Grand Theft Auto V now at large amid billion-dollar expectations

Rockstar Games

At long last, Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto V is on store shelves. And before long, the game could prove extremely popular, according to some analysts.

Grand Theft Auto V will post 14 million unit sales worldwide by the end of this month, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter wrote in a note to investors on Monday. Overall, Pachter thinks Rockstar's hit title could reach 24 million unit sales over its lifetime, helping the franchise potentially generate more than $1.4 billion.

RW Baird analyst Colin Sebastian is similarly bullish on Grand Theft Auto V's chances of success. In a note to investors published on Monday by GamesIndustry.biz, he reportedly wrote that the franchise could generate about $1 billion in retail sales volume in its first month on store shelves. His estimate is based on a retail price of $60 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

  • Oops! Grand Theft Auto V reportedly ships to Amazon customers early
  • Whether Grand Theft Auto V can reach that milestone remains to be seen. Not everyone is buying a new, physical copy of the game at launch, and used games tend to throw a wrench in any developer's plans for a cash windfall. Still, the point is well-taken: Grand Theft Auto V promises to be extremely popular.

    Grand Theft Auto V follows the franchise's long and controversial history, allowing gamers to play as three protagonists. As with previous titles, the game includes committing crimes and a fully realized storyline that reviewers, say, is fantastic. Speaking of reviewers, they're extremely impressed by the game, giving it rave reviews across the board.

    • Read the GameSpot review of Grand Theft Auto V
    • The rabid excitement for the launch might have spurred a tragedy in the UK on Tuesday when a 23-year-old man was attacked and stabbed after picking up a copy of the title after its midnight launch. In a statement, a Scotland Yard spokesman said that the man was "robbed of items he had bought from a nearby Asda supermarket, including a copy of Grand Theft Auto. The supermarket was open late to offer gamers a midnight launch of the title.

      Grand Theft Auto V is available now on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

      This post originally appeared on CNET.com.

  • Don Reisinger

    Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

    Don writes product reviews for InformationWeek and Computerworld, and is a regular contributor to Byte and Switch. You can visit his personal site at DonReisinger.com or email him at CNETDigitalHome@gmail.com.

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