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 ($GME), America's largest video game retailer, were pre-orders for games that aren't even out yet. Here's the list:
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.