GameStop: Sandy 'had no impact' on Assassin's Creed III launch

President Tony Bartel says megastorm's wrath only minimally affected sales, despite hundreds of stores being closed entirely for more than a day; six shops remain closed.

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Hurricane Sandy slammed the United States' East Coast the week that Assassin's Creed III launched in late October, knocking "hundreds" of GameStop stores out of power. However, this, as well as GameStop's cancellation of all midnight launch events in the region, did not hurt initial launch sales, the company said today.

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"Clearly, having a major storm hit on the launch date of one of your largest titles is not what we would have predicted," GameStop president Tony Bartel said today in a postearnings financial call. "However, we had heroic efforts on the parts of our associates."

Bartel added that GameStop was able to open some stores again the very next morning, and in some cases before its competitors. As a result, GameStop was able to "minimize the loss significantly," and in fact, the game broke initial launch sales records at the retailer, he said.

The executive added that the majority of GameStop locations in the affected areas were brought back online within two days. Currently, just six GameStop establishments remain closed.

"To a certain extent, we really mitigated what could have been a very disastrous event. And it really had no impact on our sales," Bartel said.

First-week sales of Assassin's Creed III hit 3.5 million, rising 100 percent over comparable sales of Assassin's Creed: Revelations in 2011.

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