For a very long time, NPD has only included software sales from games bought at physical retail stores. This is about to change very soon as digital sales will finally be included.
As reported by Games Industry, NPD left this statement: “Following several years of beta testing, the Digital Games Tracking Service will allow participating clients to understand the size and growth of the digital market, and analyze attach rates and other important metrics. Combined with physical data available by NPD, these clients can gain a better understanding of the interplay between the physical and digital sales channels.
“As has been experienced across a wide variety of industries, digital has made a big impact on the overall gaming market, and we’ve risen to meet the demand for a reporting mechanism that tracks those sales in a timely and accurate way”
Digital sales have risen over the last couple of years especially on PC. This is good news for indie developers as the media and public will now know how successful digital only games are compared to bigger retail games. Not to mention more PC games will be on the lists.