GameStop Sales Hurting, as New Call of Duty Underperforms; Pokemon Sun/Moon Biggest of 2016

The retailer saw its revenue and profit decrease year-over-year.

117 Comments

[UPDATE] Here are some of the takeaways from GameStop's earnings call, based on comments made by management:

  • Pokemon Sun and Moon are the best-performing games for GameStop all year; preorders for the game were the highest for any game at GameStop in five years.
  • Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare underperformed, though specifics were not shared
  • PS4 Pro is off to a "strong" start, while PSVR units are selling well, as they only stay on shelves for an average of 10 days.
  • 27 percent of GameStop's PowerUp Rewards members who are aware of the Nintendo Switch plan to buy the console. This pre-launch purchase intent metric is in line with that of the Xbox One at a similar point in time. The figure could go higher after Nintendo's Switch news event in January.

The original story is below.

GameStop today reported earnings for the quarter ended October 29, and the results were not what the retailer would have wanted. The store reported total global sales of $1.96 billion, a decrease of 2.8 percent year-over-year. As GameStop said in its preliminary sales announcement, games released in the "last few weeks of October" underperformed, with new software sales dropping by 8.6 percent.

No specific titles were mentioned, but Gears of War 4, Battlefield 1 (October 21), Civilization VI (October 21), Titanfall 2 (October 28), Skyrim Special Edition (October 28), would be considered high-profile games that came out at the end of October. For Titanfall 2, EA management recently suggested that first-day and first-week sales were not extraordinary. One analyst said Titanfall 2's sales would be "substantially disappointing" in part because the game's release was sandwiched between Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (November 4).

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Pre-owned game sales slid 6.4 percent. On the hardware side, this was a tough quarter for GameStop, as new hardware sales dropped by 20.6 percent. Hardware sales dropped across the industry in October, so this doesn't appear to be a problem that's specific to GameStop.

On the brighter side for GameStop was its digital business, which saw revenue rise 13.2 percent to $258.9 million. Growth in this area was driven by DLC, digital currency, and mobile game sales. GameStop's mobile sales specifically benefited from the launch of Animation Throwdown: The Quest for Cards, a smartphone game that brings together characters from Fox shows like Family Guy, King of the Hill, and American Dad.

Elsewhere, GameStop's Technology Brands division saw its sales rise 54.4 percent to $216.3 million, while the company's Collectibles unit posted $109.4 million in revenue, up 37.3 percent. Sales in this category were led by Pokemon and Five Nights at Freddy's toys.

Overall, GameStop posted a profit of $50.8 million for the quarter, down from $55.9 million.

Looking ahead to the all-important holiday quarter, Gamestop said it expects store sales to be down, ranging from -12 percent to -7 percent.

Last year, GameStop reported that Halo 5: Guardians, Star Wars Battlefront, and Assassin's Creed Syndicate all performed below the company's expectations. For what it's worth, games sales across the industry improved in October, so it looks like GameStop is uniquely affected.

GameStop will hold an earnings call to discuss these results and more starting at 2 PM PT / 5 PM ET. We'll update this post or write a new story if anything noteworthy comes up during the talk.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Avatar image for uncle5555
uncle5555

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare underperformed...which is a surprise to no one...

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

The decline of Call of Duty is upon us. Good riddance. And Gamestop struggling can only be good for everyone.

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Slypher9

@Thanatos2k: seriously everything has a peak...

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@7tizz: I know trashy consolized bro shooters are your favorite games 7tizz, so clearly them starting to fail can only be good for the rest of us.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@7tizz: What's that? You're angry I'm drawing conclusions about you from your posts? Almost like that same stupidity you just did?

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@7tizz: Someone's projecting again.

Avatar image for cboye18
cboye18

@7tizz: I don't know if you're aware of it or not, but there has been quite a lot of negative developments regarding gaming in recent years. Gamestop's shady practices and the CoD milking are but a few. I'd want to see their imminent demise in the name of progress.

Avatar image for Flyin3lvl
Flyin3lvl

@7tizz: @cboye18 well 7 is there anything in gameing besides ms you enjoy- nope youv proven that time and time again -

who do you care what millions of ps fans enjoy instead of continually bashing them?- again 7 why moan at everyone else yet your the biggest hypocrite on this site

Avatar image for Flyin3lvl
Flyin3lvl

@7tizz: ""

Ah, the Sony Defence Force (SDF) and their bullshit are on duty.

'More so'. Do you chuckle at your own garbage? You have to at this point."

i guess you just forget what you type - this and how many others in that threat and other countless articles if it dosnt fit your view we are all wrong - how am i being paranoid - are you schizophrenic

Avatar image for cboye18
cboye18

@7tizz: I didn't say no such thing; you're only twisting words here. All I'm saying is that there are people who do have standards for gaming and want to see those ill developments gotten rid off. Yet your perspective of someone pointing these out is that they must be "negative".

Avatar image for crxuchilbara
crxuchilbara

@cboye18: just want you to know I agree. Peoples standards are bad.

Avatar image for edwardnygma
EdwardNygma

@7tizz: I have countless hours. It needs to die.

Avatar image for Saladudo
Saladudo

The Blockbuster's ghost is knocking the door...

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Daveof89

But... their stock went up 5% after markets closed today...

Avatar image for xenomorphalien
XenomorphAlien

Maybe because less people shop here?

Avatar image for syntaxkt
SyntaxKT

@xenomorphalien: Yup. There's a lot of Amazon Prime owners who will be more than happy to get it in the mail on launch day for the 20 percent off.

Avatar image for xenomorphalien
XenomorphAlien

@syntaxkt: I would too. Only time I ever go to Gamestop is if I get a giftcard or something.

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uncle5555

@xenomorphalien: Shockingly I actually bought 4 games from them this year, up from maybe 1 or 2 last year. So that's something. They gotta keep those exclusives going for me to even bother shopping there.

Avatar image for xenomorphalien
XenomorphAlien

@uncle5555: I got 3 as well, but that's only because I had some giftcards.

Avatar image for alaannn
alaannn

theres not alot of great games lately (they seem to have alot of sjw themes or they hold alot of the game back for dlc instead of gameplay and story)the best games so far this year where remasters cod4 and skyrim

Avatar image for DARREN636
DARREN636

game shops make me feel dirty.

eugh

Avatar image for crxuchilbara
crxuchilbara

@DARREN636: You should go to cex. Just for the shock and awe?

Avatar image for balrogbane
Balrogbane

The sooner the greedy, miserly sad excuse of a company known as GameStop falls at the wayside of history and is forgotten the better. Every time I've made the mistake of walking into one of their 'stores' it's like I just entered a cult gathering; faux-smiles from woefully unknowledgeable employees who do their damnedest at every turn to part me from my shekels with laughable preorder bonuses, magazine subscriptions, and the like. Their trade-in values are frankly pathetic and then they unashamedly try to sell used games for north of 50 bucks.

Anything news that bodes ill for this corporation is an angelic quire to my spiteful ears.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@balrogbane: It's been three games in a row now where I've walked into Gamestop in the week following the release of a game, asked to buy that game, and being told they only got enough for preorders, it's sold out, and the other Gamestops nearby don't have any either. The latest case it was Exist Archive.

I mean, I was under the impression that they were some kind of store that sold video games, not video game preorders, but that's apparently not the case. I think I'll stick to Amazon where they never tell me a game is sold out.

Avatar image for zmanbarzel
ZmanBarzel

@Thanatos2k: You're bitter because GameStop didn't have a niche RPG in stock?

"I think I'll stick to Amazon where they never tell me a game is sold out."

Go right ahead. Amazon doesn't have to worry about shelf space and niche games eating up space that could be used more profitably.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@zmanbarzel: So if Gamestop doesn't sell "niche" games, are they a store that sells games or not? Plus, if they're always "sold out" of these kind of games, then why don't they order a couple more since they're CLEARLY selling through the copies they do get (so the "niche" excuse goes out the window)? What kind of idiotic business is being run?

Avatar image for zmanbarzel
ZmanBarzel

@Thanatos2k: "So if Gamestop doesn't sell "niche" games, are they a store that sells games or not?"

Yes. The grocery store near me doesn't sell every niche food, yet it is still a grocery store. The music store doesn't sell every instrument, yet it is still a music store.

"Plus, if they're always "sold out" of these kind of games, then why don't they order a couple more since they're CLEARLY selling through the copies they do get"

Because why bother ordering a niche item that fans who have been craving said item have purchased elsewhere already in their desire to have it ASAP?

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@zmanbarzel: Electronics Boutique sold those games, because it was a store that sold games and not preorders. They never harassed you to preorder either.

Then my Electronics Boutiques got turned into Gamestops and suddenly the game selection went vastly down, and the reduced variety of game offerings came with no upsides whatsoever. Plus they still clearly carry the products, or they wouldn't have an empty box on the shelves. So there goes that argument.

"Because why bother ordering a niche item that fans who have been craving said item have purchased elsewhere already in their desire to have it ASAP?"

If I'm asking them for it, and they say they don't have any - they lost a sale. Since they're constantly sold out, they're obviously losing sales all over the place because the demand is there. Learn economics before you spout something like this.

Avatar image for edwardnygma
EdwardNygma

@Thanatos2k: I hadn't even HEARD of that game. Is it good?

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@edwardnygma: It's ok. Not that good. Tri Ace tried to make Valkyrie Profile again but made several huge design errors.

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Barighm

@Thanatos2k: Exist Archive? Damn, totally didn't see that coming.

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killafolston

Does my heart good to hear that gamestop is feeling the pain!!!! GREAT NEWS!!!!

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Newagegamersare

The transition from physical to digital are gonna put some game stores out of business... On a brighter note I get to keep my games a lot more instead of trading them in.

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kingjeremy77

I get a discount since I work at Wal-Mart so I buy my games there, unless I'm really lazy then I just go digital. We've got a game stop nearby but I haven't walked in there in almost 2 years. Nearest Best Buy is 40 minutes away so I don't get there very often.

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chiefwiggum16

Sales are hurting because a lot of people, my included are only buying digital....Also Call of Duty blows donkey ass

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bfa1509

Are we supposed to feel sorry for them? Oh boohoo a big corporate lost out on a potential $60 million because some shitty game didn't fool as many people as they wanted.

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Brettsky128

I buy my games at Best Buy. You cannot beat their Gamer's Club. I also haven't really bought that many new games this year. I've bought more 10+ year old games this year than new.

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spartanx169x

@Brettsky128: Agreed. Bestbuy's gamers club is the real deal.

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XCrimsonxSynX

Digital sales are going to hurt as well. Bought more digitally this year than any other year.

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BabeNewelll

I don't see the rush and to hell with pre-ording anything , can shove your bonuses where the sun don't shine.