I think I might have been the only person on the planet who noticed that March had slipped by without a monthly report on the relative earnings of the game industry from SuperData. As it turns out, it wasn’t an error or a delay: It’s because SuperData is being closed down. And that’s not an April Fools’ joke.
MMO fans might recall that the analysis firm had been bought out by ratings conglom Nielsen back in 2018. But according to The Esports Observer section of the Sports Business Journal, Nielson is shuttering the division and merge gaming services into Nielsen Sports.
“We have decided to wind down SuperData business operations,” the Nielsen rep said in a statement to SBJ. “Our focus going forward will be to deliver games-related services and insights as added features and capabilities to core Nielsen Sports products and services.” It is not immediately clear whether there were layoffs.
Some folks are not going to be too fussed about this, as the lack of transparency and clarity about SuperData’s figures (the vast majority of which were behind a massive paywall) always threw them into question. On the other hand, it was one of the few firms willing to opine on the state of the industry, giving us a slice of insight into how the biggest and newest titles on PC, console, and mobile were performing compared to each other – and sometimes it even sharply contradicted what the companies themselves claimed, which brought out company PR spindoctors to whine about it.
Nielsen is unlikely to replicate the SuperData model, so even if there were no layoffs, this is actually quite a loss to journalists and players who liked to stay a little bit on top of the broader industry. Bummer.