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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Andrew EisenSleaker - Who the heck are you reading that is claiming "all gamers are bad," we "need to pass laws or judgement on all gamers," that if "you self-identify as a Gamer, you're immediately the problem," or that gamers are "obligated to stop harassment"?09/20/2014 - 9:44pm
erthwjimhe swatted more than just krebs, I think he swatted 30 people http://krebsonsecurity.com/2014/05/teen-arrested-for-30-swattings-bomb-threats/09/20/2014 - 9:31pm
Craig R.Btw, the guy who swatted security expert Brian Krebs? He got picked up recently. It can be done.09/20/2014 - 8:55pm
Craig R.Such things are not done in a vacuum... hence why the 4chan and other logs show what fools you've all been, tricked into doing the trolls' work09/20/2014 - 8:49pm
Sleaker@Technogeek - How do you call someone out that anonymously calls in a SWAT team, or sends threats to people?09/20/2014 - 7:04pm
Technogeek"It also doesn't mean you're obligated to stop harassment from all gamers that are doing so." I'd say you're certainly obligated to call them out when you see it happening.09/20/2014 - 5:17pm
SleakerNow if you disagree with anything in my last 2 posts then we obviously have a difference in world view, and wont come to any sort of agreement. I'm fine with that, maybe some people aren't?09/20/2014 - 5:09pm
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james_fudgeno worries09/20/2014 - 4:15pm
TechnogeekI misread james' comment as "we can't have a debate without threatening" there at first. Actually wound up posting a shout about death threats and "kill yourself" not technically being the same thing before I realized.09/20/2014 - 3:59pm
james_fudgeDon't hit me *cowers behind Andrew*09/20/2014 - 3:20pm
ConsterYou take that back right now, james, or else. *shakes fist menacingly*09/20/2014 - 3:00pm
james_fudgeOur community is awesome. We can have a debate without threatening to kill each other.09/20/2014 - 2:50pm
Andrew EisenNo one's crossed a line but I just want to remind you all to keep discussions civil.09/20/2014 - 1:54pm
Craig R.tldr: I'm a gamer, and imo those who support GamerGate should feel free to take a flying leap off a cliff.09/20/2014 - 1:27pm
Craig R.Not only that, I'm pretty sure that if actual studies were done, you'd still deny them, Sleaker. After all, it's not what you'd want to hear to support your rose-colored view of GamerGate.09/20/2014 - 1:18pm
Craig R.There IS an issue. Nor do we need a study to show that if you deny it then you're part of the problem.09/20/2014 - 1:17pm
 

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