The future of game sales: GameStop's top-selling games of August were all pre-orders

9 months ago by Joshua Fruhlinger in News

In previous months, we've seen Nintendo titles dominate sales-rank lists at GameStop. But last month, as we head into a fall season with blockbuster holiday releases coming into view, pre-orders took over the market. 

In fact, every single one of the top-10 ranking (by sales rank) games in August at GameStop ($NYSE:GME), America's largest video game retailer, were pre-orders for games that aren't even out yet. Here's the list:


Product URL

Category Rank (Average)

Name (Count)

Marvel's Spider-Man (PS4)



NBA 2K19 20th Anniversary Edition (PS4)



NBA 2K19 (PS4)



Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (PS4)



Red Dead Redemption 2 Ultimate Edition - Only at GameStop (PS4)



NBA 2K19 20th Anniversary Edition (Xbox One)



Resident Evil 2 Collector's Edition - Only at GameStop (PS4)



Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (Xbox One)



Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Nintendo Switch)



Red Dead Redemption 2 (PS4)



Marvel's Spider Man, a new PS4 exclusive title from acclaimed developer Insomniac (Ratchet & Clank, Sunset Overdrive) was the top-ranked game for virtually every day in August (the full list of over 38,000 GameStop skus can be found here). Multiple iterations of NBA 2K19 also graced the list, with a $99 Anniversary Edition for PS4 hitting the second-highest ranking game of the month (on average). This game, from 2K Games, comes out on September 7 for those who pre-order the game or September 11 for those who didn't.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, the latest iteration of the massively popular first-person-shooter from Activision and Treyarch, took two spots in August's top-10 ranking games, with the PS4 version taking spot #4 and the Xbox One version grabbing the 8th. It comes out on October 12.

Rockstar Games, of the Grand Theft Auto franchise, will release its much-anticipated sequel to Red Dead Redemption, Red Dead Redemption 2, on October 26. It's already a top-10 seller at GameStop, taking spot 5 with its $99 Ultimate Edition for PS4.

Rounding out the list are two more pre-orders. One of which, Resident Evil 2 Collector's Edition, is a $199 remake of a classic survival horror game. It comes out January 25, 2019. The other, in the #9 spot. is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the only title for the Nintendo Switch.

It's no secret that GameStop pushes pre-orders to customers; when its "Circle of Life" policy to rank employee productivity was put under fire and changed, it was revealed that one metric they use to gauge store success is pre-order sales. It also often sells out of copies on release day due to this practice. But perhaps August is a fluke, as dozens of fall and holiday-release games showed up in GameStop's product databases.

We'll keep an eye on this trend as usual.

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Joshua Fruhlinger

Joshua has been writing about technology, lifestyle, and business for over 20 years. He's one of the original writers and editors for Engadget, and still writes a...

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