EA Calls Monthly NPD Reports “Misleading”

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




  1. EA didnt actually say that boxed games dont matter. So what Patcher is babbling on about is confussing. But EA have a point imo. They both should be counted.

  2. I love the way Pachter turns anything and everything around so something else is to blame. It’s inspiring really. And No, I don’t think EA are overreacting. They have a point. If you’re going to ignore a whole supply method you can’t expect to have your figures called accurate or fair.

  3. Where did Patcher get the physical doesn’t from? EA are just saying that the NPD is ignoring the ditgal sales which is an incorrect representation of the amount of sales made. Patcher, please go bother someone else or better yet nobody.:)

  4. Verbal Scrapping lol

  5. I think EA have a very valid point, especially now we are seeing more retail games receiving simultaneous digital distribution. It is a valid market, to discount it as anything less is rather foolish. God knows what Pachter is raving about though, I imagine he spends most his time wearing kleenex boxes on his feet and peeping suspiciously through his letterbox at the neighbours.

  6. Considering Mass Effect 2’s online distribution had a double digit percentage EA definitely has a point.

  7. Pachter… oh Pachter. He’s like the Iraqi Minister for Information (remember that guy? “There are no American forces in Baghdad!” *Abrahams rolls past in background*)

    So… if physical games at say Game or EB are like physical TVs at Best Buy, then I guess digitally distributed games must be like those digitally distributed televisions I keep hearing about. Oh that’s right, there’s no such fucking thing. Pachter. You idiot.

    EA do have a point. Additionally, the NPD is not just antiquated, it’s US centric. Gaming is global.

  8. Pachter is an absolute arsehole! Did he actually even read the quote from EA before he came out and weighed in with his own ridiculous comment?

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