GameStop: Call of Duty underperformed, while Pokemon Sun/Moon is best-performing game of 2016

Pikachu and friends did well while Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare underperformed.

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During its earnings call earlier today, GameStop executives admitted that games released in the "last few weeks of October" underperformed, resulting in a decrease in global sales (via GameSpot).

Global sales for GameStop's quarter ending October 29 amounted to $1.96 billion, a 2.8 percent year-over-year decrease. New software sales—meaning titles published within the final weeks of October—fell 8.6 percent.

Executives pointed to Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare as one title that "underperformed." Specific sales numbers were not given.

Other high-profile releases at the end of October include Battlefield 1, Titanfall 2, Skyrim Special Edition, Gears of War 4, and Civilization VI.

Call of Duty's lower-than-expected sales are part of a growing trend—both within the Call of Duty franchise and the general space of triple-A games. Titanfall 2's day-one and week-one sales fell short of expectations, leading EA CF Blake Jorgensen to reassure investors and analysts that "we're building a franchise with Titanfall, so it's not about the first day of sales or the first week of sales, it's about the long run."

(EA and Respawn have since issued contrary statements in regard to the future of the Titanfall franchise. Despite Jorgensen's assertions to the contrary, Respawn CEO Vince Zampella admitted that "we don't know yet" if there will be a Titanfall 3.)

GameStop reported a drop of 6.4 percent in sales of used games, and a 20.6 percent decrease in hardware sales as well.

Executives had some good news to share. Pokemon Sun and Moon became GameStop's best-performing games of 2016. The company pre-sold more copies of those games than any titles in the past five years. Additionally, GameStop said PS4 Pro sales are off to a "strong" start.

Other divisions helped carry GameStop to a profit. The company's Technology Brands saw a rise of 54.4 percent to $216.3 million, while Collectibles enjoyed a 37.3 percent increase, or $109.4 million in revenue.

In total, GameStop reported $50.8 million in profit for the quarter.  

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at davidlcraddock.com and @davidlcraddock.

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