It’s good news for the game industry, but somewhat bad news for the retail chain GameStop when it comes to the report of holiday video game sales.
The retailer revealed its sales stats for the holiday season, ending January 3rd, 2015, and showed that new software sales showed a healthy increase of 5.8 percent, while PlayStation 4 and Xbox One bounced up over 94 percent in sales, according to GamesIndustry International. Games like Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Grand Theft Auto V and Far Cry 4 easily led the charge, with total global sales for the company during the holiday season reaching an incredible $2.94 billion – although it was a 6.7 percent decrease compared to the 2013 holiday sales period.
GameStop believes this drop was due to the negative impact from foreign currency exchange rates, and also showed comparable store sales decreasing by 3.1 percent, a balance between the 3.3 percent lost in U.S. stores and 2.7 percent lost overseas).
In pre-owned games, sales dropped 1.3 percent, but mobile and consumer electronics rose a whopping 28 percent. Non-GAAP digital receipts also rose 42.8 percent, to $296.6 million. That’s a 50 percent growth over the previous year, showing clear signs that digital based games are here to stay.
Said Paul Raines, chief executive officer for the company, “During the holiday period, consumer demand for video games was strong, resulting in new software sales growth. We expect that trend to continue into the first quarter. Overall, each of our business units performed well giving us positive momentum as we look toward 2015.”
With the news, however, GameStop has already seen an earnings per share increase, going from $2.08 to $2.24, and $3.40 to $3.55 for the full year. The company does expect sales to be down a bit for this year. The market responded positively to GameStop’s news, boosting its share price by over 10 percent for the day.
Bottom line, it looks like this year waned a bit compared to 2013 because of the lack of big system launches, since PS4 and Xbox One launched around November, marking huge sales for the company. However, with 2015 – and a number of premium releases coming to the market – GameStop should have no trouble sustaining business and getting back to posting sales increases.