In September, Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City was being pegged as one of the fourth quarter's heavy hitters. Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter predicted that the boxed compilation of Grand Theft Auto's two Xbox 360-exclusive expansions--The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony--could sell between 2.25 million and 2.75 million units at retail.
Now, it appears that Episodes from Liberty City didn't make the big splash many thought it would when it shipped on October 29. According to US sales figures from the NPD Group, the expansion had sold less than 160,000 units as of November 28, when the industry-research firm's November period ended. In its first three days on sale, the compilation sold under 60,000 units, with around another 100,000 units being picked up during the following four weeks.
Of course, the low October-November figure would be in addition to all the digital sales of the expansions made via Xbox Live, which publisher Take-Two Interactive does not disclose publically. Reps for the company did not respond to requests for comment, but Pacther still thinks Episodes from Liberty City will be a hit.
"I truly think that the double pack was not marketed well, and think it will be a steady seller going forward," he told GameSpot. "Clearly over 2 million was too high, but I think 1-1.5 million globally will end up happening. My guess is that Ballad of Gay Tony sells around 800,000 this year, and another 200,000 next year. Lost and Damned probably sold around 1 million overall. The real problem with the DLC is that fewer than half of all gamers ever finish the [original game's] main missions, so extra missions aren't that appealing."
Luckily for Take-Two, it had made money from the Grand Theft Auto IV expansions before either of them were released. In a June 2007 conference call, CFO Lainie Goldstein confirmed that Microsoft was paying the company $50 million to keep the expansions Xbox 360 exclusive. However, the recent appearance of Lost and Damned achievements on Games for Windows Live indicates that the add-on will be headed to the PC as well.