Jon Christensen

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Report: Take-Two Could Move 18 Million Copies of GTA V in the First Six Months

I doubt anybody on the planet thinks Grand Theft Auto V is not going to be a major blockbuster in entertainment when it’s released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia agrees with that notion too.

According to his rough calculation, Grand Theft Auto V will move approximately 18 million copies during the first six months of its launch. Bhatia crunch the numbers in his “hypothetical profitability model,” and concluded that if Take-Two, the game’s publisher,did sell those units they could income about $230 million in operating profit. According to him, Take-Two spent about $137.5 million in developmental cost, which had about a 250 person team working on the project for five years. And in his calculations he expects that Take-Two will spend anywhere from $69 million to $109.3 million in advertising.

If the game should exceed expectations — and Bhatia thinks it’s possible — and move about 25 million copies, then the game would earn Take-Two’s operating profit at a whopping $390.8 million. And while that’s not out of the realm of possibilities, his realistic hypothetical equation equals out to about 18 million copies as of right now.

When the year 2013 is up, Bhatia believes Grand Theft Auto V will be the best-selling title of the year. Although he did suggest that there is a probability that Activision’s next Call of Duty, which is yet to be revealed but will most likely happen at this summer’s E3, could be the number one selling game of 2012. Yesterday, it was announced that Grand Theft Auto V would be delayed from the spring window to September 17.

I have a hard time believing the next Call of Duty will outperform Grand Theft Auto V to earn the top spot for games sold in 2013. You’re talking about one game that has an installment year after year in Call of Duty, and another, Grand Theft Auto, which hasn’t had a release in its franchise since 2008. And considering both are Mature titles, I don’t think Call of Duty has any kind of upper hand.

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