GameStop: Star Wars Battlefront, Halo 5, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate All Sold Below Expectations

Retailer GameStop has reported a "challenging" fiscal quarter as sales of Star Wars Battlefront, Assassin's Creed Syndicate, and Halo 5: Guardians were all below the company's expectations. 

Seeking Alpha's transcript of last night's Q3 2015 earnings call reveals that CEO Julian Raines explained that "the quarter was challenging due to underperformance of Halo and Assassin's Creed late in the quarter and lack of sales acceleration from hardware price cuts during the quarter."

COO Tony Bartel later noted that "EA's Star Wars Battlefront fell short of expectations" as well.

"[W]e're not going to quantify it in actual number," Bartel commented in relation to Battlefront sales. "But we had high expectations that diminished somewhat as it got closer, and then it failed to hit those lowered expectations."

Despite the "slow start" GameStop says it expects DICE's shooter to be "one of the strongest titles for the holiday season" with the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens next month. Publisher EA increased its sales projections for the game from 10 million to 13 million by March 2016 ahead of release but reviews were likely less favourable than anticipated. 

GameStop also dismissed claims Halo 5 sold better digitally than most games, noting that its "research indicates it performed at about the same level as other titles".

Bartel added GameStop is "in full understanding and in full belief that there is no game that was launched this quarter that was materially above a normal digital percent at launch."

Microsoft has said that Halo 5 "made history as the biggest Halo launch and fastest-selling Xbox One exclusive game to-date, with more than $400 million in global sales of Halo 5: Guardians games and hardware."

Assassin's Creed Syndicate performed poorly compared to last year's Unity, with publisher Ubisoft admitting mistakes made with that game discouraged sales of Syndicate. However, week two sales saw an improvement and Ubisoft expects strong word of mouth to boost the game's long term performance.

Bartel also noted that both Fallout 4 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 met GameStop's initial projections.