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GTA V expected to generate $1 billion in first month

The newest epic from Rockstar is about to go on sale, and analyst Colin Sebastian expects it to be massive

GTA V has "unprecedented pentup demand," says RW Baird analyst Colin Sebastian, and he expects the game to bring in a flood of revenue when it goes on sale at midnight tonight. In a note sent to investors today, Sebastian remarked that the game should generate over $1 billion in retail sales in its first month alone.

"To-date, Take Two has shipped roughly 25 million units worldwide of GTA IV, and our checks suggest an uptick in catalog sales in the weeks ahead of tonight's GTA V launch. Given the significantly higher installed base of relevant console platforms at launch, greater sales concentration among the top video game franchises, and unprecedented pentup demand, we expect GTA V to outpace GTA IV sales, and generate roughly $1 billion in retail sales during the first month," he said.

Sebastian is estimating that shipments of the game will hit about 12 million during the September quarter and should reach 20 million by the end of the fiscal year in March. "Given strong pre-order volumes, little direct competition in the launch window, and strong follow-on sales likely through the holiday period, we believe there is good visibility in Take Two hitting these GTA targets, and potentially exceeding our estimates," he added.

While many in the industry have been concerned about sluggish sales this year, GTA V could mark the beginning of a real uptick in overall sales. Sebastian believes that if Rockstar's game performs as well as most expect, it could have a domino effect of sorts for other AAA titles.

"We believe that consumer demand for GTA V is a useful yardstick to measure potential sales momentum for other key 2013 releases, most notably Call of Duty Ghosts (ATVI), Battlefield 4 (EA) and Assassin's Creed IV (UbiSoft). Our retail checks suggest that Activision and EA are both aggressively courting GTA buyers to pre-order titles," he said.

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Latest comments (5)

Martin Klima Executive Producer, Warhorse Studios3 years ago
I think I am missing something. 1 billion / 12 million = $83 a piece. How much is Take 2 going to sell GTA V for? Looking around, it is mostly offered as pre-order for 39.85, i.e. $60. Assuming everything in the first month is sold at this price, they would need to sell almost 17 million units. Surely GTA V is going to be big, but the augurs should be a bit more conistent.
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Aaron Johnson Buyer 3 years ago
The time frames mentioned in the article are a little confusing. Twelve million shipped in the Sept quarter (two weeks left) and then another eight million shipping Oct-March. The first "month" of sales will be Sept 17-Oct 17, so they'll need to ship another 4.7 million from Oct 1 - 17th to hit $1 billion (at $60 retail, ignoring collector's editions). 16.7 million copies total - leaving 3.3 million to last from Oct 18 - March 31st.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Aaron Johnson on 16th September 2013 7:08pm

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I just heard that the game cost around $300m (!!) to make and market. If they make around $30US "profit" on each shipped unit (could be closer to $20-25?) its 10m shipped units just to break even.

Good luck shipping 15m (!) copies in the first 4 weeks.
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Kessia Thomas Studying 3D Computer Animation, University of the West of Scotland3 years ago
Good luck to them.

Rockstar's efforts at launching GTA V make Piranha Games launch of MechWarrior Online and even bigger joke than it already is.

'Launch' for PGI has become the removal of the 'beta' moniker and just another regular patch day with none of the loudly touted new features such as UI2.0 and Community Warfare. To say that the MechWarrior community is disappointed is a huge understatement.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Kessia Thomas on 17th September 2013 7:28pm

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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 3 years ago
@Martin: That figure includes the Special and Collector's Editions, which cost a lot more than $60. I'm sticking with the standard edition myself, but I'll probably snap up a CE for my game library when they drop in price and start popping up online for less (as always happens because those big pricey packs always get overbought by some big retailers)...
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