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GameStop’s quarterly revenue takes a hit due to weak sales

Although GameStop posted a profit for the FY quarter ending July 30, weak sales of both software and hardware contributed to lower-than-expected revenues.

"As expected, the continued growth and increased profit contribution of our non-physical gaming businesses drove our second quarter results," said GameStop CEO Paul Raines. "Tech Brands sales grew more than 50%, omni-channel sales increased 16%, collectibles sales more than doubled and year-to-date, more than half of GameStop's operating earnings have come from non-physical gaming categories. These new businesses offset a tough quarter for video gaming and prove that our diversification strategy is succeeding."

GameStop declared an overall profit of $27.9 million, an increase from $25.3 million during the same period in 2015. However, its second quarter net sales dropped from $1.76 billion to $1.63 billion, short of analysts' predicted estimate of $1.72 billion.

Two issues likely contributed to those particular drops despite the company's overall profit. First, game launches during summer 2016 were comparatively weaker with launches during summer 2015. That means that the combined might of Doom, Overwatch, and Uncharted 4 couldn't stack up against earnings gleaned from the likes of Batman: Arkham Knight and Elder Scrolls Online.

Second, GameStop attributed its lower-than-expected second quarter results to announcements of PS4 Neo and Xbox Scorpio—the idea being that consumers who know better hardware is coming might wait instead of buying current models. Hardware sales dropped 33 percent to $216.4 million.

It's worth pointing out that Microsoft releases the Xbox One S at the beginning of August, so those sales wouldn't factor into GameStop's quarterly results. Microsoft recently announced "unprecedented demand" for Xbox One S, which might give GameStop a boost in hardware sales in its next quarterly report.

GameStop's loss in physical sales might be digital gaming's gain. Market research firm SuperData revealed that July saw high digital sales across all platforms, including premium and free-to-play MMOs.

Sources: Yahoo FinanceGameSpot

Mortal Kombat XL may be koming to PC

Series kreator Ed Boon, known for dropping teases and hints prior to reveals, sent out a tweet leading many fans to believe Mortal Kombat XL— a game-of-the-year-type bundling MKX and its DLC—will kome to PC sooner rather than later.

"Maybe we should Karry eXtra Long People who Care?" reads his tweet, accompanied by an image of a circuit board. Kombined, the kapitalized letters in his inquiry spell out MKXL PC.

Adding fuel to the fire, SteamDB kontains a listing for MKXL Enhanced Online Beta. The beta is actually available on MKX's Steam page, and will remain up until August 29, next Monday, at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern.

PC players have been waiting for redemption since Mortal Kombat X launched on Steam alongside Xbox One and PS4 versions in April 2015. NetherRealm used a new installation system that was supposed to let players jump into the game after a certain amount of files had been preinstalled. Instead, the system restricted many from installing it at all. Those who managed to get into the game encountered myriad issues from krashes to a patch that erased saved data.

As a result, WB and NetherRealm appeared to declare the PC release a wash. Only one DLC pack was released, while Xbox One and PS4 got a second, as well as MKXL earlier this year.

To make matters worse, MKX was one of two troubled PC ports published by WB in 2015. In June, Batman: Arkham Knight released in nearly as poor a state, leading Rocksteady and WB to eventually pull it from Steam until the fall, when it was re-released with DLC.

PC players dared to get their hopes up last month when Ed Boon ran a Twitter poll asking what fans wanted to see from NetherRealm. A PC version of MKXL took 48 percent of the 10,000+ votes, prompting Boon to respond.

"Looks like you guys really want a PC MKXL and some character love/buffs! We hear ya!"

Hearthstone ‘One Night in Karazhan’ Heroic Guide: The Menagerie

Hearthstone's "One Night in Karazhan" party is going late into the night, as you look for Medivh in his enchanted tower. Completing the regular adventure will net you all the cards, but the real bragging rights come with showing off your Heroic card back. That can only be gained by beating every single boss in Karazhan on the ultra-tough Heroic mode, meant to be taken on by the toughest challengers with the most powerful decks. 

Even if you've got a solid collection of Legendaries, it will probably take some clever deck editing to take down the bosses. We've battled our way through each of the bosses on Heroic, so check out our strategies below, and share your own in Chatty. Remember to set your decks as Wild when you're in the Collection Manager, since Wild decks can be used in Adventure and it opens up your options!

This week, the Menagerie: The Curator, Nightbane, and Terestian Illhoof.


The Curator 

Gallery Protection (Passive): Your hero has Taunt.

The Curator is the toughest boss of this wing, because his passive hero power means that he can throw minions at you that are hard to remove. In this case, your best defense is a good offense, because you need to throw damage at him faster than he can take you down. You simply won't be able to pack enough removal to play a real board control game, so focus instead on maximizing damage.

For this, we recommend an aggressive Zoo-style Warlock deck. That gives you lots of small, sticky minions that will be hard for him to remove. Be sure to pack in Defender of Argus to slow him down, and a Shadowflame for emergency board clears. Other than that, focus on getting lots of Imps on the board with cards like Imp Gang Boss and Implosion, and take advantage of your numbers with Darkshire Councilman.

Recommended Class: Warlock
Recommended Cards: Defender of Argus, Shadowflame, Imp Gang Boss


Nightbane 

Manastorm (Passive): Players start with 10 Mana Crystals.

Nightbane certainly looks intimidating, but he's actually a pushover. Since the Manastorm effect goes for both players, you can easily formulate a deck around big minions, since you're guaranteed to have enough mana to afford them right from the start. Consider packing Y'Shaarj for extra value, and bring Sylvanas Windrunner to steal anything big he might break out. Really, any standard Control deck should be able to handle him just fine. We used our regular N'Zoth Paladin deck, without any edits, and defeated him easily. 

Recommended Class: Paladin
Recommended Cards: Y'Shaarj Rage Unbound, Sylvanas Windrunner, Tirion Fordring

 


Terestian Illhoof 

Dark Pact (Passive): Only Icky Imps can damage Illhoof!

Terestian Illhoof can be pretty tough, since on Heroic mode his Icky Imps get upgraded to 2/2s. That makes them much less vulnerable to area-of-effect spells from classes like Mage and Warrior, and since they constantly regenerate like Dreadsteeds, you can never really clear them. It's easy to get overwhelmed by a board full of Icky Imps that can hit you for up to 14 damage per turn.

So instead of fighting them, bring them over to your side. Cards like Shadow Madness and Cabal Shadow Priest will make them work for you. Since the Deathrattles trigger on your board, you'll get the regenerated Imp from then on. At that point, anytime you use an Icky Imp to beat another Icky Imp, you're doing 4 damage to Illhoof. 

The only problem with this strategy is surviving until you can get it rolling. For that, we recommend packing Deathlords, Power Word: Shields, Flash Heals, and your healing MVP, Priest of the Feast. Plus, bring some mass removal like Holy Nova to do huge damage all at once.

Recommended Class: Priest
Recommended Cards: Shadow Madness, Cabal Shadow Priest, Priest of the Feast