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Grand Theft Auto IV is obviously going to rack up huge sales when it drops on April 29th, but how huge? Sources within Take-Two Interactive told Variety that they're expecting to reach the $400 million mark and sell 6 million copies in the first week alone.
Sales like that would completely eclipse Halo 3, which sold 5 million copies and made $300 million in its first week back in September. Another basis of comparison: the highest box office opening for a film ever was last year's Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End with earnings of $404 million dollars in its first six days. I guess my point is...uh, $400 million is pretty good.
The thing is, Take-Two isn't just being wildly optimistic with their estimate. Consider the fact that GTA4 is going to drop on Xbox 360 and PS3, whereas Halo 3 is a 360 exclusive. The last three GTA games, Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, have sold 14.5, 17.5, and 21.5 million copies respectively as of this March so the series has a large, growing audience. GTA4 is also the first game in the series with multiplayer capability, which, if strong, could lead to a boost in sales from shooter fans looking for a break from Halo or Call of Duty 4.
Regardless of whether it breaks an actual record, Grand Theft Auto IV's going to have a strong opening. To prevent a situation where you may have to, in fact, commit theft in order to get a copy, you should probably throw down five bucks to pre-order it.