NPD to Analyst: Loose Lips Sink Ships

March 28, 2011 -

In the last year research firm NPD Group has drawn a curtain of secrecy on its retail and digital sales data. As a result, journalists no longer have access to hard numbers. Now journalists must rely on the kindness of hardware manufacturers, publishers and the NPD's general top ten lists to figure out what the top selling games are from month to month. Analysts enjoy more access to that data, but it looks like NPD is tightening security even among that class.

"NPD would appreciate it if you and your teams refrain from providing any of our Games data directly to the media," read an email from NPD executive director of client development Daniel De Pinho to Wedbush industry analyst Michael Pachter of Wedbush. "This includes live discussions, e-mails, and/or notes. In some cases, you may have to remove the media from your distribution list. Should the media take issue with this, you can feel free to send them my contact information, and I can connect them with the appropriate NPD representative."

Naturally Pachter released the email to the public but also said that he would comply with NPD's latest request. The main reason NPD has applied all these restrictions in the last year is because it wants to sell its data to clients in the video game industry. By keeping stuff like unit sales under wraps, the company has an easier time getting clients to buy its research data.

Perhaps NPD has forgotten that it was the media that put them on the map in first place; if web sites like GameSpot, IGN, and more hadn't regularly featured NPD numbers on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis, where would they be?

Interestingly, a follow-up statement to Gamasutra from NPD tries to paint a different picture:

UPDATE: Contacted by Gamasutra, NPD Group said that the organization is not trying to "freeze out the media" by taking control of the monthly data.

The company explained its stance in an emailed statement: "We have heard from our clients and retail partners that NPD information is increasingly out in the public domain without proper attribution, incorrect context and in other ways that is not in the best interest of our clients or the industry. It is our responsibility and right to manage the usage of that information, and our Financial Services clients have agreed to help us and the industry in this regard."

The statement added, "There was no 'warning' issued at all. We are not freezing out the media as it has been portrayed. Instead, we are looking to work even more directly with the media than we already do to ensure our information and insights are used responsibly."]

Media outlets around the world would strongly disagree with what the group is saying here.. 

Source: Gamasutra


Comments

Re: NPD to Analyst: Loose Lips Sink Ships

I associate this move with their attempts to get more access to digital sales info.  Digital sales numbers have always been protected by the publishers, and now that NPD has a deal to get more of that information, its not suprising that they are trying to limit who has access.  I'm sure the publishers have more to do with this lock down then the NPD's interests. 

Re: NPD to Analyst: Loose Lips Sink Ships

Why give away what you can sell, right? Especially in this economy. Hey, GP, maybe you should follow their example, and charge a subscription fee to all your readers instead.*

 

*(not serious, don't do it!)

Re: NPD to Analyst: Loose Lips Sink Ships

NPD is in one of those sticky situations where the nature of their product makes it difficult to consistiently monetize.  This is an example of a "free rider" problem.   

 
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InfophileI know the ZE series was in the red in Japan, but international series boosted it to profitability. That may not mean it's more profitable in the west, but it does mean ZE3 wouldn't exist without the western market.07/04/2015 - 7:54am
Consterwhy aren't "Video game players" an option on the poll? :P07/04/2015 - 5:19am
Andrew EisenThat was quick! Pretty accurate cosplay of the new Ghostbuster uniform and proton pack: https://twitter.com/mirabellemusing/status/61673135125394227207/03/2015 - 6:23pm
Matthew Wilson@mast I dont know, but I do know it got a cult fallowing here.07/03/2015 - 6:22pm
MastermuneWasn't the Zero Escape series more popular here than in Japan?07/03/2015 - 6:19pm
Matthew Wilson@mast given the game was revealed in the US, I wouldnt be shocked if it was released at the same time.07/03/2015 - 6:15pm
MastermuneI don't trust the big AAA worldwide simultaneous releases though.07/03/2015 - 5:57pm
Mastermune@Infophile I have come to the conclusion that smaller games like zero escape, JRPG's and the like are actually worth preordering sinc they are limited quantities and since they usually release in japan first we know if there are any issues.07/03/2015 - 5:56pm
Infophile@Matthew! Awesome news. I'd preorder on that shout alone if I didn't have a policy against preordering anymore.07/03/2015 - 5:16pm
Matthew Wilsonzero escape 3 was announced today.07/03/2015 - 4:21pm
Matthew Wilson@pnx I am guessing a ddoss since that is what happened to neogaf, but sony needs to do a investment in psn as a whole. steam is still the most reliable and fastest digital platform I use.07/03/2015 - 3:06pm
PHX Corphttp://www.vg247.com/2015/07/03/psn-is-down-sony-investigating/ not again: PSN is down, Sony investigating07/03/2015 - 3:04pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.vg247.com/2015/07/03/digital-extremes-trespasser-keystone-pc/ if true, this is funny and embarrassing for Digital Extremes. companies need too have better security.07/03/2015 - 2:57pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.gamespot.com/videos/the-point-destiny-the-hardcore-gamers-slot-machine/2300-6425852/ this is very good, and well researched.07/03/2015 - 12:41pm
InfophileOther features to become standard: The ability to remap controls however the hell I want. Quicksave at any time (especially for handheld and mobile games). Plus everything Andrew said07/03/2015 - 10:43am
InfophileRegion-freeing becomes tricky for games with a strong online component though, especially when the servers are run by different branches in different regions.07/03/2015 - 10:41am
InfophileI'm in favor of getting rid of region-locking for any purchased games. I can understand an exception for free, ad-supported games, as many ads are only relevant in certain regions, and it's a ridiculous hassle to get ads for all regions.07/03/2015 - 10:40am
PHX Corphttp://kotaku.com/payday-2-has-been-broken-on-xbox-one-for-three-weeks-1715384186 Payday 2 Has Been Broken On Xbox One For Three Weeks07/03/2015 - 8:44am
Matthew Wilsonhttps://www.reddit.com/r/OutOfTheLoop/comments/3bxduw/why_was_riama_along_with_a_number_of_other_large/ here is a more complete acount of whats going on.07/03/2015 - 1:32am
Matthew Wilsonredit is on fire right now. most subreddits have been set to private.07/03/2015 - 1:24am
 

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