Capping off one of the busiest Novembers in recent years, GameStop has reported that, despite an onslaught of AAA releases, the high-street retailer noted a marked decline in overall revenue and profit – a slump it attributes to Star Wars Battlefront, Halo 5: Guardians and Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate performing worse than expected at retail.
First reported by GameSpot, GameStop CEO Paul Raines revealed to investors and analysts that for the period ending October 31, Syndicate and Guardians failed to reach the threshold that the retail had predicted, while Battlefront – itself launching on November 17 – also missed the company’s mark. It does, however, note DICE’s shooter will enjoy a second boon in sales when Star Wars: The Force Awakens launches next month.
Part and parcel of this slump comes down to the uptake in digital sales. According to Raines, digital sales accounted for a much bigger percentage of the proverbial pie chart than years prior. And while that may be true for both Syndicate and Star Wars Battlefront, industry analyst Doug Creutz of Cowen & Company has taken issue with the figures released for Halo 5: Guardians.
Writing to GameSpot, Creutz notes that the retailer’s forecast may not be entirely accurate.
“We especially have a hard time believing that Halo 5 digital units remain in the 20-25% range, as GameStop management suggested on the call. GameStop gave some other potential reasons for the disconnect between NPD data and Microsoft’s post-launch press release, but we don’t believe they are sufficient to explain the size of the gap. Industry sources support our belief that Halo 5 digital sales were much closer to half of units than the 20-25% GameStop is suggesting.”
Star Wars Battlefront, meanwhile, is available now across all platforms, and to get the skinny on DICE’s licensed title, check out our glowing review.