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NPD to cut back on the free numbers starting with the October NPD figures.


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#1 FriskyTanuki

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 10:52 AM

http://blog.newsweek...ember-2007.aspx

P.S. Oh, and--like Steve Jobs and Perrin Kaplan--one more thing: I'll close out on a high note, with some good scoop for this edition of MMQB. Unfortunately, this scoop will taste bittersweet, as it's also bad news for us, our fellow journalists, and forum-dwellers across North America. Beginning with the October sales data, which is due later this month, NPD is going to cut way back on what they share on a monthly basis with their non-paying customers, i.e. media.

What does this mean?

For starters, no more hardware sales data. (Can you taste the bitter tears streaming from various forums and message boards?) Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo will of course be free to release their own sales info—and presumably leak that of their competitors, if it'll make them look good—but we will no longer receive that data from NPD. Software sales figures will only be given for the Top Five SKUs, not the Top Ten as we normally receive. We'll eventually receive hardware numbers and Top Ten software numbers, but only on a quarterly and annual basis. There are signs that this may only be a temporary pullback, but for now, this is were things stand.

As you can see, this is going to make our job more difficult. But we couldn't have become upper echelon QBs if we didn't have a variety of well-placed sources embedded throughout the industry. So fear not, loyal readers. Monday Morning Quarterback may not be the world's timeliest blog feature, but we can promise you that our analysis and speculation will always be based on the most complete set of numbers we can get our hands on.

P.P.S. No, that doesn't mean that we'll be leaking a more complete set of data. We're not the Patriots here.

They finally realized how much money they're losing by giving out so much information for free.


You read it. You can't unread it.

 

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#2 zewone

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 11:14 AM

Lets all shed a tear for Dr Mario Kart.

#3 daroga

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 12:13 PM

I daresay they'll get leaked anyway, but the possibility of fake numbers is huge.

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#4 Mana Knight

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 12:23 PM

OMG, if I get my senior project checked off today, this will seriously be the greatest day in the world. Seriously, I feel NPD only causes the worst in people because all it usually has is fanboys fighting, arguing, saying doom to a console/handheld, etc. People need to get a life instead of going crazy over sales figures IMO, and that's why I feel it's best to not share them.
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#5 seanr1221

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 12:40 PM

Thank God. Now I can stop reading, "DURRRR My SYSTEM iz SEllING 45 M00R units dan ur SISTEM!"

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#6 Dr Mario Kart

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 12:41 PM

I guess we'll just have to stick with Media Create then, and pretend the western market doesnt exist.

#7 Punk_Raven

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 12:52 PM

I guess we'll just have to stick with Media Create then, and pretend the western market doesnt exist.


There ya go.

#8 botticus

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 01:17 PM

Thank God. Now I can stop reading, "DURRRR My SYSTEM iz SEllING 45 M00R units dan ur SISTEM!"

Nah, you'll still read it, only now they can say it's 65, and no one will know.

#9 lordxixor101

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 02:14 PM

I wonder though, how much does NPD charge outlets for their information? You would think that most major video game media outlets (say a Gamespot) will buy the information anyway, as long as it's reasonable. They would want to know what's selling to tailor their site.

We'll see. My guess is, after maybe a year of some shinnanigans, the companies will be compelled to release their own figures (good or bad), because if they don't, other companies will (and possibl;y embellish the numbers).

#10 ThatDamnDave

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 02:52 PM

Those number release services run in the thousands, so it might not be worth it to Joystiq or someone just to get a blog post out of it. Sad. For all the fanboy riots the data incites, I still enjoy seeing how the market is changing.
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#11 daroga

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 03:11 PM

Nah, you'll still read it, only now they can say it's 65, and no one will know.

Yeah, we'll just make crap up now.

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#12 ArthurDigbySellers

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 03:15 PM

OMG, if I get my senior project checked off today, this will seriously be the greatest day in the world. Seriously, I feel NPD only causes the worst in people because all it usually has is fanboys fighting, arguing, saying doom to a console/handheld, etc. People need to get a life instead of going crazy over sales figures IMO, and that's why I feel it's best to not share them.


So should scores and rankings in games be taken away as well?

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#13 Zen Davis

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 03:32 PM

Now all we can depend on is VGChartz.

#14 akilshohen

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 04:02 PM

someone will leak the info, but they'll get a subpoena from NPD. Kind of like what soundscan did to urban connects for putting out the top 200 albums with sales figures every week.

#15 botticus

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 04:09 PM

I wonder though, how much does NPD charge outlets for their information? You would think that most major video game media outlets (say a Gamespot) will buy the information anyway, as long as it's reasonable. They would want to know what's selling to tailor their site.

We'll see. My guess is, after maybe a year of some shinnanigans, the companies will be compelled to release their own figures (good or bad), because if they don't, other companies will (and possibl;y embellish the numbers).

Someone on GAF said it was something like $20000. Places like IGN and other media outlets do pay for the information - they have the full range of data at their fingertips. What this decision is doing is limited the data that can be publicly reported. So even though IGN has the same info, instead of posting hardware numbers and top 10 software like they have done, they'll only be able to post top 5 software.

#16 SpreadTheWord

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 04:49 PM

This is both a good and a bad thing.

Good.
Less console fervor every month when the numbers are released.
Someone else will likely step up to fill in the hole that NPD is creating.

Bad.
These numbers are good for the industry. Just like weekly box office reports in movies. After every week/month people should be talking about copies sold/money made.
Not everyone who paid attention to the NPD numbers were console fanboys.

#17 Mana Knight

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 05:08 PM

So should scores and rankings in games be taken away as well?

I mostly definitely agree with that too. I feel that brings the worst in fanboys because fanboys will either brag about their game doing better than another review wise (doesn't mean it's better), and/or bashing a game on a console they don't own or like because a bad review justifies the argument. Reviews and sales are the majority of stupid arguments in gaming forums IMO.
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#18 zewone

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 05:34 PM

The Mana Knight is the majority of stupid arguments in gaming forums IMO.

#19 The Crotch

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 03:07 AM

I'm with Mana on the score bit, actually. Arbitrary numbers are fucking meaningless. Granted, I'd still like to see sales numbers.

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#20 InuFaye

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 03:28 AM

I could care less it will stop alot of stupid rants on podcast about numbers that dont matter. As long as good games keep getting made ill be fine.

#21 jer7583

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 03:48 AM

I am going to miss seeing these sales numbers a lot. Mana is just relieved that he doesn't have to suffer through seeing low PS3 numbers every month.

Now it'll just happen every quarter, instead. They are going to be releasing the same data, just not as often. 4 times a year instead of 12. Additionally, this isn't for sure yet, and if NPD doesn't see a big increase in buyers for the data, I'm sure they'll go back to releasing it just to get their name out there to those who want it. I imagine publishers are the main customers here, to be able to see how their games did and such.

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#22 zionoverfire

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 06:58 AM

They finally realized how much money they're losing by giving out so much information for free.


Or it will totally blow up in NPDs face. Part of the reason NPD pulls weight in the industry is because stockholders and gamers think it does.

Companies love touting NPD sales and ranking numbers because it's an independant source and people trust it. If less information is released and on a less frequent basis people will simply look elsewhere and when the occasional NPD info is released and it conflicts with whatever their chose source is, well they might just start trusting NPD numbers a little bit less.

What NPD would be smart to do is release a 10 top list without actual sales numbers and give system sales as in the ballpark figures, like the Wii sold around a half million units last month.

#23 RelentlessRolento

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 07:02 AM

I don't care at all about numbers or what's more than the other type of thing so it'll be nice to have this crap outa my face.

#24 mykevermin

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 07:08 AM

Yeah, we'll just make crap up now.


Whaddya mean, NOW!?!?!? ;)

someone will leak the info, but they'll get a subpoena from NPD. Kind of like what soundscan did to urban connects for putting out the top 200 albums with sales figures every week.


Indeed. Just to specify, the subpoena won't amount to squat, as too many sources will leak the information.
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#25 Puffa469

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 07:16 AM

what The Hell Are We Gonna Talk About Now!?!?

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Puffa is pretty much always dead on.


#26 -Never4ever-

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 07:40 AM

The Mana Knight is the majority of stupid arguments in gaming forums IMO.


This is true. If he simply stopped posting, I'd say %90 of the arguments here would simply vanish.

#27 anime5ever

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 08:51 PM

ign says they'll still getting them. they'll probaly charge vistors to view them

#28 botticus

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 02:29 AM

ign says they'll still getting them. they'll probaly charge vistors to view them

They can't. All they can do is display the information that NPD has decided will be public data, which is top 5 software. Redistributing any other information would be a breach of contract.

#29 VanillaGorilla

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 02:59 AM

As a fan of all games, I can safely say:

"Who fucking cares?"
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#30 evilmax17

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 03:59 AM

They can't. All they can do is display the information that NPD has decided will be public data, which is top 5 software. Redistributing any other information would be a breach of contract.

Here's the direct quote:

November 7, 2007 - Yesterday the internet exploded with the news that the NPD Group would no longer be releasing monthly videogame sales data to the media. While it initially looked like the world may be at peace without sales data to fuel fanboy battles, the console wars will (for better or worse) be continuing.

The NPD Group is only halting the free data it gives out to general media. Outlets that pay for the data, like IGN, will continue to receive monthly sales figures. NPD told us it was a business decision to protect the research firm's interests.

So, not to worry. You can still look forward to monthly console wars here on IGN.


I dunno, tough call.
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