NPD Group has revealed that it will begin including digital sales data in its monthly reports on the U.S. games industry. NPD group will make the move starting with its July report, which is due to land on July 21, reports Gamesindustry.biz.
From the report:
"Following several years of beta testing, the Digital Games Tracking Service will allow participating clients to understand the size and growth of the digital market, and analyze attach rates and other important metrics. Combined with physical data available by NPD, these clients can gain a better understanding of the interplay between the physical and digital sales channels," the firm explained in a press statement.
While this should go a long way towards making up for the disparity of accurate overall sales data in an increasingly digital world, there are some caveats. A number of game publishers are on board, including EA, Activision, Ubisoft, Capcom, Square Enix, Take-Two, Deep Silver and Warner Bros. However, as the report notes, Bethesda and first party publishers haven't yet signed on. That means there won't be any digital sales data for games published by Microsoft, Nintendo or Sony. Similarly, the data will only count downloads from Xbox Live, PlayStation Network and Steam — though others may be included in the future.
In any case, we should start getting a much clearer picture of the games market starting with NPD's next industry report on July 21.