After NPD, Media Create numbers will no longer be public ... where is the gaming press ?

Visanideth

Banned
Oct 31, 2017
4,771
I think it is a worldwide trend. I mentionned NPD, MC and Hobby Consolas in Spain.

Our industry is getting more and more secretive, why ? who's behind it ? I think is a real subject real.
The extreme volatility of the stock market is behind it. There's no mistery or secret or conspiracy, as anyone with a basic understanding of how business work could tell you. The videogame industry is undergoing major changes (not really a crisis but definitely a powerful shift in business models) and it's quite likely the investors want to keep the effects of these changes under wraps until a new stability is foundt.
 

Deleted member 6001

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Oct 25, 2017
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The extreme volatility of the stock market is behind it. There's no mistery or secret or conspiracy, as anyone with a basic understanding of how business work could tell you. The videogame industry is undergoing major changes (not really a crisis but definitely a powerful shift in business models) and it's quite likely the investors want to keep the effects of these changes under wraps until a new stability is foundt.

Or, more simply: sales data is valuable and companies have no financial benefit in sharing it.
 
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Lelouch0612

Lelouch0612

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Oct 25, 2017
9,529
The extreme volatility of the stock market is behind it. There's no mistery or secret or conspiracy, as anyone with a basic understanding of how business work could tell you. The videogame industry is undergoing major changes (not really a crisis but definitely a powerful shift in business models) and it's quite likely the investors want to keep the effects of these changes under wraps until a new stability is foundt.
That's the actual first reasonable explanation that I got in this thread. Thanks !

I still think it is a counterproductive process. Shifts in this industry happened and will happen.

Releasing less data makes your investors less educated which therefore increase the volatility of the gaming stock market.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,324
I'm not saying Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson personally tied up the entire staff of Media Create and dangled them over a pit of rabid dingoes until they promised not to tell the world how badly Anthem sold in Japan, I'm just saying it is criminally negligent of the gaming press not to investigate this very real and likely possibility
 
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Lelouch0612

Lelouch0612

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Oct 25, 2017
9,529
I'm not saying Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson personally tied up the entire staff of Media Create and dangled them over a pit of rabid dingoes until they promised not to tell the world how badly Anthem sold in Japan, I'm just saying it is criminally negligent of the gaming press not to investigate this very real and likely possibility
In fact, Anthem did well for a new IP in Japan. Strong launch (but weak legs).

Looking at the chart without the numbers I wouldn't have known that and I would have logically believe that it underperformed like elsewhere.

This new situation is clearly decieving.
 

Pillock

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Dec 29, 2017
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I'm not saying Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson personally tied up the entire staff of Media Create and dangled them over a pit of rabid dingoes until they promised not to tell the world how badly Anthem sold in Japan, I'm just saying it is criminally negligent of the gaming press not to investigate this very real and likely possibility
Criminally negligent... call the FBI then. Get Sherlock on the case!
 
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Lelouch0612

Lelouch0612

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,529
Or, more simply: sales data is valuable and companies have no financial benefit in sharing it.
They are sharing only a small snippet of what paid subscribers get.

People that are paying for MC info do it for the full package. Do you think new people will pay 20000$/year to have access to these informations ?
 

Charamiwa

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,641
What's the gain in calling out publishers if they silence trackers?
They are the ones making the games and they decide if they want to share the data or not with the public.

Not having sales thread and disucssions here will certainly lower console warriors post on ERA.
If you see actual hard data as console wars fodder, then that's on you. The Media Create threads are full of great graphs, numbers, data, all public and all easily available. It's a piece of history going on 25 years on one of the culturally relevant and active industry in the modern age. All publicly available. Potentially losing that would be a small tragedy for those interested. Can you imagine if we didn't have any Box Office numbers for the entire history of cinema and had to rely on some PR once in a while to get a full grasp of the industry? That would be awful. But some of you can't seem to see past stupid forum drama.
 

Visanideth

Banned
Oct 31, 2017
4,771
Or, more simply: sales data is valuable and companies have no financial benefit in sharing it.
Sometimes sharing sales data can have benefits - think of Marvel and ticket sales. They want people to know how big their last movie did because that business model is based on trends. Think of how many ad campaigns focus on "the best selling/record selling" - novels live or die on publishing (often manufactored) sales data.

But the videogame world is shifting towards a subscription/microtransaction business model, where games that enjoy lower sales may end up being much bigger moneymakers than tentpole franchises. Sales data stopped being the most useful piece of information, and it also became harder and harder to "weaponize" as a promotion tool for your product (when your game sells 5 million copies and it's still considered a financial flop, publishing sales data stops being useful - look at Tomb Raider).

We often mock MS for moving from sales to MAUs, but the industry as a whole will soon move in that direction because the games that make bank are those who don't sell at retail for 60$. And nobody wants to tell that to audiences.
 

Blackbird

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,209
Brazil
Hate to break it to you guys, but, it definitely seems like reality finally caught up and the industry moved on.

This kind of information is extremely valuable and it's no surprise at all that companies would try to protect it from...well...the general public. Speaking from how they treat general reception to potential damage for a specific brand's image, it wouldn't be the smartest choice to let people with absolute no inside knowledge, to twist how a game did.

They're basically gatekeeping this information for inviduals that are so invested in actual market analysis, that would actually recognize how important this kind of info could be and therefore, pay for it even if it's locked behind a high paywall.

I gotta say, this community here is pretty infamous for making absurd and extremely mudane assumptions about sales in general. Of course, there's actual market insiders here, professionals that studied and get payed for this, but most people turned this into a weird type of hobby.
 
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Lelouch0612

Lelouch0612

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,529
Sometimes sharing sales data can have benefits - think of Marvel and ticket sales. They want people to know how big their last movie did because that business model is based on trends. Think of how many ad campaigns focus on "the best selling/record selling" - novels live or die on publishing (often manufactored) sales data.

But the videogame world is shifting towards a subscription/microtransaction business model, where games that enjoy lower sales may end up being much bigger moneymakers than tentpole franchises. Sales data stopped being the most useful piece of information, and it also became harder and harder to "weaponize" as a promotion tool for your product (when your game sells 5 million copies and it's still considered a financial flop, publishing sales data stops being useful - look at Tomb Raider).

We often mock MS for moving from sales to MAUs, but the industry as a whole will soon move in that direction because the games that make bank are those who don't sell at retail for 60$. And nobody wants to tell that to audiences.
The same could be said about the Movie industries with the rise of the streaming channels and yet they are still sharing a ton of data.

If they stopped, people would call them out. The videogame industry lacks a strong press to act as a counter power, we saw this recently with the scandals of these past few months.
 

Gotdatmoney

Member
Oct 28, 2017
7,911
It's absolutely wild to me that people think access to less public information is good or that real sales data is the cause of fanboy wars. It sounds more like people who dislike "sales in gaming" than anything based out of logic. Who the fuck thinks lack of data is good? And while obviously no one is entitled to this data, why it is disappearing is a good question. If it is because firms would rather sell it and that is all, some journalist should be able to take time to communicate that information then, not leave us guessing.

It's like people think journalism in gaming should be nothing but "Boo anthem is shit". Then they wonder why the industry cant cover any actual social or economic topic with any decency ever.
 
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Lelouch0612

Lelouch0612

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,529
It's absolutely wild to me that people think access to less public information is good or that real sales data is the cause of fanboy wars. It sounds more like people who dislike "sales in gaming" than anything based out of logic. Who the fuck thinks lack of data is good? And while obviously no one is entitled to this data, why it is disappearing is a good question. If it is because firms would rather sell it and that is all, some journalist should be able to take time to communicate that information then, not leave us guessing.

It's like people think journalism in gaming should be nothing but "Boo anthem is shit". Then they wonder why the industry cant cover any actual social or economic topic with any decency ever.
Thank you ! This, 100 times.
 

Shinjuku 4x4

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
554
It's all passed you by. The data is meaningless at this point. The biggest games are free and you buy in game currency.
 

Herb Alpert

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,401
Paris, France
It's absolutely wild to me that people think access to less public information is good or that real sales data is the cause of fanboy wars. It sounds more like people who dislike "sales in gaming" than anything based out of logic. Who the fuck thinks lack of data is good? And while obviously no one is entitled to this data, why it is disappearing is a good question. If it is because firms would rather sell it and that is all, some journalist should be able to take time to communicate that information then, not leave us guessing.

It's like people think journalism in gaming should be nothing but "Boo anthem is shit". Then they wonder why the industry cant cover any actual social or economic topic with any decency ever.
Hey, remember the "bad data is better than no data" debate on MC threads regarding Famitsu digital ass guesses, I mean estimates ?
People like to just eat manufactured PR, narratives are more easy to get than complex reality
 
Jan 9, 2018
360
I don't know why people keep saying that nobody cares about sales figures of videogames when the first factor to call success in a similar industry (cinema) is local and worldwide revenue. And people are always commenting on this. Last weekend the main cinema news was "Capitan marvel" first-weekend revenue. Why we can't have this kind of info for games?

The lack of data is always worse for consumers. Knowing what are the numbers videogames made make easier to put in perspective what is the volume of the market, and what kind of budgets to expect from different games and thinks like that.

Not to mention that is always fun to know how big success are the main games of the year and to compare with other games from the past.
 

sfortunato

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,758
Italy
Hate to break it to you guys, but, it definitely seems like reality finally caught up and the industry moved on.

This kind of information is extremely valuable and it's no surprise at all that companies would try to protect it from...well...the general public. Speaking from how they treat general reception to potential damage for a specific brand's image, it wouldn't be the smartest choice to let people with absolute no inside knowledge, to twist how a game did.

They're basically gatekeeping this information for inviduals that are so invested in actual market analysis, that would actually recognize how important this kind of info could be and therefore, pay for it even if it's locked behind a high paywall.

I gotta say, this community here is pretty infamous for making absurd and extremely mudane assumptions about sales in general. Of course, there's actual market insiders here, professionals that studied and get payed for this, but most people turned this into a weird type of hobby.
?

Keeping information secret means that the only agent able to share such information is the publisher. How that is a good thing? Publishers have interests in sharing biased information or hide it completely. When information is public, to some extent, it can be used by third party agents to make analysis and articles---that's how it should be.

Also, MC doesn't make money off the Top 20. The company makes money on reports which go much deeper that what has been publicly shared since many years.
 

Blackbird

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,209
Brazil
It's absolutely wild to me that people think access to less public information is good or that real sales data is the cause of fanboy wars. It sounds more like people who dislike "sales in gaming" than anything based out of logic. Who the fuck thinks lack of data is good? And while obviously no one is entitled to this data, why it is disappearing is a good question. If it is because firms would rather sell it and that is all, some journalist should be able to take time to communicate that information then, not leave us guessing.

It's like people think journalism in gaming should be nothing but "Boo anthem is shit". Then they wonder why the industry cant cover any actual social or economic topic with any decency ever.
This type of information is only useful IF it's analyzed by capable people that actually have proper knowledge behind how this industry works.

Sharing a bunch of vage numbers to enthusiastic folks that will check it on their free time, it's not just unuseful, but usually hurtful.

People need to understand that information is power in many ways, not just a toy that you can mess around.

We should value data, and that's basically what they're doing.
 
Jan 9, 2018
360
?

Keeping information secret means that the only agent able to share such information is the publisher. How that is a good thing? Publishers have interests in sharing biased information. When information is public, to some extent, it can be used by third party agents to make analysis and articles---that's how it should be.

Also, MC doesn't make money off the Top 20. The company makes money on reports which go much deeper that what has been publicly shared since many years.
Also this.

Obscuring this kind of information makes easier for companies to cheat on their financials and make big messes like the ones that happened with banking in the past. Not saying that this would happen but is easier to happen if this kind of info is not public.
 

Zedark

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,186
The Netherlands
This type of information is only useful IF it's analyzed by capable people that actually have proper knowledge behind how this industry works.

Sharing a bunch of vage numbers to enthusiastic folks that will check it on their free time, it's not just unuseful, but usually hurtful.

People need to understand that information is power in many ways, not just a toy that you can mess around.

We should value data, and that's basically what they're doing.
You say that, but then on the other hand we have people like Mat Piscatella who said that they actually go to forums to discuss because they can find people there who have insights as good as or better than what some professionals can provide. People fiscussing sales publicly really aren't only humdrums who don't understand the first thing about what they are talking about. And for those that don't: there are plenty of people around who can explain it to them on the forum.
 

sfortunato

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,758
Italy
This type of information is only useful IF it's analyzed by capable people that actually have proper knowledge behind how this industry works.

Sharing a bunch of vage numbers to enthusiastic folks that will check it on their free time, it's not just unuseful, but usually hurtful.

People need to understand that information is power in many ways, not just a toy that you can mess around.

We should value data, and that's basically what they're doing.
So... If there's the risk people without much knowledge analyse these data just don't share them at all? Lol

No one cares about armchair analysts as us in gaming forums. But these data are used by consulting firms and journalists too that don't have resources to buy full reports.

Information is power, true. So why should you want only publishers to have such power? Bear in mind that the Top 20 is a super-tiny fraction of what publishers get. It's a super-short summary of weekly reports of publishers get.
 

Expy

Member
Oct 26, 2017
3,851
These aren't 'our' numbers, not yours, not mine, they're property of Media Create and its retailers.
 
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Principate

Member
Oct 31, 2017
6,573
This type of information is only useful IF it's analyzed by capable people that actually have proper knowledge behind how this industry works.

Sharing a bunch of vage numbers to enthusiastic folks that will check it on their free time, it's not just unuseful, but usually hurtful.

People need to understand that information is power in many ways, not just a toy that you can mess around.

We should value data, and that's basically what they're doing.
How on earth do you do think shareholders make stock decisions? You seem to talk as if this is useless shared information without tangible economic benefit for both people in the industry, investing within the industry and consumers. This is the furthest thing from the truth and strikes me that you yourself have little appreciation for the information. The reason the information was withheld was for the companies in question economic benefit. Similar to how a company decides to monetise a service.

The thought process your using is litterally arguing that libraries should not exist as common folk are likely misusing the information completely misunderstanding the purpose of a library in the first place.
 

Blackbird

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,209
Brazil
?

Keeping information secret means that the only agent able to share such information is the publisher. How that is a good thing? Publishers have interests in sharing biased information or hide it completely. When information is public, to some extent, it can be used by third party agents to make analysis and articles---that's how it should be.

Also, MC doesn't make money off the Top 20. The company makes money on reports which go much deeper that what has been publicly shared since many years.
That's the thing, people have interest in sharing biased information, too.

The sole fact that users here act in a way that they're the only thing keeping "crystal clear", unfiltered information is just absurd. This is not the kind of data meant to be shared with people that make mundane assumptions, it's an actual line of work dedicated to studying the market.

Simply put: you don't hand usefu/very important stuff for free, and especially, not for the crowd that won't be able to use it at its best.
 
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machinaea

Game Producer
Verified
Oct 29, 2017
169
If it is because firms would rather sell it and that is all, some journalist should be able to take time to communicate that information then, not leave us guessing.
I would say a large reason to the matter is that simply isn't black-and-white or simple enough to have a definite answer and there's very little value for anyone to actually explain why they do that, because as with much communication developers/publishers engage in, it's only gonna draw more backlash, conspiracy theories and just more work for them for no seemingly added value.

But as to the multitude of reasons, here are some that I can at least attest to some people in the industry skewing towards:
  • sales data alone these days isn't accurate enough, and especially should not be used for investment purposes and to assess the overarching business outcomes as games have extremely varied sales tails and well performing MTX can easily make a project far more successful even if it carried less initial sales than it's predecessor
  • with GaaS other metrics can be more business critical and part of the strategy (why engagement is being used so often) because publishers overall performance can be their catalogues performance and there can be an expectation of singular releases underperforming but overall strategy working when some other game performs well and gets good engagement and recurring performance
  • many of these other metrics are valuable to the companies (bringing a potential edge in keeping leadership of their market segment or making better products in the future) and there's good reason to keep them in-house (being a pro-active answer to "well, if upfront sales data is producing a skewed perspective, why not release the whole stack of performance related data?")
  • when there are plenty of paid outlets doing better by getting revenue out of these reports (remember us players bring very little if none in revenue to many of these outles) why would you stay open?
  • the industry feels much less secretive from the inside and there's fair bit of knowledge to be gained easily, thus a lot of the people already have access to the necessary information from an investment perspective
  • much of the actual business and investment critical data is already being provided in investor calls, quarterly reports and whatnot, and it differs little from many other software industry counterparts (in fact you could argue there's far more public data available for games data than in many application/software industries)
  • many of the non-investment/development professional easily misunderstand the data, so you could be opening yourself into a ton of unnecessary communication work

...and the list would go on quite easily. But the point is that there is no simple answer that would be already rule it out, but at the same time you can find a ton of somewhat reasonable reasons (keep in mind I don't personally agree with them all) why many metrics aren't as easily accessible and you can't find all that many in support of making said metrics more visible, at least without it being a business in itself (the likes of NPD, AppAnnie etc.)
 

Blackbird

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,209
Brazil
How on earth do you do think shareholders make stock decisions? You seem to talk as if this is useless shared information without tangible economic benefit for both people in the industry, investing within the industry and consumers. This is the furthest thing from the truth and strikes me that you yourself have little appreciation of the information. The reason the information was withheld was for the companies in question economic benefit. Similar to how a company decides to monetise a service.

The thought process your using is litterally arguing that libraries should not exist as common folk are misusing the information completely misunderstanding the purpose of a library in the first place.
I think our difference is that i couldn't care less about shareholders, they're not really the kind of people that needs protection imo.
 

Principate

Member
Oct 31, 2017
6,573
I think our difference is that i couldn't care less about shareholders, they're not really the kind of people that needs protection imo.
They why are you talking about the information being a toy you can mess around with? If you narrowing things by stakeholders you care about your arguement doesn't make any sense. All your really saying is you don't like hobby analysts and the less information available to them the better.
 

machinaea

Game Producer
Verified
Oct 29, 2017
169
It's so weird. No other industry hide their sales data like the gaming one does.
This is really not true; there are plenty of software/application companies where you would have an even harder time finding any sales data outside of revenue/financial reports just as you find in public game companies, because there aren't even paid market research companies making estimates.
 

Jenea

Member
Mar 14, 2018
1,429
Do we know what publishers are doing this ?
Some people say nobody cares about these numbers, yet some publishers don't want them to be made public. It does not make sense.
 

test_account

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,023
It's absolutely wild to me that people think access to less public information is good or that real sales data is the cause of fanboy wars. It sounds more like people who dislike "sales in gaming" than anything based out of logic. Who the fuck thinks lack of data is good? And while obviously no one is entitled to this data, why it is disappearing is a good question. If it is because firms would rather sell it and that is all, some journalist should be able to take time to communicate that information then, not leave us guessing.

It's like people think journalism in gaming should be nothing but "Boo anthem is shit". Then they wonder why the industry cant cover any actual social or economic topic with any decency ever.
Yeah, i wouldnt say that real sales data is the cause of fanboy wars, but to be a bit fair, its not unheard of that this could happen. I dont feel that theres too much of it in these days, at least not here, but i remember reading the NPD and Media Create threads back in like 2007 and 2008, it was somewhat a different enviorment then. That said, i think having public numbers far outweight the positive sides compared to the negative sides. I also agree that it wouldnt hurt for people to look into what caused NPD and Media Create to stop publishing free sales data, but i feel that the premise of the thread is kinda based on that publishers are the reasons, and the gaming press should dig more into it and reveal it. But OP, please correct me if i'm wrong.
 

Deleted member 6001

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Oct 25, 2017
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Is it tho ?

Sales data got plenty of coverage on podcasts, videogames outlets...

People are always interested to know whether a game performed well or not, if their favorite franchise might live on or get burried etc

With less data, you are in the dark.
Even the ones the person quoted earlier in the thread are not "mainstream outlets"

Even in a forum like this, the sales number threads are only populated by the same 50 people who post 20-30 times a day on here regardless of topic.

Honest question: What good does knowing the weekly sales projections from Japan actually do for you as a consumer? Do you enjoy a game less or more based on this information?
 

Blackbird

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,209
Brazil
They why are you talking about the information being a toy you can mess around with? If you narrowing things by stakeholders you care about your arguement doesn't make any sense. All your really saying is you don't like hobby analysts and the less information available to them the better.
I don't really know why you phrased like it was a ulterior motive, considering the way i shared my feelings in this thread.

Well yes, that's exactly how i feel. Based on the way this kind information keeps getting weaponized and turned into a tool by uneducated people in this industry, i would much rather see it in better hands.

Communication is everything for this line of work, so you can guess why i hold so much care for who's handling it.
 

Deleted member 6001

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Oct 25, 2017
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The fact that you had to go to these absurdly niche sites is proof enough. ;)

Sometimes sharing sales data can have benefits - think of Marvel and ticket sales. They want people to know how big their last movie did because that business model is based on trends. Think of how many ad campaigns focus on "the best selling/record selling" - novels live or die on publishing (often manufactored) sales data.

But the videogame world is shifting towards a subscription/microtransaction business model, where games that enjoy lower sales may end up being much bigger moneymakers than tentpole franchises. Sales data stopped being the most useful piece of information, and it also became harder and harder to "weaponize" as a promotion tool for your product (when your game sells 5 million copies and it's still considered a financial flop, publishing sales data stops being useful - look at Tomb Raider).

We often mock MS for moving from sales to MAUs, but the industry as a whole will soon move in that direction because the games that make bank are those who don't sell at retail for 60$. And nobody wants to tell that to audiences.


Well said.

(Also, awesome avatar. I hope to have some fun upcoming news in regards to that movie later this Summer!) ;)
 
OP
OP
Lelouch0612

Lelouch0612

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Oct 25, 2017
9,529
Even the ones the person quoted earlier in the thread are not "mainstream outlets"

Even in a forum like this, the sales number threads are only populated by the same 50 people who post 20-30 times a day on here regardless of topic.

Honest question: What good does knowing the weekly sales projections from Japan actually do for you as a consumer? Do you enjoy a game less or more based on this information?
Of course not.

I am interested in sales data because it gives you an idea of how the industry is evolving. Is the game that I love going to have a sequel soon or not ? Why is this genre overlooked this gen ? The gaming industry is changing ver fast so it is a really interesting topic.

One less thing for console warriors to squabble about. It's good
Absolutely not lol.

It will get worse because you can't call people out for their bullshit if you don't have hard data/evidence. Now with relative charting, every one will push its agenda and you wouldn't be able to know where is the truth.