“Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare,” the newest edition of the massively popular video game series, is now available in select Walmart and Best Buy stores around the U.S., one day before it's scheduled to hit shelves at other retailers. The first-person shooter has been available online since August but only in very limited quantities.
This is the first time in “Call of Duty” history that it’s available early, with copies of “Advanced Warfare” on sale at 1,700 of the nearly 5,000 Walmart stores in the U.S. as well as at about 800 Best Buy stores. The launch also coincides with Walmart’s announcement that it will now sell video games in 1,700 of its stores after the mega-chain began encouraging shoppers to trade in their pre-owned games in March.
Analysts predicted that Walmart’s foray into the world of video games would have the same level of success that previous stores have had. Best Buy and Target have similarly tried to attract younger customers by selling video games, only to see those titles largely remain on the shelf while gamers have remained loyal to GameStop at least in part because it offers cash for used games whereas big-box stores do not.
“The typical Walmart shopper buys games as gifts for others or goes there to buy games because they are already in the store,” Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, told USA Today. “My best guess is that Walmart gives up again post-holiday, as they have the last three or four times they have tried this.”