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CoD Elite sells 600k at GameStop, becomes top 10 title

Retailer not seeing drop off of new release sales in Q4

US retailer GameStop has sold over 600,000 subscriptions to Activision's Call of Duty Elite service to date, making it one of the top ten launches for the year.

Speaking during a conference call for investors, president Tony Bartel said the retailer is successfully pre-selling digital content ahead of release, in much the same way it sells pre-orders on boxed games.

"By integrating downloadable content into our pre-sell programs on major title launches, we are driving significant incremental purchase of downloadable content. We are averaging double-digit attach of the sale of downloadable content with recent major releases.

"In the case of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, we work closely with Activision, Sony and Microsoft to pre-order and deliver nearly 600,000 instances of the Modern Warfare 3 Elite DLC

"This places the launch of Elite as one of our top 10 launches of the year so far. We have found that consumer demand for downloadable content is very strong at the point of launch and our ability to pre-sell and deliver in real-time to a PowerUp Reward member's digital locker gives us a unique competitive advantage."

The company also shed some light on why sales of new releases were below expectations in the third quarter, suggesting that consumers were overwhelmed with the quality and unable to buy new titles each week.

"We had expectations for stronger sales due to the great title line-up and record reservations," offered Bartel. "But we found that consumers were unable to fund the products that they wanted as these strong titles rolled out week after week."

Games which performed for GameStop during Q3 included Battlefield 3, Madden NFL 12, Batman Arkham City and Dead Island.

But the retailer noted that it has not yet seen the trend repeated in the fourth quarter, with new releases continuing to sell well after launch week.

"As we head into the fourth quarter, we are pleased with the performance of Activision's Call of Duty, Modern Warcraft 3, Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed Revelations, THQ's Saints Row 3 and Microsoft's Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, all of which met our very high expectations.

"Recent launches are strong and we are not seeing new titles falling off."

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Latest comments (10)

Christian Flodihn Title Engineer, DemonWare5 years ago
I think "Call of Duty, Modern Warcraft 3" should be "Call of Duty, Modern Warfare 3".
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Adam Campbell Producer, Hopster5 years ago
This isn't exactly promising..
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Graham Simpson Tea boy, Collins Stewart5 years ago
I think this is excellent. There are two things going on here. First DLC sales are still small compared to the numbers of a game sold. So GameStop selling at point of sale are reaching many people who would not normally buy DLC or a subscription in the first place. It's a beautiful upsell. Secondly the success of Elite so far is clearly because people have done the maths. A subscription gets you 4 maps packs + other DLC and all the extras and works out cheaper than paying for 4 map packs individually.

Furthermore by taking out a subscription the gamer is clearly making a commitment to the title for the next 12 months. Even if you stop playing for a while when you get the email that new DLC/goodies are out (technically already prepaid) you'll be back on the CoD ride again.
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Show all comments (10)
Dustin Sparks Interactive Developer / Gaming Blogger 5 years ago
"Our stuff was so good that nobody could buy it" ... "suggesting that consumers were overwhelmed with the quality and unable to buy new titles each week"
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Christopher Garratty Associate Counsel, Activision Blizzard5 years ago
@Dustin: This is clearly a reference to the number of other AAA titles releasing prior to CoD including Uncharted 3, BF3 and Arkham City. Not that people were so awestruck by MW3 that they literally fumbled their wallet in an effort to buy the thing.
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Wayne Gibson UK Marketing Manager for GameKrib.com 5 years ago
Just wait till they make it so you have to purchase this to play in future installments and other companies will follow suit. My worry is whether this method of pre payment will lead to a drop in quality of DLC as companies know they have already got your money and are more willing to rush a mediocre product out just to meet it's 3-4 yearly DLC's that you have paid for.
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Bernard Parker Studying game design, Full Sail University5 years ago
More jobs for the industry? I guess that's the only upside to this.
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Andrew Clayton QA Weapons Tester, Electronic Arts5 years ago
I've taken a look at the benefits of CoD:Elite and concluded that some people will pay for anything.
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Daniel Vardy Studying HND IT, De Montfort University5 years ago
I preferred the days when DLC was called an Expansion Pack and added something meaningful to a game.
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Contescu Teodor Web Developer, UTI Grup5 years ago
Unfortunately the GameStop officials are right. And yes, i see this as a downside for the gaming industry. Piracy will grow this way, until the developers of AAA titles start collaborating into releasing their games not only in a single period of the year. Also the developers should have in mind the financial posibilities of the gamers/users in these financially troubled times.
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