GameStop Blames Poor Sales On Broke Customers Reneging On Preorders

Despite the onslaught of desirable, highly anticipated titles, week after week this fall, GameStop's sales are "lower than expected," the dominant games retailer told investors, simply because there were too many good games out there for customers to buy, especially in a poor economy.

"The quarter presented some challenges in topline, due to a cash-strapped consumer that could not afford all of the good titles released during the quarter," CEO Paul Raines said in an earnings call, according to Gamasutra.

What's worse, GameStop president Tony Bartel said customers put down for preorders on all sorts of games this fall, ranging from Arkham City to Madden 12 to Dead Island, Gears of War 3 and Battlefield 3, but never picked up the game. "We had expectations for strong sales due to the great title lineup and record reservations," Bartel said. "But we found that consumers were unable to fund the products that they wanted, as these strong titles rolled out week after week."

That's the devil you dance with when you're so aggressive about preorders, I guess. It's not surprising then that I've heard through the rank-and-file grapevine that the retailer is de-emphasizing its ubiquitous, often obnoxious upsells and pre-order pitches. It could be because we're coming to the last big week for retail releases, with nothing to really upsell until January. But it may also be that booking those $US5 commitments in better times were more indicative of future sales, where now all it represents is a gamer's wish he can't fulfil.

GameStop: Customers' Wallets Couldn't Keep Up With Strong Release Slate [Gamasutra]


Comments

    Just finished and love Assassin's Creed: Revelations, next up is Batman: Arkham City on the PC. It's weird, but I think I'll be strangely relieved to have a breather for a month or so. I'm sure many of these people who cancelled pre-orders will catch up on the games they missed eventually too.

    So, does that mean they get $5 for nothing?

    Maybe they should up the commitment to $10, or 15% of the price or something.

      Indeed indeed.

    Pasty crotch! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!

    ... or they preordered from GameStop, realised that every other store was cheaper, and bought from them

    "too broke" = another store had it cheaper/broke street date

    Waiting on Chazz to post about how they're a bunch of ingrates who should get a job.

      Colour me confused :S

        http://www.kotaku.com.au/2011/11/frank-miller-makes-odd-gaming-reference-in-off-kilter-anti-occupy-rant/

        You made a crass, judgemental and ignorant post about Occupy Wall Street protesters, then when people tried correcting your misinformation, you went on a spectacularly selfish tangent about how you don't care because it did not inconvenience you, personally. Oh, and you didn't even attempt to refute a single point, and lacked even the humility or compassion to admit error once corrected.

          Ohhh that. I'm sorry. I didn't realise the Occupy movement was such a precious thing to you. Yes it's my fault that I assumed that people who clearly look like they haven't bathed in years let alone wear clothing that most homeless people wouldn't touch are jobless bums with a "the world owes me attitude". It's also my fault that I assumed their protest had no point to it whatsoever. I should completely disregard that everything the Occupy movement stands for will only come about if one can change basic human nature and see their point, not for the simple fact that it's completely ludicrous and childishly naive, but as something much more than that.

          You have my deepest apologies...

          Actually, I'll be honest, that last line is aimed at everyone who comes into this article not expecting political talk but got it because you have a chip on your shoulder.

            Now if you wish to continue this then feel free to contact my backup email at [email protected] Otherwise leave the politics out of it and save it for the appropriate times where articles directly relate to such issues.

            So you're holding a grudge against a person I'm assuming you don't even know because he commented on an article three days ago you disagreed with?

            *Slow clap*
            Well done Steve.

            You just did it again Chazz. I cant believe it.
            You just made another gross generalisation about the people involved in the protests once more.
            Yup every one of them is a dirty hippy, who cant find jobs and feel entitled to things they don't have.
            Your incredibly small knowledge on the subject of the Occupy movement is shocking to say the least and the fact that you actually base insulting opinions on that small amount of knowledge is even worse.

            Go back to that article and read the article I linked, you just might learn something instead of spouting nonsense on a topic you clearly know nothing about.

              wth? I would say that Chazz's "gross generalisation" is spot on. Most people i see from the Occupy movements express how they want more for doing nothing.

              If Chazz saw what he said he saw, how is it a gross generalisation? Please when you critique an others persons opinion could you show evidence to contrary. That is besides that 1 person.

              Further to the point I do not see how the guy in your link is making a reasonable argument. Who is he to demand to take rights from others? I bet he wouldn't like it if people took his home to shelter 50 of the poor.

              You really should have just e-mailed this response to Chazz. Don't keep trying to get the last word on Kotaku, as nobody cares.

                It's ok brah Asuron's one of those idiots who thinks that Smash Bros is a fighting game hahahaha

    Isn't this the same store who were opening sealed packages of some game, I forget which game it was now, and removing some special DLC vouchers and then placing the boxes back on the shelves? Something like that.. maybe it's stuff like that which is the real problem..

      http://www.kotaku.com.au/2011/08/gamestop-pulls-pc-deus-ex-human-revolution-from-shelves-following-onlive-debacle/

      yeh cus u know, advertising a competitors product when you want to be promoting your own product is a smart thing to do.....

    “too broke” = game got panned in early reviews and they bought another title.

      Or like many other people have said. They have a backlog of games not played, why spend money on a new game if you don't have time to play it?

        Or the real reason and the found it cheaper elsewhere.

    Did they actually research why people weren't picking up pre-orders or did they just say "Well, it obviously can't be us, so people must be broke."? It sort of feels like it has "PR-spin" written all over it.

    The whole, "if you don't preorder we may not have any copies left on launch day" is of course going to get more people to pre-order and subsequently not follow through during a busy release period.

    I always put the full money when I pre-order... Just because.

    I wish I reneged on my MW3 pre-order, what a waste of money

    Excessive prices + poor/uneducated customer service + shady practices = decline in sales.
    Sounds like someone's crying foul because people are getting smarter. Just like this Gerry Harvey bulls***.

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