Analysts: GTA V Will Sell 20-25 Million in the First Year, Could Become “One of the Top 5 Entertainment Brands of All Time”

November 2, 2011Written by Sebastian Moss

With the megaton announcement of the Grand Theft Auto V trailer, analysts have shared their thoughts on how they think GTA V will perform in a gaming world now dominated by Call of Duty.

Talking to Game Informer, the analysts all shared their opinions:

Michael Pachter, Wedbush Securities:

I think the story set up was very interesting. I had a vibe similar to the movie Heat. I thought the realism was good and is very clearly set in Los Angeles. I would say they’re within six months of release. If they’re ready in June 2012, they’ll do it.

If GTA V gets mid-90 reviews, it’ll likely do 20-25 million in the first year. You have an install base two times [what it was] when GTA IV came out, and GTA 4 did 12 million in the first six months.

Jesse Divnich, EEDAR:

Currently, I project that if the game can maintain the exceptional level of quality of the past Grand Theft Autos and taking into consideration the increase in the install bases of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, Grand Theft Auto V should sell well over 24 million units worldwide in its first year. Given the anticipation for the release, Grand Theft Auto V has the potential to shatter first day and first week sales records that are currently held by Call of Duty: Black Ops.

As an analyst it is my profession to analyze every imaginable data point to come to an objective conclusion on the potential success of video games. But when it comes to Rockstar, I found it is better to just sit back and enjoy the ride. This is Rockstar and this isn’t their first rodeo.

Colin Sebastian, Baird Equity Research:

We expect lifetime sales of GTA V to surpass $1.5 billion at retail, assuming a multi-platform launch. We also believe the game could end up becoming one of the top 5 entertainment brands of all time.

Mike Hickey, National Alliance Capital Markets:

Grand Theft Auto is methodically cultivated mega game franchise that continues to be as amazingly vibrant and culturally relevant today as it was over a decade ago with the release of GTA III. Unlike many of the annualized game franchises dominating the market today, GTA V appears to be a significant step forward in graphics/animation over the prior iteration.

We expect GTA V from Rockstar Games will sell-in +16.25 million units, for an estimated $746 million in sales for the Company’s fiscal ’13 operating period. Specifically, we suspect GTA V will ship in May, 2012.

Billy Pidgeon, M2 Research:

With larger active installed bases for both Xbox 360 and Sony PS3, I expect GTA V to at easily exceed GTA IV 22M units sales. Assuming Take-Two can ship sufficient quantities (and no reason to doubt they will) GTA V’s first day/first week revenue is likely to top GTA IV’s.

Whether sales will set a new record depends on what records are broken between now and GTA V’s release, as there are a number of huge titles due out in the interim.

It’s hard to argue with the analysts’ glowing predictions – GTA is a huge franchise, and the Rockstar brand is one of the strongest of any developer.

Will you be one of the 25 million?