Home Gaming GameStop attributes poor sales to Star Wars and Halo performing “below expectations”

GameStop attributes poor sales to Star Wars and Halo performing “below expectations”

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Star Wars Vader

GameStop has posted some rather sluggish sales data. While they are expecting some big pick ups thanks to Black Friday and other holiday shopping, they named and shamed three games in particular that sold under projected amounts and resulted in lower figures for the retail giant. Those three games were: Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Star Wars Battlefront and Halo 5: Guardians.

Most of the attention in the investor call was given to Battlefront and Halo. EA was convinced that Battlefront would sell 13 million units by the end of March 2016. While GameStop COO Tony Bartel wouldn’t give specific sales info, he explained:

We had high expectations that diminished somewhat as it got closer, and then it failed to hit those lowered expectations.

That situation is expected to change, though, once The Force Awakens releases in December. The movie should reignite some passion in the franchise among more casual gamers, resulting in an increase in movement of units. However, it’s GameStop’s assessment of the Halo launch that is rather amusing.

We already pointed out that claiming Halo 5’s launch was worth $400 million was a bit disingenuous seeing as that number included console bundles sold as well. Bartel takes this a step further and pushes the attention back to Microsoft themselves:

In the past, we know that certain publishers and platform holders have reported sell-in and some have even reported sell-in at retail. I’m not saying that that’s happened in this case, but that has happened in the past. And so I think I would definitely go back and talk to Microsoft about their announcement, as they are the only ones who can comment on that.

Second, they definitely understand exactly what their digital percentage was. They know exactly what they sold and they know exactly what was sold digitally. So again, I would encourage you to go back and ask Microsoft to disclose that number.

But again, we talk with platform holders and publishers constantly. We have again this quarter. And we are in full understanding and in full belief that there is no game that was launched this quarter that was materially above a normal digital percent at launch.

I wonder who is really to blame in these situations, though. GameStop has been at this for many years and must know about the difference between hype and actual sales. However, I’m not sure who would have predicted the less than stellar launch of Battlefront (other than Gavin, of course) and Halo. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate was pretty obviously going to struggle thanks to the franchise’ issues last year, so I’m curious why they projected such high sales figures. At least games like Black Ops III and Fallout 4 met expectations, but I’m wondering if the publishers aren’t being wholly up front with GameStop about expected sales figures, or if the retailer is just underestimating the impact of digital sales and poor Beta performances.

Last Updated: November 25, 2015

89 Comments

  1. oVg

    November 25, 2015 at 12:34

    Poor sales due to 5 games this year that require more than 100hours to complete. Hell, I think Im sorted for 2016. The only planned purchase for the next year will be Uncharted 4. 2017 January will be the deluxe edition of Rise of the Tomb Raider πŸ˜›

    Reply

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      November 25, 2015 at 12:45

      Thank you kind sir! But we need graphs! GRAPHS!!! πŸ˜€

      Reply

      • oVg

        November 25, 2015 at 12:51

        Here you go. Remember, Crystal Dynamics was asked why they are releasing TR on the same day as Fallout 4. The response was that the people who play Fallout 4 are different gamers to Tomb Raider fans. Fallout is for a small minority of gamers πŸ˜› check graph, even porn took a hit. Marketing noooooooooobs.

        Reply

        • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

          November 25, 2015 at 12:52

          Muahahahaha Crystal Dynamics fails at marketing!

          Reply

          • oVg

            November 25, 2015 at 12:55

            evil laugh.

          • WitWolfy

            November 25, 2015 at 15:19

            Or they were like me.. Too busy enjoying the game to game ask stupid questions on a pornsite about it… Damn kids…

    • Captain JJ never changes

      November 25, 2015 at 13:02

      Well, exclusives aside, based on it being five games that’s like R2,800 worth of games for pc gamers. ;P
      But still W3 > F4
      Come at me bro πŸ˜‰

      Reply

      • oVg

        November 25, 2015 at 13:04

        HEAD 95%… VATS X4 + CRITICAL HIT, Accept πŸ˜›

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          November 25, 2015 at 13:04

          This

          Reply

        • Captain JJ never changes

          November 25, 2015 at 13:05

          JJ uses Quen
          Critical Hit ineffective.

          Reply

          • Hammersteyn

            November 25, 2015 at 13:05

            Nuh uh, because he used the Fatman which cause a mini nuclear explosion

          • Captain JJ never changes

            November 25, 2015 at 13:06

            Pfff. Please. Magic beats hardware.
            Besides, my beard just grew two inches while OVG was trying to reload his weapon.

          • Hammersteyn

            November 25, 2015 at 13:10

            And he died of old age waiting for you to get close enough with that bugged horse

          • Captain JJ never changes

            November 25, 2015 at 13:11

            LOL
            That’s because my horse tripped over his dog that was clipping through the floor! πŸ˜€

          • Hammersteyn

            November 25, 2015 at 13:12

            hahahaha

          • Captain JJ never changes

            November 25, 2015 at 13:12

            XD

          • oVg

            November 25, 2015 at 13:07

            Meanwhile little unseen mine underneath you creates a new black hole.

            I fcking hate those things.

          • Captain JJ never changes

            November 25, 2015 at 13:09

            Haha. Man, when I hear that peep it’s just: Hold left analogue forward and down…yelling f@ck f@ck f@ck!!

          • oVg

            November 25, 2015 at 13:10

            Especially when you play like me. I loot EVERYTHING Im always over cumbered. BEEP BEEP BEEP Oh FUCK… BOOOOOOOM 2 stims later BEEP BEEP BEEP

          • Hammersteyn

            November 25, 2015 at 13:12

            Just where does the gear get stored on the dog O_o

          • Captain JJ never changes

            November 25, 2015 at 13:12

          • Hammersteyn

            November 25, 2015 at 13:13

            BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

          • Captain JJ never changes

            November 25, 2015 at 13:13

            Wait, I have one for the dog clipping too….

            http://i.imgur.com/HQCbqvp.png

          • Hammersteyn

            November 25, 2015 at 13:14

            I had that on an elevator ride. This woman called piper kept spazzing out in the floor

          • Captain JJ never changes

            November 25, 2015 at 13:14

            My dog always gets caught in the elevator doors….or you know…just gets left behind right outside it.

          • Captain JJ never changes

            November 25, 2015 at 13:12

            Haha. Yes, I do really carry a lot of stuff around.
            Then when it comes to armour crafting…screw mods…POCKETED!

          • Captain JJ never changes

            November 25, 2015 at 13:19

    • Francois Knoetze

      November 25, 2015 at 14:18

      yeah my backlog is most of these, Bloodborne, Witcher 3 and MGS V still need to be played. THE STRUGGLE IS REAL!!

      Reply

    • WitWolfy

      November 25, 2015 at 15:12

      “MGSV = 200hours”

      I LOLed at that.. Compare that 200HRs to Witcher 3’s 200HRs.. Night and day…

      Reply

      • oVg

        November 25, 2015 at 15:25

        eish πŸ˜›

        Reply

  2. Alien Emperor Trevor

    November 25, 2015 at 12:41

    You get overly optimistic sales predictions when you start believing your own hype and don’t know what’s happening outside your bubble.

    Reply

    • oVg

      November 25, 2015 at 12:47

      Its also very hard to predict these things these days. Peoples trends seem to be all over the place. The market is fully saturated. Tough times. The only real work model that seems to work is to listen to fan feedback. But non of them do.

      As for CD Projekt Red, they made a game that gamers wanted to play. WINNERS of 2015.

      Reply

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        November 25, 2015 at 13:07

        People need to remember games aren’t essential, they’re entertainment. You buy them with disposable income. Shit like food, petrol & rent is way more important. The world’s economy is in the toilet and rich fuckers aren’t buying twenty copies each to make up for all the poors who’ve had to start being a bit more discerning with how they spend their money. Tie that up with all the stupid broken games publishers flush out & it’s obvious why sales are down.

        Reply

  3. Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    November 25, 2015 at 12:46

    Banana’s Rule # 112 Take Microsoft’s PR talk with a heap of salt… (Never trust the lies)

    Reply

    • oVg

      November 25, 2015 at 12:47

      Never flip the switch.

      Reply

      • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

        November 25, 2015 at 12:48

        The cloud is a lie!

        Reply

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          November 25, 2015 at 12:49

          ARE YOU A METEOROLOGIST?!

          Reply

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            November 25, 2015 at 12:50

            CLOSE! I AM A GOOGLIOLOGIST!

          • Hammersteyn

            November 25, 2015 at 12:53

            Too bad. A microsoftbiologist would be able to determine the sales figures

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            November 25, 2015 at 12:54

            Through thumbsuckery and osmosis?

          • Hammersteyn

            November 25, 2015 at 12:54

            Through a microscope

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            November 25, 2015 at 12:55

            I would have thought they used a colonoscope….

          • Hammersteyn

            November 25, 2015 at 12:56

            hue hue hue

      • WitWolfy

        November 25, 2015 at 15:22

        ZING!

        Reply

  4. K1FF J1MB0B (sizzle edition)

    November 25, 2015 at 12:52

    That 400 mil which MS was touting for Halo was obviously the shipped to retail figure and not sold through.. that is clear as day.

    Reply

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      November 25, 2015 at 12:53

      To their defence though, once they ship to retailers, that money goes into their coffers, whether the retailers manage to sell anything is a completely different matter altogether.

      Holy crap… did I just defend Microballs? Wait, I need to go lie down, maybe I’m getting the flu….?

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn

        November 25, 2015 at 12:55

        SYNTH! I CALL SYNTH!

        Reply

        • oVg

          November 25, 2015 at 12:58

          Quick, give him the G.O.A.T.

          Reply

      • K1FF J1MB0B (sizzle edition)

        November 25, 2015 at 12:55

        True, but its hardly an accurate metric for gauging how successful a game is.

        Reply

        • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

          November 25, 2015 at 12:56

          Nah, I agree, and they were definitely “padding the narrative”

          Reply

        • Aries

          November 25, 2015 at 14:26

          and thats what MS was insinuating, that the game was successful

          Reply

          • K1FF J1MB0B (sizzle edition)

            November 25, 2015 at 15:02

            Obviously below expectations though, so perhaps not as successful as what they are insinuating. No one doubts that game was a financial success though.

      • oVg

        November 25, 2015 at 12:57

        Stop making sense.

        Reply

        • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

          November 25, 2015 at 12:58

          What’s wrong with me? I need to go on a Tauriq Moosa rant again…. just to balance it all out.

          Reply

  5. Hammersteyn

    November 25, 2015 at 12:52

    ” The movie should reignite some passion in the franchise among more casual gamers” till they play the game for an hour or two and trade it the next day

    Reply

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      November 25, 2015 at 12:54

      lol!

      Reply

      • Darren Peach

        November 25, 2015 at 13:46

        Yep, My copy is definitely helping towards my next purchase, Maybe Just Cause 3.

        Reply

  6. B3ware_za

    November 25, 2015 at 12:55

    Maybe don’t release broken games at launch? Surely this is one of the reasons for slow sales on their new titles.

    Reply

    • oVg

      November 25, 2015 at 12:56

      good point. Trust issues. Especially when one pays top dollar.

      Reply

      • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

        November 25, 2015 at 12:57

        This isn’t the first time Dice released a broken game. In the last 3 years, they’ve managed to surprise no one with a broken game at release every… single… time

        Reply

        • oVg

          November 25, 2015 at 13:09

          People forget quickly.

          Reply

    • Captain JJ never changes

      November 25, 2015 at 13:10

      The next WB title is also going to have reduced pc sales thanks to what happened with Arkham Knight. I know I definitely won’t buy it at release, no matter what it is.

      Reply

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        November 25, 2015 at 13:13

        Thanks to AK, WB have joined EA on my shit list now. Fuck ’em & all their games.

        Reply

        • Captain JJ never changes

          November 25, 2015 at 13:14

          Ubi has been trying really hard with pc lately.
          Pity Uplay is still there.

          Reply

          • Hammersteyn

            November 25, 2015 at 13:14

            *Uclub
            Then again, it’s the same thing

          • Captain JJ never changes

            November 25, 2015 at 13:15

            I think the accounts are Uclub, because the client is still Uplay.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            November 25, 2015 at 13:15

            It’s Uclub now, it’s all better. ;P

          • Captain JJ never changes

            November 25, 2015 at 13:15

            TOTALLY DIFFERENT! πŸ˜€

          • Captain JJ never changes

            November 25, 2015 at 13:17

            Seriously though. I play a lot of The Crew, which is always online, and the only problems I’ve found is with the game itself (like how after the update half of the keys cannot be changed). Everything else runs perfectly smooth.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            November 25, 2015 at 13:22

            Yeah, it generally works fine. It’s more a nuisance than anything else – like all these stupid tacked-on clients.

          • Captain JJ never changes

            November 25, 2015 at 13:30

            My issue is that if you buy a game on Steam you shouldn’t need uPlay also. It pisses me off.
            But I like having my games on Steam…so I end up just not buying the Ubi game because it’s too much hassle.
            I am yet to open Origin since I last formatted. I installed it, then just never actually opened it.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            November 25, 2015 at 13:36

            Some days jumping through hoops in order to play my games is more irritating than others.

    • Hammersteyn

      November 25, 2015 at 13:11

      It seems like that would be obvious to them… apparently not

      Reply

  7. Hammersteyn

    November 25, 2015 at 12:58

    Why release Battefront before the movie is out? Is there something about the movie we should know?

    Reply

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      November 25, 2015 at 12:59

      Han shot first….

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn

        November 25, 2015 at 13:02

        Mickey makes a cameo with Jar jar

        Reply

        • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

          November 25, 2015 at 13:03

          Plot Twist: Luke Skywalker is actually Jar Jar’s son! And the Episodes IV, V and VI were all a dream

          Reply

  8. EmmanuelKShannon

    November 25, 2015 at 13:00

    Halo failed because once reviews came out and people went to sources they came up with their own views for the game I know I did my opinion was called HAH

    Assassins Creed failed because the brand is tainted, no matter how many people point out that it’s actually kind of good I know I don’t care because I no longer trust the brand ( i’ll pick it up probably when it drops under 30 bucks or they have that sad 20 bucks sale to get rid of copies like with unity lol)

    Star Wars failed thanks to that beta so many people were hyped for that game and then they played the beta and their star wars boner went flaccid. This is my opinion and what I’ve seen with other so don’t judge me too hard.

    Reply

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      November 25, 2015 at 13:02

      “Star Wars failed thanks to that beta so many people were hyped for that game and then they played the beta and their star wars boner went flacid”.

      Your words are wise, young padawan! Please take this upvote!

      Reply

    • Darren Peach

      November 25, 2015 at 13:48

      Assassins Creed is weird cause of the Pseudo time travel mechanic that is lame.

      Reply

  9. Ryanza

    November 25, 2015 at 13:04

    I blame the digital sale peasants.

    Reply

  10. Francois Knoetze

    November 25, 2015 at 15:04

    Ok in all fairness the Halo 5 campaign isn’t as great as I expected. Its still a decent game though and will probably finish the main story tonight. then its off to the Multiplayer

    Reply

  11. WitWolfy

    November 25, 2015 at 15:11

    QUESTION!!! If these games sold so poorly, then why the hell do the trophy percentages tell a different story?

    “Below expectations”

    Reply

  12. JuneMas

    November 25, 2015 at 19:10

    Gamestop acts like these games are exclusive to its stores. I have no family or friends that shop at Gamestop. I buy anywhere but there. Last time i bought anything was the Lunar White controller which if I had a choice I wouldn’t have had too.

    Reply

  13. ZA Ludomusicologist

    November 25, 2015 at 21:05

    I’m… I’m kinda over Halo. New Franchise please! Over Assassin’s Creed as well. C’est la vie!

    Reply

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