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EA Duels With NPD Over Sales Reports

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Published on Jul 3, 2012

Used to be, it wasn't so hard to count video-game sales. You just... well, counted video-game sales.

But now, thanks to that pesky Internet and digital distribution platforms like Steam and Origin, tallying up games' sales figures is an extra-difficult chore. It's hard to figure out how much sales figures from independent parties take digital sales into account -- or if they do at all.

The most recent skirmish on this front is between EA and NPD, with EA claiming that NPD's numbers "measure a sliver" of the gaming industry and that the company ignores said numbers, while NPD maintains that "all our publisher clients" use their numbers.

NPD goes on to say that physical game sales comprise 56% of all gaming sales, which, while significant, definitely leaves a lot of room for digital sales to skew numbers, though NPD isn't clueless on that front:

"We do cover digital. Granted, it's not near the level of granularity that we provide via physical point of sale, but physical POS is still huge and needs to be taken seriously. In my opinion, you do a disservice to our industry when you dismiss the value of retail sales research."

What's your take on reported sales numbers? Are they worth the paper (real or virtual) they're printed on? And if not, where do you go for your sales data?

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