NPD Sales Results for November 2015 [Up3: Combined Hardware For PS4 + XB1 + Wii U]

Jan 20, 2008
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What are people's expectations for Siege? I kind of am getting the impression its gonna perform better than many are expecting from it
I hope so. Though I wouldn't be surprised that any good WOM it has due to how fantastic the game is gets completely erased by how shit the matchmaking and servers have been for the past few days (think MCC).
 
Aug 31, 2013
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So when I'm hounded again and again by certain users to PROVE my hypothesis with unquestionable proof, and I say that I cannot do that, nor am I claiming I am able to, I get the same line of questions again.
I'm very sorry, and all due respect to your elevated status, but I'm compelled to say that this is not a fair or accurate depiction of what happened.

The subject of tie ratios in Gen8 came up, and someone asked how they compared to Gen7, and you helpfully provided the data <3, which showed a significant gen-over-gen drop. Someone wondered how digital distribution might be affecting the numbers, and you took that opportunity to re-present your counterintuitive "hypothesis" that digital is basically irrelevant and has no measurable effect on physical distribution, and pointed out the correlation between the drop in tie ratios and the drop in release counts. Then here you say that release counts and sales have correlated at .97 r-squared since 2009, and summarize, "There's a very reasonable cause and effect thing here. I can't see how this concept is at all controversial." (emphasis mine) This was in response to someone trying to point out that simply releasing a game doesn't guarantee it will sell.

Then I came along like a week later, and simply asked if anyone could explain to me why statisticians consider the release counts and tie ratios to be highly corollary, because as a layman having just devised his own methodology for determining correlation, they didn't strike me as particularly so. I didn't even mention the "substitution is a myth" nonsense, because I was just interested in the math. Honestly, I expected someone to come along and explain how the Wii result is statistically meaningless and should just be ignored. (That's why I've never had more than a cursory interest in statistics, Hawk; I'm naturally dubious of any math that claims to be able to prove numbers don't matter. I would argue that the anomalous data often tells us far more about what's really happening in a system than reams of predictable results, so we should examine that stuff more closely, not ignore it.)

A couple of people offered explanations that mostly served to confuse me even more, and you helpfully drew me a picture that illustrated how to properly set up the problem <3, and indeed demonstrated the strong correlation that you had been claiming. You told me tie ratios couldn't be used to show correlation though, because they don't sample the active portion of the market, so I assume that's why you switched from tie ratios to revenue, but I was still confused about which numbers were okay to use and why, so I asked if the cumulative nature of tie ratios disqualified them from consideration, why the same didn't apply to the release counts, or seemingly to the revenues that you'd swapped in for the tie ratios (and quietly wondered why you initially pointed to the correlation between release counts and tie ratios if tie ratios were never a valid metric). Also, when I was trying to come up with a decent guess as to whether you were showing us cumulative revenues or the active slice you just claimed we needed to examine, I noticed that none of the release counts in your graph really matched up with the six release counts that you'd initially offered for examination. So given the fact that we were no longer looking at any of the data you initially claimed to be highly corollary and indicative of a clear cause and effect relationship, I simply asked what we were looking at instead.

Then you got sorta huffy, and said I was welcome to continue pretending there was no correlation if I wanted to, but you didn't wanna play with me anymore. So I apologized for upsetting you once again, and Hawk said they didn't really understand why you got so bent out of shape in the first place.

So now here you are, agitatedly telling us that you aren't bent out of shape at all; you're just tired of being "hounded" about this. Except as I just explained, nobody is hounding you at all. You're the one who brought this up again. You say you come here to have your assumptions challenged and be forced to think things through thoroughly, so why you get so mad when we oblige you, bro? Because we already went over it once before? Sorry, but did you feel that you prevailed that time? When I pointed out that your argument that digital substitution isn't a thing only holds water if you're willing to completely redefine the very concept of substitution and you said you didn't wanna talk about it anymore, I took that to be a tacit surrender indicating that you didn't wanna talk about it anymore. Yet here you are, making the same claims again, with nothing new to back them up, so was that meant to be a declaration of victory? =/

WTF am I supposed to do? The data isn't available to solve for X. It just isn't.
Then I'm left wondering why you insist on starting these conversations by implying that you've done the math and X ~=0.

So why would anyone continue to engage in discussing a topic when they've already admitted the limitations to what they're presenting, that there are a number of unknown factors, and a number of unmeasurable, unknown influencers?
You tell us, since it was your idea to make the claim again, apparently knowing full well you had no way to support it given the fact we don't have access to the required data here.

It's like people want to throw away what limited data that DOES exist because a bunch of stuff DOES NOT exist.
This single sentence perfectly encapsulates my entire beef. The fact that we are personally unable to measure the influence that digital distribution has on physical distribution does not so much as imply that the influence does not exist, yet that assumption that it doesn't exist is the very crux of your argument. You make the counterintuitive claim that digital distribution has no effect on physical distribution, present a corollary that could potentially support it — and when nobody's paying attention, try to claim the correlation shows clear cause and effect — then finish your argument by saying, "Nyeah yeah! Y'all can't access the data that proves otherwise, so quit whining and accept that I'm right!"

The fact is, it's not hard to measure digital substitution at all. You just call up the people who bought digitally, and ask them if they still would've bought it if it were only available physically. Anyone who says yes forms the bulk of the substitutions. Then ask the ones who said no if they're just refusing to buy out of spite over losing their digital option, or of there's really something preventing them from getting the disc, like a busted drive, access to robust Internet service yet no mail service, etc. That last group are your incremental sales, and everyone else simply substituted.

But the foundation of your argument is based on our inability to access that data. You claim to be able to show that digital substitution isn't a thing, but when we point out that you've done no such thing, you come back with, "Well, you can't prove it is, so I'm gonna keep claiming it isn't until someone notices again, and then I'll try to act like they're being the asshole!" ><

It's a waste of everyone's time.
I agree, but please explain to me how this is a problem of my creation rather than your own. Basically, this post can be summed up as, "I keep making the same specious claim, and these assholes won't just shut up and take it as Gospel!" Sorry, but that's not how it works. As I said at the top of this post, all due respect to your status as an insider, but I've never been one for undue deference. As everyone here, I appreciate the data you share, and hope that you're willing to continue sharing more in the future, but I see no reason that should mean that I or any other gaffer should be expected to glibly swallow anything and everything you post. As you say, that's not what this board is for, and I'm posting this in the hope that I'm not the only one here who realizes that.

Frankly, your arguments here have ranged from disingenuous to downright shady, and you repeatedly make definitive declarations then later try to claim you've done no such thing. And I've let all of that behavior go mostly unchallenged — primarily out of undue deference to your insider status, to be honest — but I see no reason I should simply sit here and let you call me a dick when I've done nothing wrong here.