PopCap and the IGDA have masterminded an important deal between key downloadable casual games studios that sees sales data shared across the industry for the first time.The new Data Reporting Standards Initiative will see creators, publishers, aggregators and distributors of casual games all contribute their sales figures in the first industry-wide effort to measure the revenue data and popularity of the fast-growing casual games sector.
Participants already backing the move include some of the major players in the casual games space including PopCap Games, RealNetworks and Playfirst.
At a later stage in the initiative some of the information will be published in a Top 100 ranking that lists sales of casual games around the world.
The move has been spearheaded by the Casual Games special interest group at the International Game Developers Association, and is led by James Gwertzman, director of business development at PopCap.
"At the moment, sharing data between partners is a very resource-intensive process, often involving manual entry of the same data more than once," noted Gwertzman.
"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. Sharing this kind of information publicly, even in aggregate form, is a sensitive issue. However, our industry has matured to the point where we're ready to take this next step forward."
More information, including details on contributing if you are a casual games developer, can be found at www.igda.org/casual