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Digital Distributors Dispute NPD Rankings

Illustration for article titled Digital Distributors Dispute NPD Rankings

Impulse and GamersGate are two pretty well known digital download services - we feature them every week in The Moneysaver - but they didn't show up in an NPD assessment of digital versus brick-and-mortar sales.


Earlier in the week, NPD Group claimed that digital download sales of PC games had almost caught up with games sold in physical retail locations. It's ranking of the top 5 digital distros, however, did not include Impulse or GamersGate.

You might remember the spat over Who's No. 2 last year, (trailing Steam, of course) with Impulse claiming the spot and GamersGate saying no way. Well, Big Download contacted both services to ask what they thought of not even being No. 5 in the NPD report.


Impulse boss Brad Wardell told Big Download: "NPD's numbers on digital don't tend to have much reflection on reality. As much as I would love digital distribution to take over the world, I can't think of a single publisher (including ourselves) that sells even close to a majority of its units digitally. I am a big believer in the future of digital distribution but the numbers we typically hear from publishers is that it's about a third (which is pretty darn good btw)."

And from GamersGate, CEO Theodore Bergquist had this to say to Big Download: "We did read the report and were actually quite surprised. We do not disclose our sales numbers and we were also not contacted during the research period of this study. That being said, from our numbers and most importantly our conversations with the leading publishers in the industry, I know we are easily one of the top retailers."

Impulse and GamersGate Heads Dispute NPD's PC Game Download Study [Big Download]

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"Impulse and GamersGate are two pretty well known digital download services..." ??? Never heard of them. Sure I don't PC game, but at least I have HEARD of Steam. I'm betting NPD is right, and these guys are just crying foul to be noticed. Chances are, even including their sales numbers won't impact the figures to make them swing the other way.