Monthly Archives: May 2012

US retailer sees digital, mobile revenues rise, but not enough to offset dipping total sales and profit; Guild Wars 2 won’t ship until after July.
GameStop’s mobile and digital businesses are growing, but not enough to make up for a shrinking market for packaged games, the company revealed today as part of its latest financial report.

Digital and mobile sales were bright spots on GameStop’s spreadsheet.
The company did not provide a specific figure for digital sales, but noted this sector was up 23 percent year-over year, while mobile raked in $12 million for the period.

In all, for the three months ended April 28, GameStop posted total global sales of $2 billion, down 12.2 percent from the $2.28 billion recorded during the same time last year. Net income for the period hit $72.5 million, a dip from the $80.4 million notched a year ago.

New game software was the biggest contributor to GameStop’s bottom line during the period, accounting for $731.1 million and 36.5 percent of total sales. The next most significant contributor was used software and hardware sales, which accounted for 30.9 percent of total revenue, or $619 million. New game hardware sales for the period hit $348.6 million, and made up 17.4 percent of total revenue. GameStop’s “other” category, which houses its digital and mobile businesses, accounted for the smallest piece of the pie, representing 15.2 percent of total sales with a haul of $303.5 million.

Looking to its current fiscal quarter, GameStop said it expects store sales to fall 11 percent to 5 percent, with full-year revenue expected to range from down 5 percent to flat. Additionally, in a postearnings financial call, CFO Robert Lloyd revealed that ArenaNet’s long-awaited massively multiplayer online role-playing game Guild Wars 2 has slipped out of the company’s current quarter, meaning it is now expected to arrive sometime after July.

Guild Wars 2 has plenty of fantasy tropes we’ve all come to expect in an MMORPG, but it’s also laced with steam punk elements. Smoke-churning machines hum alongside spell casting wizards and shamans, giving GW2 a vibe that distinguishes it from its peers.

The engineer class exemplifies this combination of machines and magic. Alongside potions, which they can use to boost stats and gain health, they have an arsenal of weaponry that rides the line between modern and arcane. Turrets blast incoming enemies with missiles or bullets, while the engineer arms themselves with a wrench, pistols, rifles, and more.

Watch an engineer commentary video

If you enjoy playing melee-centric classes, the engineer isn’t for you. Starting off with pistols, you quickly learn that a good engineer keeps out of reach as much as possible. The engineer works particularly well with a tank, dishing out damage while someone with a bit more armor and health takes it on the chin. If someone does get close, the engineer can always knock them back or use Slot Skills — unlocked at later levels — like Rocket Boots to blast away from them. Most weapons also have some sort of ability that locks the enemy in place, such as the rifles’ Net Shot, which wraps them in rope.

The array of Slot Skills available to the engineer insures that you can play them in a variety of ways. If you want to be more of a tinkerer you can equip a number of turrets. For instance you could deploy a Rocket Turret to deal damage, a Net Turret to lock enemies in place and a Healing Turret to keep you in the fight. All of the turrets have whirring cranks and bronze bands on them, helping them stay consistent with the Steampunk aesthetic.

The engineer also gets a number of Skill Slot abilities that allow them to equip entirely new weapons (and change their weapon abilities as well). There’s the Flamethrower, which can set opponents on fire as well as blast them away when things get hairy or the Elixir Gun, which can damage opponents in an area as well as give allies buffs and heals. Additional weapons like grenades and mines help to make the engineer a versatile class that can be useful in a wide array of encounters.

Elite Skills, which are unlocked once you hit 30, give the engineer some oomph on the battlefield. For instance the engineer can call down supply drops from the sky, dealing damage with the initial hit and then deploying bandages and turrets. Or you could just use the engineer to deal a ton of damage, dropping down devastating artillery barrages or calling in a mortar both you and your allies can operate.

The engineer is one of eight classes in Guild Wars 2. For more on these classes, you can check out our in-depth wiki.