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IGDA Casual SIG To Share Game Sales Data

In an important milestone for the casual game biz, the IGDA has partnered with leading casual game creators at PopCap, RealNetworks, and PlayFirst to start an initiative to share sales data, starting the road to a true 'Top 100' casual game chart.
In an important step for the maturation of the casual games biz, the Casual Games Special Interest Group of the International Game Developers Association, made up of leading casual game creators at PopCap, RealNetworks, and PlayFirst, is starting an initiative to share sales data for casual games. Led by James Gwertzman, director of Business Development at PopCap Games, the new Data Reporting Standards Initiative represents the first industry-wide effort to electronically share sales and revenue data among partners in the sector. Later phases of the initiative call for the aggregation and publishing of industry-level figures. The full list of companies thus far signed up to the initiative are: Big Fish Games, Funkitron, iWin, Oberon Media, PlayFirst, PopCap Games, RealNetworks, Reflexive Entertainment, and Sandlot Games. The first phase of the new Data Sharing Initiative is a standardized electronic data format which, when adopted, will save each respective company (and its sales and distribution partners) time and money by reducing the need for manual data entry and related delays in delivering this data to their partners. At a later stage, aggregated data will make it possible for the first time to create accurate industry-wide "Top 100" sales charts measuring the growth and success of new titles in the casual games marketplace. Companies have already begun adapting the new report, with Reflexive Entertainment being the first company to send out reports in the new standardized format. PopCap's James Gwertzman commented of the announcement: "At the moment, sharing data between partners is a very resource-intensive process, often involving manual entry of the same data more than once. It's absurd that we have been pushing paper reports back and forth considering how reliant we are on the Internet for all other aspects of our business. The fact that the major players in the casual games sector, many of which compete with one another, have come together to adopt a standardized electronic format is in itself noteworthy." The program is open to all developers, publishers, aggregators, distributors and resellers in the casual games sector. More details of the initiative can be found at the IGDA Casual SIG website.

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