The NPD Group, which is the chief reporting agency for video game sales, is making some changes in the way it releases data – changes that will obscure insight into how the industry at large is faring.
Starting this week with the September sales numbers, the organization says it will no longer release any hardware sales information and will cease offering specific sales data for the industry’s top selling titles.
The company will still provide a list of the top ten selling titles at retail stores – but will no longer break out sales by platform. (In other words, games that are on all three consoles will be lumped into one line – eliminating insight into which console is doing better with which SKU.)
It’s not the first time NPD has threatened to do this. In 2007, the company vowed to drop listing hardware sales, but backed off of that stance six days later. The organization seems to be a further dug in this time, though. Spokesperson David Riley says “with our new fiscal came revised publishing guidelines, which were not open for debate.”
Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo are still free to publish their own sales information from NPD, but there will be no central repository of the information for investors or media moving forward.