Grand Theft Auto V will sell more at launch than Grand Theft Auto IV managed in its first year on shelves, according to one analyst. Sterne Agee's Arvind Bhatia today released a note to investors, saying he expects the game to debut in the first three months of 2013, posting sales of 14 million copies.
Bhatia said the GTAV launch should bring in about $700 million in revenue for Take-Two, which said it expected just over $1 billion for Rockstar products this fiscal year. With Max Payne 3 the only announced Rockstar title to launch this year, Bhatia believes it "is all but a given" that the publisher is planning to launch GTAV before the March 31, 2013, end of its fiscal year.
For perspective on just how big the game is for the publisher, Take-Two's previous fiscal year saw total revenues of $825.8 million. The publisher has projected this year's sales to hit $1.75 billion to $1.85 billion. That uptick has led to widespread agreement from analysts that GTAV will launch in Take-Two's current fiscal year.
GTAIV debuted in April of 2008 and shipped 13 million before the end of March 2009. The game enjoyed sales over a prolonged stretch of time, as two years later, Take-Two said shipments had reached nearly 20 million.