Changes to the NPD Group's reporting practices sent a few waves through the game industry earlier this month. Now, NPD's Anita Frazier has explained some of the reasoning behind the change. Frazier notes that NPD has "long acknowledged" that its coverage of only "new physical sales of hardware, software and accessories" doesn't accurately represent consumer spending in the game industry. Furthermore, with new physical sales dwindling this year, Frazier notes that the old NPD reporting practices "caused unnecessary angst" for many industry followers.
In other words, sales of physical game copies simply don't account for all the money pumped into the industry anymore. As such, the NPD will soon release the debut issue of its new report, Games Industry: Total Consumer Spend. While the report still includes data on sales of new games, accessories and hardware, it will also feature data on "used games, rentals, mobile apps, social network games, and digitally acquired content in the U.S."
NPD has had plans to track downloadable sales for over a year now, though this marks the first time we've heard of plans to track so many other forms of spending. Depending on how comprehensive the report is, it could have hefty ramifications for anyone looking to follow industry trends.