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Op Ed

Gamasutra nails it. If you are interested, GameInformer offers the new NPD report.

Gamasutra - Why Gamasutra is skipping monthly NPD reports.
NPD obviously knows the importance of tracking and reporting revenues from digital venues, such as paid downloads, subscriptions, mobile, etc., as well as used game and rental revenue: The company now includes monthly estimates for these streams. But the way that publishers and digital distributors like Steam lock down their sales data, it's hard to imagine anyone making accurate estimations of sales by title, or even overall digital sales.

The fact that NPD only focuses on U.S. sales is also an issue -- some of the biggest players on digital platforms are internationally-operating companies like Blizzard, Riot, Supercell, DeNA and Rovio.

Additionally, a while back NPD stopped reporting on software unit sales in its monthly report, leaving us questioning for some time, "What's the point?" So as editor, I need to ask myself if the monthly NPD figures paint a truthful picture of the video game industry -- does conveying monthly NPD releases to our readers help in their day-to-day decisions? I have to say "no." I've seen on Twitter and in Gamasutra comments that a lot of our readers also answer "no." Even the president of the Entertainment Software Association, Michael Gallagher, agrees that the monthly NPD U.S. retail figures hold little value these days.

As a resource for the game industry, it's not enough for Gamasutra to disclaim monthly NPD articles in the phrase, "Keep in mind, these are only physical, new U.S. retail sales." We probably should have stopped running the figures (particularly the software sales figures) a little while ago, honestly.

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