Kinect, Black Ops push GameStop to record holiday

Specialty retailer tops $3 billion in revenues for last nine weeks of 2010, but investors expecting more drive share price down; Assassin's Creed, Move, Cataclysm also strong sellers.

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While most of its stores braced for wintry weather outside, GameStop found its sales heating up considerably this holiday season. The specialty retailer today reported a record holiday haul with across-the-board increases in new and used software, hardware, and accessories.

Investors heard it through the Grapevine, Texas-based specialty retailer.
Investors heard it through the Grapevine, Texas-based specialty retailer.

For the last nine weeks of 2010, GameStop reported sales of $3.02 billion, up 5.4 percent from 2009's total of $2.86 billion, which was about the same amount garnered during the 2008 holidays. The retailer cited Microsoft's Kinect as one major contributing factor, saying the Xbox 360's motion-sensing camera peripheral pushed new hardware sales up 7.4 percent to $670 million for the period. The PlayStation Move also received a nod from GameStop, as the PlayStation 3 motion-sensing controller was attributed--along with Blizzard's World of Warcraft: Cataclysm--as helping push the retailer's accessories, PC games, and miscellaneous category up 15.9 percent to nearly $405 million.

New software sales were also strong for the retailer, up 3.3 percent to $1.34 billion. GameStop said the growth was driven primarily by strong showings from Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 titles, with Call of Duty: Black Ops and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood singled out for praise. Used game sales were the slowest-growing segment of the business, up 1.7 percent to nearly $607 million.

While GameStop's figures showed growth, they didn't show enough to please investors. As of press time, shares in GameStop were trading down more than 5 percent to $20.79. The retailer's full-year sales data is expected to be released in mid-March.

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