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."