Steam data for digital sales charts not beneficial, insists Valve

Thursday, 21 April 2011 15:04 GMT By Stace Harman

Valve keeps its Steam sales figures a secret. Steam head Jason Holtman said this isn’t a situation that’s likely to change.

Speaking in an interview with MCV, Holtman said that he believes the “idea of a chart is old. It came from people trying to aggregate disaggregated information. What we provide to partners is much more rapid and perfected information.”

Steam’s metrics allow Valve to keep publishers and developers in-the-know, with hourly updates of download figures so that they can see just how people are responding to marketing efforts. Holtman believes that this is what’s important for the industry, not how a game is faring against other, unrelated titles.

“The point is, it’s not super important for a publisher or developer to know how well everyone is doing,” insisted Holtman. “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.”

Valve’s stance will be a blow for US tracker NPD, which is currently trying modernise its methods by including America digital sales data in its reports.