The wait for Grand Theft Auto V is over and the game has arrived for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 starting late last night. Now it's just a matter of seeing how sales do for the highly anticipated game – though analyst Colin Sebastian already has a good idea.
With its "unprecedented pent-up demand," according to Sebastian, the game is expected to bring in a huge amount of revenue, to the tune of 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 pent-up demand, we expect GTA V to outpace GTA IV sales, and generate roughly $1 billion in retail sales during the first month," he said.
Shipments of the game are estimated at 12 million for the two remaining weeks in September, with 20 million reached by the end of the fiscal year. "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.
Even though several AAA titles are expected for the holiday season that could compete directly with Grand Theft Auto V, Sebastian feels that this release will help set a domino effect that will affect other games. "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.
Grand Theft Auto V is available now for Xbox 360 and PS3.