Grand Theft Auto V expected to reach $1B in first month

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V

Analysts have estimated that Grand Theft Auto V, the much-anticipated sequel to the iconic video game franchise, will generate $1 billion in sales within its first month. That is four times the amount distributor Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (TTWO) shelled out to develop and market it.

The game, which took five years to create, hits retail today and may outperform the $900 million debut of its predecessor, according to Colin Sebastian, an analyst from Robert W. Baird & Co.

Sebastian credits the potential sales success of Grand Theft Auto V to the immense anticipation leading to the game’s release. However, he also points out that if GTA V fails to meet sales expectations, it would reflect badly on the video game industry as a whole.

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V is released at a different market environment. The game costs $60 in the United States and £35 in the United Kingdom, which is way too costly compared to the free games on Facebook and the 99-cent game apps available on mobile devices. Since the record-breaking release of Grand Theft Auto IV in 2008, game developers have cut jobs and minimized the number of titles they make as they move their content online. Other gaming companies were not as lucky, such as THQ Inc. that went bankrupt.

“A lot of kids don’t want $40 games any more, they want 40 $1 games,” Nancy MacIntyre, a former executive at “Star Wars” game studio LucasArts, said in an interview with Bloomberg. LucasArts is now owned by Walt Disney Co.

Data released from researcher NPD Group reveals that sales of video-game software dropped to $2.14 billion in the first half of the year, which is about 34 percent of consumer spending in the U.S. Sales of online, mobile, and social media titles increased to about 53 percent that same period.

Source: Bloomberg

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