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

3 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:

Name

Product URL

Category Rank (Average)

Name (Count)

Marvel's Spider-Man (PS4)

http://www.gamestop.com/ps4/games/marvels-spider-man/131620

9.0

27

NBA 2K19 20th Anniversary Edition (PS4)

http://www.gamestop.com/ps4/games/nba-2k19-20th-anniversary-edition/164172

12.8

27

NBA 2K19 (PS4)

http://www.gamestop.com/ps4/games/nba-2k19/164167

20.6

27

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (PS4)

http://www.gamestop.com/ps4/games/call-of-duty-black-ops-4/159650

23.1

27

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

http://www.gamestop.com/ps4/games/red-dead-redemption-2-ultimate-edition-only-at-gamestop/162935

28.0

27

NBA 2K19 20th Anniversary Edition (Xbox One)

http://www.gamestop.com/xbox-one/games/nba-2k19-20th-anniversary-edition/164171

28.8

27

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

http://www.gamestop.com/ps4/games/resident-evil-2-collectors-edition-only-at-gamestop/164243

30.5

27

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (Xbox One)

http://www.gamestop.com/xbox-one/games/call-of-duty-black-ops-4/159649

33.7

27

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Nintendo Switch)

http://www.gamestop.com/nintendo-switch/games/super-smash-bros-ultimate/159620

34.2

27

Red Dead Redemption 2 (PS4)

http://www.gamestop.com/ps4/games/red-dead-redemption-2/138091

44.3

27

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.

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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