The NPD Group is planning to report monthly digital sales data, but first they'll have to find a way to coax online distribution giant Valve into releasing the data at all. MCV reports that recent comments from Jason Holtman, Valve's director of business development, indicate the company isn't too keen on making its sales data public.
"The idea of a chart is old," said Holtman. "It came from people trying to aggregate disaggregated information. What we provide is much more rapid and perfected information." He called these aggregated charts "less useful in the digital space."
More so, Hotman claims the charts have painted a negative picture in the past. "If you look back at the way retail charts have been made, they have been proven to be telling an inaccurate story," he said. "They apparently had shown how the PC format was dying when it was actually thriving.
"The point is, it's not super important for a publisher or developer to know how well everyone is doing. What's important to know is exactly how your game is doing – why it's climbing and why it's falling. Your daily sales, your daily swing, your rewards for online campaign number three. That's what we provide."
The comments were made in relation to efforts by the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE) to create a comprehensive PC download chart, but they hit close to home for North American-based data companies too. After receiving sharp criticism from EA, stat tracking company The NPD Group revealed plans to report digital sales. Shortly after, NPD acquired a digital tracking firm as well. However helpful that firm may be, Steam is the largest of the digital distributors, so getting Valve on-board will be necessary for an accurate look at digital sales.