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Analysts weigh in on Grand Theft Auto V's market impact

With a large console install base, strong preorders and favorable early reviews, analysts are predicting that Grand Theft Auto V's hype will match its performance at retail.
With early reviews rolling in, analysts have also begun to offer their projections on Rockstar's and Take Two Interactive's newest moneymaker, Grand Theft Auto V. Multiple analyst firms are expecting a sizable windfall within its launch window, including one firm's projection that GTA V will generate $1 billion U.S. at retail within its first month of sale. None of this is entirely surprising, as Take Two predicted in July that Grand Theft Auto V would substantially outsell its predecessors. However, going from the franchise's install base, preorder numbers and, now, early reviews from consumer-oriented publications, analyst firms Sterne Agee and Robert W. Baird & Co are affirming Take Two's optimism. "Based on our calculations, we think our estimate of 18-20 million units [by end of March 2014] is likely in-line with the company's internal estimate," say Sterne Agee analysts Arvind Bhatia and Brett Strauser. "We see potential for worldwide day-one sell-through of 6.5 million units [and] $400 million for GTA V." "We expect $1 billion + retail sales over first month," says Colin Sebastian of Robert W. Baird & Co. The firm also anticipates "roughly 12 million" units shipped by the end of September, versus Sterne Agee's slightly more optimistic projection of 13.5 million. Collectively, the two firms project 18-20 million units sold through by March of 2014, which is the end of Take Two's fiscal year. To put into perspective, Take Two has to date shipped about 25 million units worldwide of the game's predecessor, Grand Theft Auto 4.

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