GTA V Set To Have Largest Launch Of 2013

The wildly popular, and often criticized, flagship game series from Rockstar Games may set records when Grand Theft Auto V releases this September.  Market and investment analyst Arvind Bhatia of Sterne Agee has done the math for us, and projects that the game can be expected to sell 18 million copies during the fiscal year.  If those numbers hold true, despite the increased development costs of pushing the release date from its previously scheduled Spring release to September, Take-Two could see massive profits.

Bhatia estimated the development cost of GTA V at $137.5 million, taking into account the number of people on the project over a five year development cycle.  Even though they will be adding between $69-109 million to the development by pushing it back, Take-Two will still be in the black, and significantly.

The low-end sales estimate provided by Bhatia puts the sales at 15 million units, which would net Take-Two over 190 million dollars in pure profit from the venture.  If the original estimate was low and Take-Two moves 25 million copies, they could be looking at a significantly larger payout, just over 390 million dollars in profit.

As stated before, Bhatia predicts sales to be around 18 million copies.  This, according to his outlook, could be the highest-selling game this year, second only to a hypothetical new Call of Duty game.  Pushing the release into the late Summer, early Fall window could introduce more competition in the holiday sales period, however given the massive following of fans to this prolific franchise, it is expected that the delay could also fuel the fires in fans that are itching badly to get their hands on the next big thing from the GTA development team.

After the delay was announced, Take-Two stock took a significant hit, but managed to bounce back within the day.  Also, the extended development window could be a sign that Rockstar could be porting the game to more systems that have yet to be confirmed, including Wii U and the PC, or even next gen consoles.  Rockstar released a statement in the comments of a post on their site saying that their only focus is to get the game “as good as it needs to be”.  It could still be in development for PC and Wii U, since it was confirmed a couple months ago that Rockstar would not be opposed to releasing GTA V on those platforms, but they have not yet been confirmed.

What games are you looking forward to?  Will you be buying GTA V at launch (or even preordering it)?  On what platform would you most like to play it?  Rockstar seems to be giving the game as much effort as we would hope to have from them, and I’d imagine that they will deliver nothing short of the best GTA experience we’ve seen before.

Source: GamesIndustry