Digital sales are becoming more common place the further we move along in this generation of gaming. For Xbox and Playstation, digital sales were up 34% in 2015 compared to 2014. Video games are headed down the path of music where physical sales make up an extremely small portion of the overall industry revenue. The biggest flaw of the NPD is that only physical game sales are tracked. NPD does not track digital, however, NPD is looking to change that by starting a new digital sale tracking initiative.
All digital sales, however, will not be tracked right away. Publishers must sign up for the service in order to have their sales tracked. The current list of publishers that have signed on are: Capcom, EA, Deep Silver, Square Enix, Warner Bros., Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft, and Take-Two. NPD will not include sales from services such as Battle.net, but only select PC services. They have not made it clear yet exactly which services they are referring to but Steam is a good bet. Also sales will be tracked from PSN and Xbox Live. NPD will be reporting the physical and digital sales as a combined number for the publishers that have already signed on.
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