So, when ioi says that:
"FADE is a totally seperate entity in terms of data collection, staff and methodology and a totally seperate business."
...this would be why ********' WiiWare charts for July:
...are now FADE LLC's WiiWare charts for August:
(Incidentally, I think these charts may be dangerously inaccurate to people thinking about making WiiWare games, especially regards median figures, which are MUCH MORE IMPORTANT than Top 10s for someone wanting to make a business -- and could actually harm their planning. This is what particularly upsets me.)
Full disclosure before I get accused of being David Riley - as a quick Google would probably reveal, I run Gamasutra and wrote the original article looking at ******** and accuracy for GameSetWatch:
I'd also been talking to some of the more accurate ******** folks (particularly the folks who did the XBLA ******** countdown, which is now, uhh, the Fade LLC XBLA countdown) about using the charts in some way or partnering in a business way.
But it's becoming increasingly clear (esp. after a few arguments with them) that they are willing to put out pretty abstractly interpolated numbers, with significantly varying degrees of accuracy, and then retreat to 'all charts are inaccurate - deal with it' rhetoric.
See the iPhone charts, which already got some press:
TouchArcade themselves commented: "We contacted a number of the developers on the list, and so far, all of them report the numbers are well off target. Ethan Nicholas reports the sales of iShoot [$1.99] to be at 550,000 copies total so far — again well off the 843,000 listed above. Illusion Labs (TouchGrind [$4.99]) and MikaMobile (Zombieville [$1.99]) have also responded stating their internal numbers are also well off Fade's. Also absent from the list are Flick Fishing which has sold over 1 million copies and Crash Bandicoot which topped Apple's own list of all-time top app sales."
It was a little bit better when at least the stats were out there and weren't being charged for. But if you're going to pay to get median WiiWare or iPhone numbers which then make you go in the wrong direction with your business, that's pretty galling.
Since VGC are often the only exact numbers out there, they have to be taken seriously as at least something to rebut. And in researching a GDC talk I did this year on digital download numbers (in which I cited carefully and gave pretty broad ranges, which is all you can do at this point), I looked at both XBLA and WiiWare charts from VGC - which are now the Fade LLC charts. The slides are up and you can probably work out what I said from them:
(Honestly, I don't think it's easy for NPD to do a good job of most digital charts, either, given lack of reporting publishers and NDAs. So in this case, I'm not even sticking up for NPD over anyone else. If you look around you'll see a lot of people are making noises about digital charts, including Chart Track, but nobody is really getting it together, because there's no compelling commercial reason for platform holders and distribution points to give this info up.)