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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Papa MidnightBecause, you know, that's worked out so well over the past 10 years that they've said the same exact thing: https://i.imgur.com/RFrFNoZ.jpg03/05/2015 - 9:25am
Papa MidnightAh, it's a new year. You know what that means: time for Microsoft to renew it's promise on PC Gaming! http://www.businessinsider.com/windows-10-games-2015-303/05/2015 - 9:24am
MechaTama31Not to belabor the point, but you did say "folks" and "any links", which doesn't sound to me like you were referring only to one particular link... </pedant> ;)03/05/2015 - 8:33am
MechaCrashIt can be made extraneous, depending on how you format the URL. For example: http://youtu.be/dQw4w9WgXcQ03/05/2015 - 6:28am
Andrew EisenMechaTama - I was referring specifically to the link below my post. I should have been more clear. My bad.03/05/2015 - 2:42am
james_fudgefair point, let's say "excluding YouTube videos"03/05/2015 - 2:25am
MechaTama31The stuff after the ? is not *always* extraneous.03/04/2015 - 11:57pm
MechaTama31AE: But that would make your link https://www.youtube.com/watch , which wouldn't work so well... ;)03/04/2015 - 11:56pm
E. Zachary KnightFor those curious, that timeline came from Destructoid: http://www.destructoid.com/tomm-hulett-s-unified-mario-timeline-theory-288472.phtml03/04/2015 - 8:11pm
WymorenceJeez, who'd have thought Yoshi doing a good deed was the reason for everything in Mushroom Kingdom being so screwed up...?03/04/2015 - 7:49pm
prh99The most popular games on Steam for 2014 http://bit.ly/1zLE0r403/04/2015 - 7:47pm
Papa MidnightWow, EZK. Oh my goodness, that timeline is huge.03/04/2015 - 6:59pm
E. Zachary KnightIt's the Super Mario timeline. https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/386496/smbTimeline_huge.png03/04/2015 - 6:49pm
prh99There are the various URL shortening services.03/04/2015 - 6:45pm
WymorenceIronic that they're releasing a game about cops and robbers in essence while they don the "extortionist" mask...03/04/2015 - 6:38pm
james_fudgeI'm not a miracle worker :)03/04/2015 - 6:09pm
Craig R.That link is still awful due to the fact that the entire article title is part of the URL :P03/04/2015 - 6:00pm
MonteI'm really waiting to see more publishers get serious backlash for those horrible DLC practices03/04/2015 - 5:48pm
MonteBattlefield with prioty servers for those that pay... sounds like EA wasn't a big supporter of Net Neautrality03/04/2015 - 5:47pm
PHX Corp@james_fudge thanks03/04/2015 - 5:28pm
 

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