Leading U.S.-based specialty video game retailer GameStop said Friday that it is opening 4,400 of its stores at midnight next Tuesday for the launch of Activision and Treyarch's Call of Duty: Black Ops
GameStop said that this is the most stores it will have ever opened for any midnight game launch. Worldwide, Grapevine, TX-based GameStop has over 6,500 stores. The game releases on November 9.
Activision expects the military-themed Call of Duty: Black Ops
to be the biggest entertainment launch of the year. Analyst Doug Creutz with Cowen recently raised sales forceasts
for the title to 14.4 million units, up from previous estimates of 13.7 million.
Creutz' new estimates are still 10 percent down from actual sales of last November's Infinity Ward-developed Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
, also published by Activision.
Nevertheless, GameStop execs are counting on Call of Duty: Black Ops
to be a top sales performer for the holidays. "We anticipate Call of Duty: Black Ops
will not only be the biggest video game event of the year, but the biggest launch in GameStop's history," said Bob McKenzie, SVP of merchandising for the retailer, which generated over $9 billion in sales last fiscal year.
GameStop will kick off nationwide store events at 9:30 p.m. on Monday, allowing customers to see the game just prior to launch, and participate in a camouflage face-painting and Call of Duty