But it will be pretty limited at first.
The problem with tracking game sales in modern times is that with the rise of digital, traditional video game tracking, which is usually restricted just to retail sales, is diminished a whole lot in terms of relevance and usefulness. And while we have seen a lot of trackers attempt to tackle this issue head on – Famitsu, for instance, now attempts to track digital sales in Japan too – western trackers are not with the program yet.
That will change soon- the NPD Group have announced that they plan on tracking digital game sales soon as well.
“As has been experienced across a wide variety of industries, digital has made a big impact on the overall gaming market, and we’ve risen to meet the demand for a reporting mechanism that tracks those sales in a timely and accurate way,” said Joanne Hageman, the head of NPD’s Toys and Games division.
“With the participation and support of leading publishers – whose cooperation makes this possible – we are excited to launch an industry-first service that addresses a long-standing need.”
For now, the initial reach will be limited. Only select publishers’ sales will be tracked, including EA, Capcom, Activision Blizzard, Square Enix, Take-Two, Ubisoft, Deep Silver and Warner Bros. NPD did state their intentions to broaden their range of companies covered in the future, soon, though. They also confirmed that to begin with, only PSN, Xbox Live, and Steam sales will be covered- this means that all of EA’s digital game sales on PC, all uPlay sales, all of Blizzard’s digital game sales on PC, and all digital Nintendo game sales via the eShop, are currently not going to be tracked.
These limitations actually make the initiative a bit… useless, for now. Hopefully the NPD work on them soon.