Valve: Steam Sales Data Will Remain Private

April 21, 2011 -

Valve says that it will not be cooperating with various sales tracking firms who want access to internal data from its digital distribution service. Speaking to MCV, Steam’s Jason Holtman said that sharing the data would be counterintuitive if released publicly and that retaining it for developers and publishers only is the best option.

"The idea of a chart is old," said Holtman. "It came from people trying to aggregate disaggregated information. What we provide to partners is much more rapid and perfected information."

Valve provides publishers and developers with hourly updates of download figures. This allows those partners to measure the effectiveness of things like in marketing pushes and special offers. Releasing that data on a monthly basis would be a mistake, according to Holtman.

"If you look back at the way retail charts have been made, they have been proven to be telling an inaccurate story. They apparently had shown how the PC format was dying when it was actually thriving."

While research firms such as NPD Group and Chart-Track might not like the fact that it will not have access to data for the biggest digital distribution platform in the world, Valve is only interested in helping companies it does business with via Steam.

"The point is, it's not super important for a publisher or developer to know how well everyone is doing. What's important to know is exactly how your game is doing - why it's climbing and why it's falling. Your daily sales, your daily swing, your rewards for online campaign number three. That's what we provide."

Source: GI.biz


Comments

Re: Valve: Steam Sales Data Will Remain Private

That is highly disappointing. Valve is assuming that anyone who isn't a Developer or Publisher isn't qualified to assess sales information. I think the information that Steam has on games sales is important for the game industry to thrive. My guess is that Steam is withholding information for selfish reasons.

Re: Valve: Steam Sales Data Will Remain Private

Isn't it the developers choice to share their sales or not?  Valve gives them all the information.  Unless there is some sort of contract that doesn't allow them to share it, which I doubt.  

Pwnage of Empires Xbox 360 Indie RTS

Re: Valve: Steam Sales Data Will Remain Private

The problem is, without any comparison numbers, a developer's sales exist in a vacuum.  If I released a game on Steam, I'd want to know how I was stacking up compared to other titles in my genre, for instance.  That's an important way to gauge popularity and helps determine what features the market is looking for.

It's also kind of backhanded to say that sales aren't important only 24 hours after you've put out a press statement about the four million copies of Portal you sold.  But I guess they couldn't have added that mysterious "and maybe more!" on their figures if Steam sales were public, so perhaps the message here is that only console and retail sales are important?  Come to think of it, is there any way to verify advertised sales figures?  Could I say my game sold ten million copies and get away with it, since according to their policies they wouldn't be able to contradict me?

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Fangamer

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Fangamer

Re: Valve: Steam Sales Data Will Remain Private

It would be useful for people trying to gauge how much a certain game has sold total when it's released as a physical disc as well as online, however it would be "bad" from Valve's perspective because they would love for Steam to be the only distribution method and this would go against that ideal.  I don't see why you can't provide both.

 
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Sora-ChanI realize that they have ways getting around it, but one reason might be due to earthquakes.04/17/2014 - 4:42am
Matthew WilsonSF is a tech/ economic/ trade center it should be mostly tail building. this whole problem is because of the lack of tail buildings. How would having tail apartment buildings destroy SF? having tail buildings has not runed other cities around the US/world04/16/2014 - 10:51pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the issue is you can not build upwards anywhere in SF at the moment, and no you would not. You would bring prices to where they should have been before the market distortion. those prices are not economic or socially healthy.04/16/2014 - 10:46pm
ZippyDSMleeYou still wind up pushing people out of the non high rise aeras but tis least damage you can do all things considered.04/16/2014 - 10:26pm
ZippyDSMleeANd by mindlessly building upward you make it like every place else hurting property prices,ect,ect. You'll have to slowly segment the region into aeras where you will never build upward then alow some aeras to build upward.04/16/2014 - 10:25pm
Matthew WilsonSF have to build upwards they have natural growth limits. they can not grow outwards. ps growing outwards is terable just look at Orlando or Austin for that.04/16/2014 - 4:15pm
ZippyDSMleeIf they built upward then it would becoem like every other place making it worthless, if they don't build upward they will price people out making it worthless, what they need to do is a mix of things not just one exstreme or another.04/16/2014 - 4:00pm
Matthew Wilsonyou know the problem in SF was not the free market going wrong right? it was government distortion. by not allowing tall buildings to be build they limited supply. that is not free market.04/16/2014 - 3:48pm
ZippyDSMleeOh gaaa the free market is a lie as its currently leading them to no one living there becuse they can not afford it makign it worthless.04/16/2014 - 3:24pm
Matthew WilsonIf you have not read http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/introducing-steam-gauge-ars-reveals-steams-most-popular-games/ you should. It is a bit stats heavy, but worth the read.04/16/2014 - 2:04pm
Matthew Wilsonthe issue is when is doesn't work it can screw over millions in new york city's case. more often than not it is better to let the free market run its course without market distortion.04/16/2014 - 9:36am
NeenekoTrue, and overdone stagnation is a problem. It is a tricky balance. It does not help that when it does work, no one notices. Most people here have benifited from rent controls and not even realized it.04/16/2014 - 9:23am
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.cfm/2014/04/15/riaa_files_civil_suit_against_megaupload04/16/2014 - 8:48am
ZippyDSMleeEither way you get stagnation as people can not afford the prices they set.04/16/2014 - 8:47am
Neenekowell, specifically it helps people already living there and hurts people who want to live there instead. As for 'way more hurt', majorities generally need less legal protection. yes it hurt more people then it helped, it was written for a minority04/16/2014 - 8:30am
MaskedPixelantehttp://torrentfreak.com/square-enix-drm-boosts-profits-and-its-here-to-stay-140415/ Square proves how incredibly out of touch they are by saying that DRM is the way of the future, and is here to stay.04/16/2014 - 8:29am
james_fudgeUnwinnable Weekly Telethon playing Metal Gear http://www.twitch.tv/rainydayletsplay04/16/2014 - 8:06am
ConsterTo be fair, there's so little left of the middle class that those numbers are skewing.04/16/2014 - 7:42am
Matthew Wilsonyes it help a sub section of the poor, but hurt both the middle and upper class. in the end way more people were hurt than helped. also, it hurt most poor people as well.04/16/2014 - 12:13am
SeanBJust goes to show what I have said for years. Your ability to have sex does not qualify you for parenthood.04/15/2014 - 9:21pm
 

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