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[READ] Sourcing an argument

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When constructing an argument, the right figure can illustrate more strongly and convincingly one's thoughts. As such, they are often used, especially among the Sales community. It is a powerful tool and needs therefore some proper introduction.

Where can I find a missing figure ?

Pretty often, one might find themselves in a sitaution where they are looking for a number but don't have it in mind. There are different places where to look :

- Game Data Library : invaluable ressource for the Japanese market in terms of software and hardware sales since 1986.
- The Database : It is built in-house by our own Archivists and aims to host a large and deep variety of organized data on the gaming industry.
- Garaph : great ressource on the Japanese market with several interesting subcategories. It hasn't been updated in years but is helpful for old sales data.
- The Archives : Redirects to older threads where the information may lie.
- Corporate Investor Relations (IR) websites, which can host a variety of sales numbers, graphs, and tidbits. Nintendo and Capcom are two of the most frequently published and discussed by the sales community because of their commitment to share shipment & digital sales data of all 1+ million sellers.

What are the good sources ?

A good source is one that is reliable. Not all sales figures are equal. Some firms receive direct physical sales numbers from point-of-sale (POS) systems across retailers nationwide, while other firms conduct a small sampling of the market and then estimate the rest.

At Install Base, we are only interested in discussing sales data posted by reliable sources. Here is a non-exhaustive list :

Reliable sources:

1. Famitsu
- A market research company that tracks physical sell-through hardware & software sales in Japan. They receive direct POS data from retailers nationwide.
- Also provides digital software sales estimates that are unreliable.

2. Game Sales Data (GSD)
- A market research subsidiary of the Interactive Software Federation of Europe that tracks physical sell-through hardware & software in the following European countries: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
- Tracks digital software directly provided by these participating publishers: Activision Blizzard, Bandai Namco, Capcom, Codemasters, EA, Focus Home Interactive, Koch Media, Microsoft, Milestone, Paradox, Sega, Sony, Square Enix, Take-Two, Ubisoft and Warner Bros.

3. GfK
- A market research company that tracks physical sell-through hardware & software sales across Europe, and in other ancillary territories like Australia and New Zealand.

4. International Data Corporation (IDC)
- A market intelligence company that uses NPD, GfK, and Famitsu sell-through data to provide snapshots of the worldwide video game industry for institutional clients.

5. Media Create (MC)
- Another market research company that tracks physical sell-through hardware & software sales in Japan. Nintendo directly quotes Media Create data in their presentations to investors, and it is known that they internally use Media Create data to guide their corporate decision-making. This has buoyed Media Create's credibility among the sales community.

6. The NPD Group (NPD)
- Market research company that tracks physical sell-through hardware & software sales in the United States and Canada. They receive direct POS data from retailers nationwide (roughly 95%) and then upweigh through proprietary algorithms to represent 100% of the market.
- Tracks digital software directly provided by these participating publishers: Activision-Blizzard, Atlus, Bandai Namco Entertainment, Capcom USA, Deep Silver, Electronic Arts, Gearbox Software, Konami Digital Entertainment, Microsoft, Paradox Interactive, SEGA, Sony, Square Enix Inc, Take-Two Interactive, Ubisoft, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
- Please see the following chart for the specific types of digital data NPD tracks:

7. App Annie
- A market research company that tracks the global mobile video game market, including revenue, downloads, and usage. They receive direct sales data from many participating publishers, and can be considered the most reliable mobile sales tracker.

8. Sensor Tower
- Like App Annie, Sensor Tower is another market research company tracks the mobile video game market. However, they do not have as many participating publishers directly providing them with sales data as App Annie. Sensor Tower has a tendency to co-mingle real sales data with their estimates and projections, which aren't always reliable. Therefore, they are less reliable than App Annie.

- Sales figures officially published by corporations, like during investor presentations, via social media, through a PR announcement, or reported by a known employee of a company. They have access to internal sales figures and there is no reason to doubt their veracity.

Questionable (use with caution):

1. All other sources that could help predict a game sales performance, which should be used with the appropriate caveats (Comg!, YT/Twitch views, retailer rankings, Play Tracker, Gamestat, etc). They are tolerated but shouldn't be used as definitive statements.

Not Reliable (do not use):

1. Equity Research
- Analysts who work in the Equity Research division of major banks and wealth management firms frequently post their sales estimates to institutional investors. Some of these sales estimates are then broadcast as news. All of their estimates are pure conjecture and they have no special insider access to internal company sales data. You can equate their reliability to members of our sales community who make predictions every month.

2. SuperData
- SuperData is a now-defunct market research company that tracks a certain portion of credit card receipts from a sampling of consumers, and then upweighs that sampling to produce industry-wide digital sales estimates. There is plenty of evidence from insiders who have reported over the years that their methodology is unreliable, which may have contributed to their dissolution.

3. VGChartz
- VGChartz is a sales database that intermingles leaked sales data, officially-published sales numbers, and their personal estimates into the same public database, with no delineation on how their numbers were sourced. VGChartz then retroactively adjusts these estimates when properly-sourced sales numbers become public. Any sales figure presented by VGChartz is therefore implicitly unreliable.
- To compose their sales estimates, VGChartz conducts retail sampling on a small amount of stores, and then upweighs them to cover the nationwide market. This methodology frequently produces significant differences from the same numbers posted by a market research firm like NPD.
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