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."