France will be the first European country to benefit from digital video games charts.
That's according to GamesIndustry.biz, who spoke to the MD of European games trade body ISFE Simon Little about the new Games Sales Data (GSD) charts. The UK will be benefitting from these rankings in January 2019.
Apparently, Activision Blizzard, Bandai Namco, Capcom, Codemasters, EA, Focus, Koch Media, Microsoft, Milestone, Paradox, Sega, Sony, Square Enix, Take-Two, Ubisoft and Warner Bros will all be providing their game download data for the organisation, with Bethesda and Konami are holding out. The company is also trying to get indie publishers and developers involved, thankfully.
"The specification right now is paid-for, full-paid downloads. We did it that way because it is a good place to start, basically. We just don't want to try and go too broad to start with. It's also a much closer tie to what is selling currently at retail. It kind-of matches, because a lot of the products are in both retail and network. Although obviously there are some that are only in one or the other. But it does give a much fuller view of the full-game market. So that is where we are right now.
"Trying to expand it to free full-game downloads... that's really a different thing altogether. And DLC is so expansive. It really is a totally separate project to try and cover DLC. And it is, in some ways, more sensitive for the companies involved. So we really needed to start here, get everyone's trust, and then gradually look to expand the scope."
Publishers taking part will be submitting sales report from Steam, primarily, with other storefronts being represented also. This is then be processed by B2Boost and released.
"It is all real sales data and that is the huge difference between our project and anything else out there," Little said.
"These are sales as reported from the networks. It is a rather roundabout route, but there is no guessing or extrapolation or surveys. These are actual sales that have happened during the previous week."
Digital charts are something that the games industry has sorely needed for almost a decade as downloaded titles have become a bigger and bigger part of the landscape. Physical retail sales data only tells so much of the story in 2018, and that's a tiny part of the big picture for the PC games market.