Usually when I see NPD’s monthly video game reporting being slammed on the internet, it’s at the hands of someone on who doesn’t like the console and/or game that’s leading the way (or not leading the way). This time it’s actually EA that’s calling out NPD but it’s for a different reason than you might think. They’re saying that NPD’s failure to include digital sales in their monthly reports is the cause of inaccurate reporting. EA Corporate Communications Executive, Tiffany Steckler, had this to say on the topic.
“Using NPD data for video game sales is like measuring music sales and ignoring something called iTunes. We see NPD’s data as a misrepresentation of the entire industry.”
While there’s certainly a margin of error to be expected from any third-party company measuring the sales of any product, I think EA might be overreacting just a touch. Michael Pachter holds a similar sentiment towards EA’s claims.
“EA saying physical game sales don’t matter is like Best Buy saying television sales don’t matter. A significant percentage of that ‘digital-only’ revenue still requires consumers to purchase a physical game. Even online-only games such as FarmVille are reliant on retail channels for at least part of their business.”
This is bound to turn in to a war of words between EA, NPD and/or Michael Pachter so stay tuned. On one hand, I think that EA’s disgruntlement is likely mainly sparked by their investment in the digital market. On the other hand, when I see games like Dead Nation listing over 50,000 people on the leaderboards, I think that EA might have a point.
NPD does send out a report on digital sales every 3 months but it’s not released to the public and those numbers are not included in the monthly reports that the NPD group is best known for.
Source: CNN Money