(Source: Shacknews)
NPD ends weekly rankings, monthly rankings to continue

According to Shacknews the NPD group will stop releasing weekly rankings for retail PC game sales. Instead stakeholders will need to rely on information from digital distribution portals Steam and Direct2Drive to see which titles are selling well with consumers. In the article Shacknews points out weekly PC game sales can now be compared in a timely manner, because there is no longer any need to wait for NPD numbers which were delayed by one week.

For Direct2Drive the top selling game for the week ended June 20th was The Sims 3, second place went to the Mac version of The Sims 3, and Ghostbusters:The Video game rounded out the top 3. For Steam top spot when comparing revenue went to Prototype, second place went to Empire: Total War, and third place went to zombie survival game Left 4 Dead.

Thanks to the advantages services such as Steam and Direct2Drive provide they have become popular as an alternative to traditional retail. Digital distribution allows gamers fast access to a game by providing the content direct to customers via download after the game has been purchased. Ongoing patch management is also handled taking a tedious task out of the gamers’ hands.

Another advantage is an improved system for trying out new games. In Steam full games are often offered for a limited time for customers to try. Once the trial is over customers have the choice whether or not to purchase the game in order to keep playing. Finally overall game library management is improved because games associated with your account can be quickly downloaded and reinstalled in the event of a hard drive reformat. Unlike iTunes, PC authorization is not an issue and searching for game discs is no longer necessary.

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