THQ CEO Brian Farrell has said much of the company’s profits next year will be coming from digital downloads, which are not taken into account when NPD looks at monthly videogame sales.
Speaking in an interview with Gamespot, Farrell said THQ is not “declaring war” on NPD, but the tracking firm doesn’t look at DLC or MMO sales nor iPad/iPod revenue which is a big factor when it comes to publishers’ revenues. Other form factors should be looked at by the industry and investors, not just NPD sales to judge the industry’s decline or rise.
“I’m not being critical of them but it’s just a lot of investors or people who look at the industry and see the NPD box product sales are down,” he said. “Where our point of view is more people are playing games than ever before. And we as an industry need to come up with a different way to look at the industry to capture all those revenue streams.
“Our Steam business is going through the roof, but that’s again, not reported as part of NPD. So I think the industry is a lot healthier than just what NPD is reporting.
“When we look into next year, we’re really pleased with what’s going on with PS3 and 360 hardware sales. We heard some good news over the weekend, too, about Wii sales as well. And all that hardware is going to buy new software. So we think with these emerging businesses, all the online and the unreported things, that plus people buying software for the game machines that they’re buying now, we think 2011 should be a stronger year for the industry.
“And I think with our lineup, I think it’s going to be a particularly good one for us.”
Michael Gallagher, president of the Entertainment Software Association, said over the summer the games industry needs its own form of weekly top ten sales chart, just like film and music. He is of the belief NPD figures only reveal so much to the public and something more transparent is needed.