GTA 5: Rockstar May Never Have A Bigger Hit, Analyst Says

"Michael Jackson had a lot of hit albums but he only had one 'Thriller.'"

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Now Playing: GTA 5 May Be As Good As It Gets For Rockstar - GameSpot Daily

With more than 90 million units shipped, Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto V is one of the most successful video games in history from a commercial standpoint. The studio is owned by Take-Two, a publicly traded company whose investors are looking for bigger hits each time out. Can the inevitable Grand Theft Auto VI do even better than its predecessor? That remains to be seen, but one analyst thinks GTA V was the biggest hit Rockstar will ever see.

Rockstar's next big game is Red Dead Redemption 2, which comes out in October for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. This game will surely be a big success, but Cowen & Company analyst Doug Creutz doesn't think it will sell as well as Grand Theft Auto V.

"That's not to say Rockstar won't have other big hits--it may--but another GTA V isn't likely," he told MarketWatch. "Michael Jackson had a lot of hit albums but he only had one 'Thriller.'"

Overall, Creutz said he thinks GTA V is a "wild outlier" in the video game market when it comes to sales. In recent years, video game companies have declined to share specific unit sales data for their games, but it is safe to say that no other title has been as commercially successful as GTA V in many, many years. Creutz was commenting on a piece that claims GTA V has brought in $6 billion in revenue that makes it the most successful entertainment product of any kind in history, though there is no hard data to back this up.

Indeed, GTA V might be a unique case. It was originally released in 2013 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, before later coming to PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. It was released at the tail-end of the Xbox 360/PS3 generation, which was good for the game in that it launched into a massive installed base of consoles which undoubtedly helped improve sales.

By comparison, Red Dead Redemption 2 will only be released on PS4 and Xbox One, so by virtue of that, it has a comparatively smaller market to sell to. That being said, the game is still likely to sell exceptionally well. In 2016, Cowen & Company said it was modeling 15 million in sales for the game.

Even if no future Rockstar game sells more than 90 million units, Red Dead Redemption 2 or GTA VI could still be exceptionally commercially successful through other means. Take-Two wants to have some form of microtransactions in all of its games, and given how wildly successful and lucrative they have been in GTA V, we can only imagine how this business model grows with Rockstar's future games.

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Avatar image for calpwn7

The thing about GTA is that it's one of the only games anyone can play. All you have to do is drive around and blow shit up, easiest concept for people who don't regularly play video games.

Avatar image for furiouswk

funny enough GTA V was the only entry in the series that I just didn't get into.

Bought on first day of release, played for two weeks and that was it. Boring characters, plots, story, environment and the list goes on.

Avatar image for Xristophoros

@furiouswk: i found gta 4 to be the weakest entry in the series by far. the camera controls and general movement was so atrocious i had to stop playing a few hours in. gta 5 is a far superior game to gta 4 in every way imaginable, including the story and characters.

Avatar image for johno357

@furiouswk: yeah same here. Just so many things missing from 4. A good game but not that good

Avatar image for alfakennyone

Warcraft would like to say otherwise.

Easily have tripled what GTA 5 brought in.

Avatar image for Starshine_M2A2

GTA 6 could potentially be bigger since it would be partially riding on the success of this game.

Avatar image for cboye18

GTAV is commercially the biggest hit. But I think the franchise was at its peak with San Andreas.

Avatar image for Lord_Sesshy

Especially with what they did with DLC. Yes it was free but it took so much in game money that it basically forced you to buy shark cards if you wanted to play it. Not to mention them cancelling the planned story DLC that everyone wanted.

Avatar image for FallenOneX

Of course another GTAV isn't likely, it's hard to improve on video game perfection. Don't get me wrong, I haven't finished the game or spent more than 4 hours online with a game I bought at launch. What I can say is that the single player was great, and they keep adding to the multi-player that they provided AFTER launch. If this was a game you enjoyed to play, there was no reason to not pick it up and play again after you're done with other games; the online community is still going. It's been awhile since the console gamers have had a good game that has a strong online community that has ;last through (console) generations.

Avatar image for johno357

@FallenOneX: bf4 still has lots of players..

Avatar image for asneakypoptart

Rockstar used to be on my list of respected/trusted developers that I would pre-order games for, not so much anymore. I'm not saying GTA V wasn't great or RDR2 won't be amazing either, but they focus to push microtransaction as much as they do in their games really turns me off. I'll pick RDR2 sometime next year after it comes out, used.

Avatar image for silv3rst0rm

GTA will ALWAYS be better cause back in the days, we weren't letting kids play these kind of games...

Nowadays kids get into gaming from the age of 2~3 years old and get quite early/young into mature content gaming. (From 8~10 years old!)

I have a 12 years old son I'm STILL trying to keep away from the Call of Duty / GTA and the likes and I'm realising I'm one of the few who still holds his kids back...

From what my son's telling me, ALL his friends have been playing these games for years already...

Parents buy GTA V for their 10~12yo kids it seems... quite normal the game sells like hot cakes!
It has probably the largest audiance of any game at all...

Avatar image for calpwn7

@silv3rst0rm: Let the boys play

Avatar image for lionheartssj1

@silv3rst0rm: Kudos to you sir for limiting your son. I get discouraged when I see parents buying mature games for their young children in Gamestop. It seems like a trope, but I see it quite regularly. I know one of the local GS managers and he always tries to explain what kind of content is in the games and the parents are like 'whatever'.

Avatar image for Dark_Matters

GTA V was released on PC, Red Dead Redemption 2 is not.

It's safe to say that Red Dead Redemption 2 won't be beating GTA V'a sales numbers.

Avatar image for alfakennyone

@Dark_Matters: GTA V wasn't released on PC at launch lol so how can you say that RDR2 won't?

Avatar image for spartanx169x

@alfakennyone: Its a fair assumption. RDR was never released on PC. Therefore it is reasonable to think that RDR2 won't be released on PC. The decision will be made by Rockstar based on how well GTA V has done on PC. It seems GTA 5 has done well on PC , but I would like to see the numbers compared to console. Every other game I've seen go to console and PC, PC always have about 1/5 of the population of the console population- COD, Destiny, Battlefield, Gears of War 4 to name a few.

Avatar image for alfakennyone

@spartanx169x: I wouldn't say it's fair, we don't know but the whole point was, @Dark_Matters was pretty ignorant with his comment lol

Avatar image for Lord_Sesshy

@Dark_Matters: A year later. RDR2 could go that way too.

Avatar image for jyml8582

the single player dlc is still missing for GTAV and we're already talking about GTAVI? A colony on Mars might happen faster than GTAVI.

Avatar image for asneakypoptart

@jyml8582: Yeahhhh, if you're still holding out for single player DLC for GTA V, I have bad news for you, bud.

Avatar image for DragonAtma

For the analysts: SO WHAT?

If a game sells 40 million it's less than half of what GTA V sold, but it still sold 40 million!

Avatar image for Xristophoros

how does one qualify as an analyst these days? it sounds like you just need to have an opinion about something and pull predictions out of your ass without an ounce of factual data to back you up. i bet we have better "analysts" right here in the comments section.

Avatar image for 93ChevyNut

@Xristophoros: Agreed. I'm surprised it wasn't Pachter running his mouth.

Avatar image for gamingdevil800

LOL analysts. I'm guessing we wont see another GTA till around 2023 by then the hype for a new one will be bigger than 5's. I say 2023 cause I reckon Rockstars next game after RDR 2 will be Bully 2 or something else.