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 ratzombie

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.

Avatar image for axes03

Gta4 is the only game that can get near HALO3.

Avatar image for DoomZaW

All you fanboys have to look at the cold hard facts. A: GTA IV is on BOTH PS3 AND 360. B: There are alot of new features in GTA IV C: GTA IV has at least moved on with the next generation, Halo 3 looks exactly like halo 2 (which by the way looked like halo 1)

Avatar image for kahoony

I think that GTA IV may be able to sell more copies in its first week than Halo3, but that doesn't neccesarily mean that it's going to end up being a better game, all it means is that people have had more time to like the GTA series, while Halo3 is alot newer. Also the fact that it is being produced in different console ranges, while Halo3 is just for 360.

Avatar image for Meskamo

i need gta 4 just as much as i needed halo 3

Avatar image for Faephoenix_Eyes

I think GTA IV might be able to beat Halo 3 in earnings. Im not a Halo fan so all you halo fans can say all you want about how great Halo 3 is and that it's impossible for GTA IV to beat Halo 3 in sales. GTA IV has many new features in it that makes more people wanna buy it than the other games from the series. Seriously, saying it's impossible to beat Halo 3 is just what a fanboy who loves the game too much to like any other game would say. People will prolly line up for the GTA IV release and im really looking forward to the game. Ive played Halo 3 and i didnt really love it but i dont hate it either, It's a good game, but i think GTA IV will provide a better attraction to people by using its gameplay style.

Avatar image for Dark_Nexus3367

There are pros and cons to this whole idea. GTA being on other consoles does give it a chance at a larger install base, but the game's timing is off in terms of spurring some holiday sales. Halo 3 sold well because it was right before the holiday rush, had a lot of marketing, and appeals to more people. The GTA brand has gone through many scandals, so it will be harder to market that game to a large audience, especially since the nature of it's content is strictly for an adult audience. Kids play Halo 3 despite the M rating because it is not that vulgar and the overall game content is not so graphic. GTA allows you to commit crimes, kill innocent civilians, and harm law enforcement. I think that certain aspects of the game would turn some people off. That said, I will certainly pick it up on release, gotta love being an adult gamer. :P

Avatar image for trickyspider

but then still u have to give it to halo 3.. it made more than any other game on a single console... if da same was done to this game it wont sell dat fast... bt then halo rox hard.. best game eva... and yes gta rox too.. the older ones r best games eva too... jst need to see hw this one goes...

Avatar image for Game-o_O

"bestco: M rating won't have as big of a advertising budget as Halo3 won't have 24/7 TV commercials won't have MS backing on promotion won't have it's own beverage (game fuel) gamers won't line up overnight to get this game change of breaking Halo3's record is impossible." It gets 24/7 news coverage, if not advertising. Bigger budget? You think money is the only reason it sells? It needs MS to back it? Like Square-enix & capcom need MS too right? Mt. Dew, is not the Halo fuel drink nor the 360's. I do not buy it to please fan-arrogant-boys. Gamers will not line up over-night to buy it, true. They'll line up over week.

Avatar image for brannon789

i agree with bestco.

Avatar image for EclipseStorm

although there is the possibility that this could actually outsell halo 3 I really don't see it happening. the biggest part of which is that MOST gamers are under the age of 17. almost everywhere now cards you to buy a video game. I got carded just the other day and happened to not have my ID with me. I'm 21 years old and have a nice goatee. I don't look at all underage but they couldn't sell it to me because I didn't have my ID. SO many parents now have heard of GTA and all of it's "scandals" or what have you. I just don't see it selling as many as they are predicting.

Avatar image for bestco

M rating won't have as big of a advertising budget as Halo3 won't have 24/7 TV commercials won't have MS backing on promotion won't have it's own beverage (game fuel) gamers won't line up overnight to get this game change of breaking Halo3's record is impossible.

Avatar image for hilltops

Th|s is incredibly possible.. 1. Delay..What could they do in that time to make this game better? It also means more people will own more consoles by this time. 2. Multi Console..Halo3 was an exclusive this will be on multi consoles! 3. DieHard GTA Fans..| know i am one and would consider nothing less than buying this game first week..Simple must have. How can you be sick of GTA seriously i will eat my hat if this game doesn't blow pplz away..HOld me2 That!!

Avatar image for LINK2K9

@ NaturalBornGamR You're joking right? A hundred million? M-rating hurting sales? What fantasy world do you live in?

Avatar image for sonic2010

well will see about that.

Avatar image for cdodder

This game will be unreal, and is THE game, if any, that can top halo 3!

Avatar image for dblbrybry

I never liked GTA games too much. I'd be surprised if GTA4 outsells halo3, although the analyst in the article makes good points. it should be worth at least a rental, but who knows, maybe i'll end up buying it, i'm not one to hate for the sake of hating. after all games are meant to be played.

Avatar image for vicsrealms

If it ever comes out! Hint......Hint..... ~grin~

Avatar image for _solidsnake_2

Im even considering buying a console just to get it...cant wait for pc version if there will be one

Avatar image for osxgp

I don't see this outselling Halo 3. The reason is simply that Halo 3 was bought for kids as well as adults (as well as marketed). When I was in line waiting for my copy, there were parents with their children there as well. GTA IV is another story though. I don't see many parents waiting to get this for their children like Halo 3. Of course, that's just my opinion.

Avatar image for ZombieViking

I don't understand why everyone thinks GTA is so great. GTA 3 was the best one, the 4th one looks good but won't be as good as GTA 3...

Avatar image for NaturalBornGamR

I will be one of the millions buying GTA IV at launch. I can see it reaching sales in the hundreds of millions during first week.. but how many is hard to tell... being it's an M rated game and all.

Avatar image for shawnomac

hey sweet so will I I'm planning not to take anytime off now so I can save it for the GTA 4 launch.

Avatar image for HellraiserMC

Then maybe I should buy it the second week, so it dosen't break our

Avatar image for shadowfox96792

Gta 4 will definetly sell more.... Halo 3 is a great game but Gta 4 is even better.

Avatar image for living_wmd_888

8.1 million in 1 week? Right. The Xbox 360 and PS3 won't have a big enough install base to support that kind of sales. In any case, I'm not really interested. I was hoping for a new direction for the series, but it looks like this will not be the case. Sigh...

Avatar image for hardcore0115

I wouldn't be surprised.

Avatar image for ag1002

*shrugs* halo 3... 4.4 million... We're talking one console here. It's not the same thing, the only reason they're comparing it is to get people talking.

Avatar image for tylerdurden2621

I couldn't care less about grand theft auto, that game is soooooo played out and boring. Unless they do something amazing with it I am not buying it. Madden and GTA are both games that are just getting extremely lame, two series that I think I am done with for awhile.

Avatar image for EmtvDefJam

If only Rockstar was to release GTA IV during the holiday season, they'd see sales skyrocket. Not only would every PS3 owner buy the game (we're kinda starved for games as it is), X360 can also take heed to the fact that this will probably be one of the best 360 titles that is not an FPS/Shooter.

Avatar image for s2puzzy

GTA IV is releasing sometime next year March, April. By that time both the PS3 and the Xbox 360 sales have increased and their's a greater chance for GTA IV to sell millions of copies. To actually beat Halo 3 in it's first week sales, well Rockstar have to do something really amazing and show a new trailer to proof how amazing the game can be. Let's be honest the first and second trailer ins't up to high next-generation standard. Neither the less GTA IV will be succesful, Rockstar and Microsoft have invested millions in GTA IV.

Avatar image for Trogeton

Well this is GTA the one game that does not need online to be an incredible game this is a game that is born in greatness no more sources needed

Avatar image for Turbo-Evil

Yep, I'll be taking the week off to play IV, no doubt about that. I didn't for Halo 3, but will for this!

Avatar image for Her0

Rockstar know what they were doing when they delayed release date for the game, and I believe its a good delay for us and for them as well , and ya releasing a popular game on multi platform on a perfect time will increase RS chances to be best debut ever. GTAIV FTW ;)

Avatar image for aussie_gamer13

Yeah also PS3 fanboys jumping on an OXM joke that the GTA after GTAIV would be only on PS3. Offcourse it slowly died down as the fanboys lost their little plot.

Avatar image for XXRandom-HeroXX

I'll be waiting outside GAME to get it, In a few months the GTA-itis will kick in and Rumors will spread like Wildfire, Will there be a full multiplayer, for example

Avatar image for Fists1

GTA would probably have sold at least twice as well off the bat if it was released on time, delays kinda ruin hype just like the PS3 oh and xBox fan101 must you plague us "wif al dat sh1t cos it lyk fll mkes my hed aplode"

Avatar image for gwigsmuff

I'd be surprised if GTA IV didn't sell more copies than Halo 3, but I'd also be surprised if it sold more on the xbox 360. They're also not taking into consideration the huge marketing campaign that Microsoft undertook to promote Halo 3. While I'm sure most game enthusiasts will pick up GTA IV in the first week, I'm not sure that so many casual gamers will feel compelled to get it on the first day or in the first week of its release.

Avatar image for GameWiz47

I'm pretty sure it will, considering its multiplatform, people will buy it for the 360, pc, and ps3 and those sales combined could make 10 million....

Avatar image for halorulz

The Best GTA game was GTA 3, since then the games have really been lacking. Ontop of that, the recent trailers for GTAIV have been very....'lame',... nothing to spark intrest, the graphics dont look particularly special, compared to when the first Halo 3 trailers came out. Futher more, why would someone with a 360 want to buy a copy of a over used franchise when games like Mass Effect are coming out, follwed by Fable 2!!! Its a no brainer, GTA IV wont sell great for the 360.

Avatar image for SithHappens

i just dont see myself, or very many people for that matter, waiting outside of a best buy at midnight for gta iv

Avatar image for godzillavskong

I think Halo will sell more copies just because its' HALO. The campaign is short but it has a very high replay value with its' online playability.I think it should get a 9 or maybe a 9.5, but I think Bioshock is a better game. Bioshock's online isn't as good as Halo3 though. There was so many high expectations over the next Halo coming out that I don't think it could have lived up to the hype. Still, it is a great game and I think it will sell better then GTA IV, but not by a wide margin.

Avatar image for Great_Ragnarok

well yeah halo3 is only sold forX360 so a multi platform game does have more chance of selling.

Avatar image for gR_Silent

Possible...Halo and GTA are the most known games in the world, aside from Mario.

Avatar image for ElementalFire

I don't think he understands the relation of Halo to Xbox. The general feeling is that the Xbox is what it is because of Halo. One is not complete without the other. I, myself, bought my 360 last year anticipating Halo 3. Fewer people feel that way about GTA this time around.

Avatar image for carrierj1

I doubt GTA 4 will sell that much. I think a big reason Halo 3 sold so well was the massive advertising campaign. I wasn't planning on buying it but the hype was so huge that I bought it impulsively. I doubt that GTA 4 will have sodas and be sold at 7-11.

Avatar image for miltown

Is this really news or something to make up for the "ho-hum" no news moments that most of the gaming websites have been plagued with today and from last week?

Avatar image for lightningbugx

Analyst is overestimating the game. This is an over-hype.

Avatar image for Canitbe


Avatar image for xboxFan101

doubt it ,like serious just because of that i ant buying dis game 1st week ill w8 5 weeks den cop it .u no what i don't even like GTA that much there no game that could own a FPS game especially when the online play is so great just for dis statement i will buy another copy of halo3 wen GTA comes out lol what if halo out sold GTA in GTA'S First week a year after coming out lmaoo thats sound dumb or does it ?? h'm