Activision Claims Industry-Wide Decline in Pre-Orders
One of the biggest video game publishers in the world has said that pre-orders are down across the board, including some of its own franchises.
CVG reports that the CEO of Activision Publishing, Eric Hirshberg, told investors during a conference call that there is a "secular downturn" in pre-order sales, and that there are multiple reasons for this decrease. On the other hand, Hirshberg also mentioned that Destiny's pre-orders are breaking many of Activision's previous records, with certain big name retailers being unable to keep up with its sheer number of reserved copies, especially in regards to its special Limited and Ghost Editions.
"It's important to just sort of reset expectations as it relates to pre-orders overall," Hirshberg said. "You guys [investors and analysts] can see the same thing we see industry-wide, that there's been sort of a secular downturn as it relates to pre-orders.
"We think that's happening due to a number of factors, things like increased digital consumption, particularly on the next-gen consoles, titles being widely available on day one and the decline overall for demand on previous-gen consoles."
Hirshberg claims that Destiny's pre-orders are on the way to making it the most successful new IP to ever debut under Activision. He also reassured Activision's investors that pre-orders aren't the only way to measure the potential of its franchises.
We speculate that PC gaming and next-gen digital downloads play major roles in this decline in pre-orders. Also, having games available at most major retailer chains (Walmart, Target, Amazon, etc.), kills the idea that buyers "must have pre-ordered" a game in order to get it on its launch date. Of course, this might all change once GameStop starts expanding its pre-order incentives.