Print 10 comment(s) - last by fxnick.. on Jun 28 at 11:50 PM

  (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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The explanation isn't all that clear...
By Ticholo on 6/24/2009 9:45:43 AM , Rating: 3
Only the first paragraph of the article provides any relevant information.
Did they really issue no other reason for doing this?
And weren't NPD numbers not counting digital platforms like Steam and D2D? What gives?!

I'm not bashing the article. It's just that is that's their official argument, it's just BS.

RE: The explanation isn't all that clear...
By omnicronx on 6/24/2009 10:25:24 AM , Rating: 2
I think it makes sense, NDP numbers are based on statistics, but both Steam and D2d are based on real sales. It does not make sense for them to continue weekly stats when there are hard numbers available a full week in advance.

By nvalhalla on 6/24/2009 10:42:22 AM , Rating: 3
The only problem I can see with this is that Steam and D2D don't carry every game release, so those games that aren't available as a digital download won't get on the list at all. As an upside, I'll be every game in the near future will be available on one of the 2, if not both, so that they can be ranked.

Challenges facing Steam/D2D...
By Iaiken on 6/24/2009 2:16:47 PM , Rating: 2
I'll get my bias right out there now, I love Steam and I make probably 80% of my PC gaming purchases through it. I use my Steam account on a PC and Laptop thanks to the keys being locked to the account and not the computer it was installed on.

However, my biggest worry for online distribution is the ISPs who want to cap bandwidth, charge exorbitant costs for data overages, etc. So not only would you have to pay for the game, you would have to pay to download it, and then pay for the traffic to play it online.

With PC gaming on the decline, the additional costs and inconveniences could go a long way to being the final nail in the PC gaming coffin.

Hopefully digital content providers can come to some sort of agreement with the ISPs to keep this from becoming an annoying and expensive reality.

RE: Challenges facing Steam/D2D...
By Ticholo on 6/24/2009 2:56:23 PM , Rating: 2
Quite frankly, depending on third parties, of whom you may or may not be a client, to negotiate a bandwidth cap reprieve seems like a bad way to go about ending these stupid policies.

RE: Challenges facing Steam/D2D...
By Yawgm0th on 6/24/2009 4:23:32 PM , Rating: 2
With PC gaming on the decline...
Not so fast there. This factoid's only supporting evidence, coincidentally, is NPD's numbers, which have indicated a steady decline in retail PC game sales over the last several years. However, NPD's own analysts say that this has been reflective of a slow but steady shift to digital distribution (which NPD doesn't track), not a declining PC gaming market. No one knows for sure because there is no equivalent to NPD for tracking digital distribution sales. Valve and D2D have numbers, but they are not compiled along with NPD's numbers are presented in any cohesive fashion.

Bandwidth caps would, at worst, shift game sales back to stores. I'm not too worried about PC gaming dying any soon.

Feels like an Ad.....
By brybir on 6/24/2009 12:40:13 PM , Rating: 2
The last two paragraphs talking about the advantages of digital distribution seems like a plug for Steam or Direc2Drive.

The first paragraph gets the point out...the NPD folks are not doing weekly counts anymore. Instead, we have to rely on places like Steam and D2D for digital download information.

The rest....just fluff

RE: Feels like an Ad.....
By omnicronx on 6/24/09, Rating: 0
Makes sense.
By bkslopper on 6/25/2009 1:24:14 AM , Rating: 2
With the PC embracing digital downloads faster than consoles, this makes sense. Also, there is no better way for free trials than by download. It's necessary since renting and used games sales are out of the question for PC's.

That said, I still like my physical media. I bought Left 4 Dead at Walmart for $30, and my friend paid the same at Best Buy. DVD's are nice to have, but honestly, not exactly necessary anymore.

By fxnick on 6/28/2009 11:50:19 PM , Rating: 2
i thought the mac and pc versions of the sims 3 were on the same disk?
How are are they tracked separately

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