GTA V Predicted To Sell 18 Million Copies, Take-Two Expects Minimal Next-Gen Budget Growth

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Grand Theft Auto 5 is going to sell well this September 17 – really well. Okay, we already know that. But, how well?

According to Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia, GTA V will do 18 million units well. Throughout Take-Two’s fiscal year of April 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014, Bhatia expects GTA V to sell 18 million units and earn roughly $230 million in operating profit.

According to Bhatia’s “hypothetical profitability model” – based on a five-year project using a team of 250 people – development costs of GTA V will have reached $137.5 million with the addition of between $69 million and $109.3 million in marketing costs.

If Take-Two can manage sales in the region of 25 million copies, something that would require additional marketing costs, they could generate an operating profit of up to $390.8 million, according to Bhatia.

With numbers like these, the only other title that could possibly rival GTA V in terms of sales would be Activision’s “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4,” expectedly releasing in the Fall of 2013.

Despite the inevitability of the arrival of next-generation consoles, GTA V is still expected to do well. Bhatia says, “This is a long-awaited title that consumers are unlikely to pass up and we remain bullish on our outlook for this title and for the company.” It would seem that Take-Two/Rockstar games aren’t too concerned, considering the recent move to push back GTA V’s release date in order to ensure quality of their product.

This confidence even carries over to the teams budget planning. According to Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick during a financial call yesterday, “We don’t have any reason to believe our development budget will change significantly [with the arrival of next-gen consoles]. If anything, we’ve become, group wide, much tighter in how we spend our money. It has been the challenge and we’ve been very focused on it. We can’t say specifically, but, no, we don’t expect to see a meaningful change in what it costs us to release these top quality products.”

It looks like Take-Two and Rockstar Games are in for a spectacular fiscal year ahead, as are gamers anxiously awaiting the return of GTA.

Sources: VideoGamer and Joystiq.