Analyst: GTAIV could best Halo 3's debut

Janco Partners' Mike Hickey says Rockstar's latest could "conceivably" ship 9.5 million in the first week, more than twice Microsoft's 4.4 million.


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In announcing Halo 3's first-week sales of $300 million, Microsoft called it "the fastest-selling video game ever." That record might be relatively short-lived, if a new report from Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey proves accurate.

Hickey attributes the success of Halo 3 to a growing fan base for the franchise, a general demand for high-quality content, and the game's release early in the current generation's life cycle. Those same factors will be playing into next year's release of Grand Theft Auto IV, Hickey said. In addition, the Xbox 360 installed user base will be significantly larger by the time GTA IV comes out, and the addition of a PlayStation 3 edition of the game should boost sales significantly as well. Putting those factors together, Hickey suggests that the market is generally underestimating the next GTA game's initial success.

With Halo 3, Hickey believes Microsoft shipped 5.2 million copies of the game for its first week of release, and sold through 4.4 million. That leads to a 67 percent attach rate (percentage of all console owners who purchased the game) in the US, Hickey said. He believes that rate dips to 46 percent when adding in Europe.

Although Hickey doesn't think Grand Theft Auto IV will sell to as large a percentage of Xbox 360 owners, he notes that the expanding installed user base for the Xbox 360 and PS3 could offset whatever shortcoming there is. Even with a projected attach rate of only 20 percent (which Hickey stresses is very conservative), that would indicate first-week sales for the game of 3.5 million units. Hickey seemed more comfortable with a 30 percent attach rate, which would suggest first-week shipments of 5.3 million copies. But there's also a best-case scenario.

"If the upcoming release of GTA IV attached at the same rate as Halo 3," Hickey wrote, "the title could conceivably ship 9.5 million units of [the] game in the first week, producing an astonishing $466 million in sales." In such a case, Hickey projects first-week sales of the game would approach 8.1 million copies.

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Avatar image for jeivindr

Good, exactly what we needed. Some incentive to make fanboys argue over which is better, Halo or GTA.

Avatar image for wateverboy

thejok3r is super right. i bet if MS make a game called "Gaylo" people would still buy it.

Avatar image for checampbell

who really cares ?

Avatar image for thejok3r

First of all, GTA will probably outsell Halo 3;second of all, it is pathetic seeing most of you arguing about which mainstream game is the most underground. Halo 3 is as mainstream as it gets. Xbox is dominant largely because of the Halo franchise, you're no longer underground if you have an xbox. It's very annoying seeing Halo fanboys trying to act like Halo is a technical marvel too complex for the average gamer to comprehend. Halo 3 hype is out of control, it's very sad. I got "the game of this century" as some of you probably would say; and it's OVERRATED!

Avatar image for blackhawk101

I think long term, GTA might outsell halo 3. Short term, as in the first week, no way its gonna beat Halo's record. Halo is a cultural phenomenon, people lose thier minds over a Halo launch. I don't think the intensity is quite as much for GTA. I'm definatly getting it though

Avatar image for MGSPsycho

I don't know if GTA 4 is really going to sell as well as Halo 3. Even though it has a following, I think that due to its attention in the media and the controversies over its content and the Hot Coffee scandal, it doesn't have as wide of a fan base as Halo. Halo is also a mature-rated game, but that is due to its violent content and some language. GTA is a mature-rated game for its violence and its more adult and sexual themes. I think parents are more willing to buy and let their underage kids play Halo, where all they're doing is killing aliens, while they would rather not have their kids playing GTA with its pervasive language, violence against other humans, sexual content, and the fact that the violence isn't concerned with war, but in the context of the mob or gangs. The game will obviously sell more to the older gamers, but I think while GTA offers a unique, and one of the best sandbox experiences, some gamers will still be averse to the content of the game. I know for me that I won't be buying the game because I see the strong sexual content as offensive. I'm not saying that the content is necessarily wrong, and people do take messages in different ways. That's just my opinion and it's my choice to take part or not to in the media, but I think there are others who share my opinon. And as for me, and those who agree with me, I'll be happily conquering the Covenant for the 20th time the day that GTA 4 hits the shelves.

Avatar image for CodyTG

Ok, so it could ship 9.5M total. Including box Xbox 360 and PS3. Remember that Halo 3 just sold exclusively on the 360. I wonder how much GTA4 will bring in broke down by each console.

Avatar image for 0678

most likly true. you say GTA to your average casual gamer and they'll go 'oh awesome! I wonder what you can do in it this time?!' but say halo 3 and forge mode they'll go ''s forge mode?' GTA sells itself pretty much without the need for adverts coz everyone knows whats its all abotu pretty much :)

Avatar image for foxracing1313

doesn't advertising come into play as well? I don't think that 2K games will be spending as much advertising their game as Microsoft did with Halo 3.

Avatar image for Josepiphus

"analyst are around to make investors feel confident in their investment. (aka they'll tell the public whatever they can to boost investment).the end." DING DING DING we have a winner folks.

Avatar image for Valkron1

GTAIV may sell more in the long run or even the first day. As an owner of both the 360 and PS3 I'll wait a bit after its released to hear which one is better overall. I know the 360 will have DL content so if it plays good on each system then it may be an easy choice. I'll wait and see.

Avatar image for soulswillcry

Thats what I call a NEWZ (lol) .... The guy is right GTa is going to be big ....

Avatar image for resident_rozza

The GTA series is boring and outdated now, Rockstar keep trying to freshen things up with the addition of swimming and jet-ski's but currently i have no intention of buying GTA IV because its such a stale, bland game. The last good GTA was GTA III as that really innovated and changed gaming. And to answer the question i doubt it will outsell Halo 3 in it's first week.

Avatar image for zgreenwell

I bought Halo 3 and have no intention of buying GTA4.

Avatar image for spidermanc2k

Total sales over a lifetime, yes. Total sales over the first day/week, maybe. One thing that GTAIV has going for it is that it is multiplatform. Like others have said though, because this will be a mature rated game, more than likely the sales probably won't happen as fast as they could.

Avatar image for Homerj

"the majority of GTA sales last gen were on the ps2. It made up for about 85-90% of the sales." 2K had best hope this isnt true for this generation of consoles...that takes the installation base from 15million consoles to 3 million consoles (counting only PS3s in US and EU, as this title has no traction in Japan). Even with that wild over-estimate of 70% attach...goes down to about 2million copies sold total...that doesnt bode well at all.

Avatar image for Homerj

It sounds like the upper end of the analysis also assumes that the PS3 attach rate will be at that same (over-inflated in my opinion) 67% attach rate. This is almost laughable...there has never been (and probably never will be) a single title that has gone higher than a 10 or 15% attach rate on the PS3 (keep in mind that overall attach rates are close to 7 games per console on the 360 and well under 2 on the PS3). I would say that lower estimate of 3.5 million is much closer to the mark...with total sales in the 4-5 million range.

Avatar image for Delongman

Well Halo 3 is the fastest selling game ever and on the 360} I wouldn-t be suprised if GTAIV sells more... it would almost be obvious if those estimates include sales for the game on the PS3. The case here is a Multiplat VS an Exclusive. Listen, records will be broken, profits will be made but in the end numbers and all those other details won't matter... Gamers just wanna have fun period!

Avatar image for heroface

at least they made an effort to change GTA this time round instead of just upping the graphics and sticking some giant bad guys in... oh yeah and shanging the number on the cover.. mentioning no names of course (Halo)

Avatar image for thestickman

Definitely a possibility for GTA IV to easily outsell Halo 3, especially since it is available on more than just one platform, as stated by others before. We'll see I guess.

Avatar image for newown

GTA IV is away better than Halo 3 in my opinion !

Avatar image for NandoSupes

theres a slight that it might simply because GTA IV is a multi platform title where areas Halo is not. we"ll have to wait and see.

Avatar image for Space-Q

BUT Microsoft had the ability to get halo on everything, slurpees, soda, chips...everything. No company like that is going to want to be associated with a cop killing game...No way in hell.

Avatar image for Autolycus

analyst are around to make investors feel confident in their investment. (aka they'll tell the public whatever they can to boost investment).the end.

Avatar image for ebookerd1

i actually imediatly assumed that it would but with the amount of people that don't like the series and the amount of people that won't be alowed to acctually play this game then. I have to Assume that It might not????? Well since the PS3 hasn't dropped the price yet it won't make too much of a dent!! You have to realize that GTA never really sold well in Japan where infact the sale of PS3's are the highest. Even though there are alot of 360 owner alot of them are under 18 and probably will not be able to purchase the game. I really never got into GTA it kind of board me a lil and plus it was kind of mind less. I have kind of seen more people that think like me well so I have to come to the conclusion that it infact might not beat that marker. Which I couldn't care less anyway!!!! Just let the game be good and then I'll care.

Avatar image for Autolycus

old news, old game, old franchise. more of the same, less of a plot. will not beat it.

Avatar image for GrimBee

Remember that you should count the sales of the game on ONE console. Obviously - if Halo 3 was on the ps3 and the 360 - the sales would be double. So everyone should be thinking about GTAIV's performance on one system. The trouble is - And its one important fact - is that Halo 3 (in the UK) is for ages 15 and above. GTAIV will be for ages 18 and above. Halo 3, right off the bat, is avaliable to more gamers. There are alot of younger gamers, almost equal to adult gamers. It has been easy for Halo 3 to sell so well because the content can appeal and be recognised to younger people, so a 15 year old can walk into the store and pick up Halo 3. And alot of parent won't mind. Over-protective parents can be funny about Grand Theft Auto games, and often refuse people younger than 18 to even LOOK at the game. So I would say that would be some facts to doubt the higher sales. Another is that they are releasing it at the wrong time of year. Halo 3 ALREADY has made $300million. With that hype out of the way, christmas sales of the game will also be crazy - and people are crazy over christmas for buying things. When GTA IV comes out, its out with a slurry of other big titles, in a time of year where buying games is not at its peak. People are selective when buying games at that time of year. March/April/May are usually always slow times for games. So, take into account the age rating, and the time of year of the releases. I doubt that GTAIV will sell more than Halo 3 on the 360. But after Sony's price (and hardware) cutting antics - if they include the ps3 version aswell in those sales - obviously they will be higher.

Avatar image for Ensabuhnur

BTW Microsoft and Bungie splitting is only so that Bungie can work on other Titles - Halo is a property owned by Microsoft so we will eventually see the Chief again somewhere

Avatar image for Jayeson12

as i've heard microsoft and Bungie is this maybe short live..cya masterchief you will be missed. but gta has always been a huge seller and it will definitely come close to halo 3 or better. tho if u ask me halo 3 was a little too over hyped but what game ain't these days.

Avatar image for Ensabuhnur

This guy is an idiot as are many of the posters here - While the GTA series is critically acclaimed, it's never had a first week sale off like Halo has - if that was the case - Halo 2 would not have set the record previously only to beaten out by Spiderman 3 - which was beaten by Halo 3. Don't get me wrong GTA is a seller - but due to it's adult theme it is not sold to everyone - in addition it's not a multiplayer game - which is a big reason why Halo sells well. While it may overtake Halo 3 in total long term sales I doubt it will outsell it week one - especially considering that they need to actually put out 4.5 million copied to the street day one - which is an investment onto itself. Halo 2 and 3 got the record partially due to being available for day one sales - M$ made sure that the game would be available and that took a bit of money to do. So regarldless if you like the Halo series or not - it's hard to beat a finely tuned machine once it's geared up.

Avatar image for kalkhaja

this isnt news, its obvious

Avatar image for napoca515151

Played Halo 3 and folks, it's more of the same. It's like Microsoft Office 2007 versus 2003. GTA IV, while probably being slightly, more of the same, I bet will be a huge evolutionary step in terms of open-ended gameplay. To be honest, a lot of old timers prefer Halo 1. Why dish out 50+ dollars when you're having the same amount of fun with the first one?

Avatar image for cardiac_cat

whatever, singstar will probably outsell halo

Avatar image for ChaosXeno

GTA has always will be a better rated game. Check or any other website that gives you all ofthe reviews combined. Halo just sells so much because of American fanboys. Halo 3 was a horrible game hyped up beyond imagination. REMEMBER SOMETHING doesnt have to be good to sell. Mountain Dew is nasty, but I bet its sales went up pretty high. Spiderman 3 wasn't too good but yet it holds the record for movies.

Avatar image for ChaosXeno

outfit the majority of GTA sales last gen were on the ps2. It made up for about 85-90% of the sales. Halo is multiplatform too. PC and Xbox. Just pointing that out to you after seeing your previous post.

Avatar image for wattafax

Oh come on all you people, what do you see in halo? If you ask me, it's just an over-hyped-standard-sci-fi-fps

Avatar image for PacmanChampion

your mum sucks.

Avatar image for jacob-goodlich

how is there any comparison between a fps and a 3rd person rpg which was delayed like 6 months or so to make it a 'true next gen game'. sure the sales of halo 3 were really good but gta 4 will be much better and its not exclusive to one console. but i agree, just an artical pointing out the obvious.BUT ANY news about gta 4 is good for me(unless its a delay!)

Avatar image for outfit

QUOTE by YUKINE: A lot of you will be eating your words, I assure you of that. Do you guys and gals not know that Grand Theft Auto: Vice City alone sold about 6.47 million copies in the U.S? Halo 1 & 2 sold 8.23 million COMBINED. Did you know that Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was released on the xbox, the ps2 and the pc? Come on, even though the Halo's WERE eventually released on the PC, all the hype was over and Microsoft was basically milking it for every single cent. Almost all the copies sold would have been for the xbox - a single platform. So, if we use the same logic and GTA Vice City had been released on a single platform, it would basically have had a third of the total sales it has right now. So about 2.15 million copies compared to 4.15 (if we split the total sales of Halo 1 and Halo 2 evenly) - I'd say Halo wins there. OF COURSE there may be other factors and you can't get a perfectly accurate comparison this way, it does suggest that halo would have had more sales if Microsoft didn't make it exclusive.

Avatar image for Flavour666

Why is Gamespot (and all the other gaming sites) still quoting "analysts" who do NOTHING except state the obvious? Just read the last paragraph: IF this happens, THAN this and that follows. Wow the power of deduction. Every six year old can do that, but somehow it's newsworthy what some idiots in suits think about a market they have no real idea about. They are just comparing numbers. EVERYONE with half a brain can do that. STOP POSTING THE OPINION OF ANALYSTS AS NEWS. IT'S NOT NEWS-WORTHY.

Avatar image for jcloverboy

I think GTA will sell extremely well, but I don't think we'll see the same first day and first week that we saw with Halo 3.

Avatar image for Mystearical

I dun like either games Halo = EASY and GTA = Typical But if I were to remain unbias and say which would sell more... I'd have to say Halo will

Avatar image for Eggie37

gta is mad and will probably be a few scores lower than halo 3.. but id like gta better

Avatar image for Gordfacekiller

Because it's a better game!!!

Avatar image for demollyon

GTA sucks.

Avatar image for IceStorm-Br

Don't need anyone ... one FPS and a 3th person outlaw game.

Avatar image for Eaz-TK

That is very possible

Avatar image for ultrazone

only because it was multiplatform. If halo 3 went multiplatform, then god help us all

Avatar image for Orgil220

because it's on both consoles