Midnight Madness: Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto IV Expected to Sell 9 Million Copies
Sadly enough, I was one of those hapless folks waiting in line at my local EB Games at midnight last night for Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto IV (4).
I wasn't going to do it (after all, I'm the 'morning guy' for NowPublic, I have to be up at 7am!), in fact I hadn't pre-ordered a game since Halo 2. And frankly, that ended up being such a disappointment that I hadn't bothered to pick up a game on its initial release date since then.
My roommate wanted it, I was impressed by the reviews and even my girlfriend said she enjoyed playing the previous games. Well, that and the discovery of nearly $100 on my edge card decided me (the edge card is sort of like a bank debit card but for a videogame store. Did I mention I have a girlfriend?).
I had to have this game!
So shortly before midnight, my roommate and I strolled down the three blocks to the newly-installed EB Games in Toronto (near Queen and Spadina, if any local readers are interested) and was greeted with about 50-60 people standing in line. It was sort of like a zombie movie, with nearly everyone obviously tired, drunk or stoned. Everyone waited in eerie silence for the store to open, then stood quietly as they got their game.
About 100 people were in the line by that point, and some young looking photographer was on hand to film the first purchase.
A cheer went up when the first one went on sale, while a trio of gentlemen under the influence of mushrooms standing behind me discussed the best way to grab as many copies as they could and run out of the store with them. Thankfully, I made my purchase before they were able to carry out their dastardly plan.
Unfortunately, I am now apparently an old man (26) and realized it was past 1am, I was very tired and had to be up in less than seven hours and should go to bed. After all that trouble, it was my roommate driving through Liberty City in the early morning hours.
I drifted off to the faint sound of gunfire and somewhere, far off in the distance, a pedestrian being run over by a '82 cadillac.
"Halo" was big. "Grand Theft Auto IV" will be bigger.
Tuesday marks the release of the latest chapter of mayhem in fictional Liberty City, home to the successful "Grand Theft Auto" video game franchise from Rockstar Games.
The long-awaited game, whose release was pushed back from last November, has a history of success at the cash register. And the latest instalment should be even more profitable considering that it is available for both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 users right from the get-go. In the past, Xbox users have had to wait for their version of the game to come out.
The last blockbuster game release was "Halo 3," an Xbox-exclusive title that took in an estimated US$170 million in its first 24 hours of release last fall in the U.S., according to Microsoft. "GTA 4" is expected to surpass that take - and the $300 million that "Halo 3" took in during the first week.
"We think even just on Xbox 360, it's got a shot at dethroning 'Halo 3,"' said Jason Anderson, head of marketing for Xbox Canada.
"A staggering figure," Matt Levitan, marketing and PR manager for PlayStation Canada, said of estimates of US$400 million in opening sales.
Sales of Take-TwoInteractive Software Inc's (TTWO.O: Quote, Profile, Research) criminal action video game"Grand Theft Auto 4" will be higher than Wall Streetexpectations, Chief Executive Ben Feder said on Monday.
"Our expectations are very high, higher than analysts givethe game credit for," Feder told Reuters. "All the analysts hada (sales) number, give or take, and I think we will be on theupside of that rather than the downside."
Grand Theft Auto 4 is loud, violent, and racy -- and gaming fanatics can't wait to play it, some even vowing to take the day off work or school to get their hands on it.
The video game industry estimates "GTA 4" will sell about 6 million copies and make about $400 million in sales worldwide in its first week alone. If those numbers hold up, the game would break the record held by the current all-time sales champ, Halo 3.