hundred thousand or one and a half million, but with no figures, just ranking you can't really tell what's what. Those NPD idiots are just releasing less and less stuff all the time. I am betting at one point their report each month will be like "Some people bought some games and some consoles" and leave the rest to our imagination.

kejigoto
kejigoto

This is rather odd since I enjoyed seeing the sales figures and paying attention to how everything was performing each month. Seems like the end of an era here, though I wonder if someone else will start tracking and releasing these figures now. I also wonder what caused this sudden change.

Waldkrieger
Waldkrieger

As if anyone really cares? I'll keep buying games all the same.

TTDog
TTDog

Anyone think Sony paid them to stop dishing out the bad news every month?

Avenger1324
Avenger1324

I found NPDs numbers to be largely irrelevant. They were focused on the US market, and crucially ignored any digital distribution sales. Their new take on the numbers, rewarding dollar sales rather than unit sales, means that a single PS3 sale will count for more than a 360 or Wii sale simply because Sony have kept the price high. For a company who's business is reporting accurately on stats, this seems like shooting itself in the foot.

TheArcade
TheArcade

I enjoyed being informed by NPD of current industry conditions. They made me aware of what game is on top and that's not a bad thing. Some people value the interest of public behavior. Now without NPD will have to rely on the hardware manufacturers who can spin their numbers all they want. I'm not sure why some are considering this a good thing. NPD was a nice information teller that could tell you whether or not your favorite game was successful. Say Bayonetta 2 or Capcom vs. SNK 3 came out tomorrow. What if the game had bombed and costs the company lots of money and they went bankrupt next year. Well NPD could have shown signs of it before hand to prepare fans of said series for the worst. NPD isn't for stupid fanboy fuel, it gave out rather informative, reliable figures. It gives a gamer confidence to know that their game was successful. Sure there are other ways to find out but NPD was the easiest most convenient information source.

T-Prime
T-Prime

I don't like that so much stock is taken with monthly sales, but at the same time it bothers me that only one major group compiles these stats. Yeah, there are other groups that claim to have unit counting methods that work, but no one pays any attention to them for one reason or another. What's to stop NPD from completely screwing us around?

CTR360
CTR360

i dont care for sales. games rules

MOwens9512
MOwens9512

There is good news in this. It eliminates another reason for console fanboys to wage war between each other. I'm much more interested in knowing things like what are the limitations on the level designer for LBP2, the story for the final Gears of War, or what new hardware maybe coming along. Not really interested in the on going popularity contest the sales numbers help perpetuate.

Colonel-Snake
Colonel-Snake

Only fanboys care about sales or at least take them to the heart. We are gamers play games NOT SALES!

okassar
okassar

I bet the n in npd stands for N00B

joshboy101
joshboy101

the only thing i really care about in the npd is the console sales. That's kind of a bummer.

Miller92
Miller92

frowny face at less information (unit #'s) smilley at PC sales! PC ownz

OshadowO
OshadowO

OK one step forward, ie PC games but 5 steps back. They just pushed themselves towards irrelevance. And what is their beef with digital downloads anyway?

2bitSmOkEy
2bitSmOkEy

"Rankings will continue to be drawn from physical retail sales only and will not include digital downloads." \ \ Then you may as well not include pc game sales because that is how people buy games nowadays.

hotdiddykong
hotdiddykong

@monson21502 two things: 1. This is for PC anyway and gamespot doubles how much NPD gives it, so wait till you judge. and 2. Who cares, pretty much everything is on either slims, halo reach or some other game. Frankly i dont care. what really matters are the GAMES

EPaul
EPaul

Oh no what will fanboys use to claim ownage now!?

soulless4now
soulless4now

NPD has officially become irrelevant to me. Seeing how many units a game sells each month was a highlight for me. The bastards!

Stiler
Stiler

I buy almost ALL of my pc games digitally through Steam/d2d, etc. So EVERY purchase will never "count" on this bs NPD crap. WHY can't they factor in digital sales dangit, stop cutting it out to skew numbers to a console focus.

SchumiF1
SchumiF1

Wow, talk about lame....

monson21502
monson21502

@hotdiddykong, a few days ago a news thread of prachter giving his predictions on the npd sales charts for next month. i said 360 will be number one for consoles or handhelds for the rest of this gen till the 3ds or psp2 came out. with last month as the final month of npd system sales. i was right because 360 beat them all even ds ps, prachter eat your heart out :wink:

GodGundamNT1
GodGundamNT1

Looks like Microsoft bought them out so they can get people looking at PC games that are meaningless to console users and probably inflate numbers as a way to spread false word of mouth promotion. Epic Laziness indeed. expect to hear about 50 million xbox 360 sold just this year alone (most likely all xbots trying to avoid RRoD)

daabulls23
daabulls23

Great. Now, they can roll out fudged numbers and different methods for tracking sales and inventory. Thanks NPD.

nickythenewt21
nickythenewt21

....what?! The only reason the NPD Group is at all relevant is because they track the unit sales! Who cares about the money, just give the units! Good grief!

MoonMarvel
MoonMarvel

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

silverdoe
silverdoe

That comes after they argued what is biggest in July & June while it's clearly SC2, and they just didn't count!

Gladestone1
Gladestone1

jd1680a You my man are so rigt on the money..If they released the sales of digital downloads..It would blow away consoles on a whole..Than companies would see the potential of the pc..Stop using it as excuses..

Koushin
Koushin

What was their reason for doing this again? It doesn't seem right to give up statistical accuracy unless NPD made cuts to their own company in these hard times. On the bright side, it's nice they want to include the PC as well.

Jd1680a
Jd1680a

Will the NPD also include PC games sold via digital download? I remember they often dont, so the retail box number appears to be lower.

linkdarkside
linkdarkside

why cant they do both the unit and dollar format? ,i prefer the unit format.

hotdiddykong
hotdiddykong

@monson21502 That text said nothing about 360 being number 1 or anything to that matter, what are you thinking?

hotdiddykong
hotdiddykong

Who cares, i just wanna play awesome games. Most awesome games wont be in the top because their judging it by sales.

MoonMarvel
MoonMarvel

And they stopped releasing numbers outright until gamers had a fit. Anyway, somebody else will take their place as this ends any value they have.

Daian
Daian

@d3nyd Indeed, it is unfair not to count digital sales on PC when they count for more then half now. But at least they are going to count PC titles again, so one step at a time i guess.

renger6002
renger6002

I don't think people realize that these numbers are not for us. they are for investors. and they care more about the money, not the units

pest-x
pest-x

@ Tripwolf yeah me too i buy all my game from steam except blizzard game like SC II for sure