In previous posts I have asked Can Gamestop Survive and called Gamestop the IBM of Retail. This past week, an NPD report came out stating that retail video game sales declined 3% year over year in October. This result was despite a number of high profile games like Halo 5 and NBA 2K16 being released. Cowen analyst Doug Cruetz had expected a 34% increase and had the following to say:
"'Halo 5' sold less than half of the units we were modeling, accounting for almost half the miss in our overall number," Creutz said. "Since Microsoft has already announced that 'Halo 5' is the fastest-selling 'Halo' title of all time, and even allowing for some variance in release date timing and such, this suggests to us that at least half of 'Halo 5''s non-bundled unit sales were digital."
Might this holiday season be the inflection point for digital downloads we have been anticipating? It will be interesting to see the digital vs. physical sales of Activision's latest Call of Duty and the upcoming Star Wars: Battlefront from EA. One thing is for sure, the more digital downloads, the better for publishers and worse for Gamestop and retailers.