Will ‘Grand Theft Auto 5′ Top ‘Call of Duty’ in 2013?

Feb 2, 2013 by  

Grand Theft Auto Sales Could Surpass Call of Duty

Sometimes it takes a giant to slay a giant, and in the case of video games there is no bigger giant than Activision‘s Call of Duty franchise. A perennial “best selling game of the year” title holder, Call of Duty is poised to continue said tradition in 2013, that is if it can fend off some pretty stiff competition.

Leading the charge for 2013 is Rockstar Games‘ forthcoming sequel Grand Theft Auto 5, which has been a hot button topic since its announcement. Even a delay into September earlier this week has only emphasized how badly gamers want to play this game.

So, with the tremendous amount of fan anticipation and a really strong player base, it appears very likely that Grand Theft Auto 5 will pose the greatest threat to Call of Duty, in terms of being labeled the best selling game of the year. As Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia suggests, if Rockstar Games and parent company Take-Two Interactive played their cards right, they could be looking at up to 25 million units sold.

That number, of course, would require a huge marketing effort from Take-Two, somewhere in the neighborhood of $109.3 million. Added to an estimated development cost (from Bhatia) of $137.5 million, and that makes Grand Theft Auto 5 quite the pricey endeavor.

Thankfully, even if the title were to move a conservative 15 million copies, Take-Two would likely pull in more than $193.6 million in operating profit. However, if Grand Theft Auto 5 does reach that 25 million figure, it could end up with close to $390.8 million in operating profit, and more importantly the title of best selling game of 2013.

Bhatia believes that an 18 million unit tally is the more likely number, which should also be enough to secure the 2013 title. As far as competitive expectations there is only a slight mention of the next Call of Duty title – assumed to be Modern Warfare 4 – and no sales estimates mentioned. Despite strong sales numbers, this was the first year since the release of Modern Warfare that the franchise saw a slight dip in units sold. Granted, it was still good enough to label Black Ops 2 the best selling game of 2012, but some signs of consumer fatigue are there.

With a fall season that includes a new Grand Theft Auto, another Call of Duty, and potentially two new consoles, gamers could be looking at a very expensive year. Or conversely, parents could be looking at some very expensive Christmas lists.

Do you think that Grand Theft Auto 5 will be the best selling game of 2013? Will the game exceed expectations?

Grand Theft Auto 5 hits store shelves on September 17, 2013 for the PS3 and Xbox 360.

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Source: Games Industry

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18 Comments

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  1. Probably not…….But GTA will get better reviews and be overall better game. :)

  2. everyone knows CoD is the money whore in the gaming industry (you all know how much it hurts me to say that) :P but gta will be the better game (hurts to say that too since it probably wont be as good as everyone is hyping it up to be).

    i’m happy with the 2-3 games i’ll be playing this year, the last 2 years have really hurt my wallet ;)

  3. Call of Duty is a washed up series by this point. Even though I enjoyed the campaigns of COD games and the multiplayer modes, zombies, spec ops, I think that COD has run it’s course. Each year when a COD comes out, it’s harder for me to see the innovation that each game is supposed to add to the series (especially after MW3, which was terrible). I mean, If you’re tasked with working with one ip…pretty much forever (since treyarch and “IW” are COD only studios), then making yet another new entry in the series will start to get boring!!! < which leads to an uninspired boring dull experience. Even though BO2 tried to introduce innovation, it really stayed in the safe zone (ex: There were choices but they were kind of half baked, the strike force mode didn't really introduce anything new). Multiplayer since MW2 has been largely the same and character/story development has been lacking since MW3. I think that after MW4, they should take a break with the series (which Activision will be reluctant to do, id imagine). I don't want COD to end up like freaking guitar hero. And, seriously? Modern Warfare 4!!!! FOUR!! 4-0!!! This is ridiculous. If they can't innovate the series by a significant amount anymore, they should at least change the subtitle…. As for GTA 5, looks freaking awesome! Of course it will do well!

    • Agreed! Completely.

  4. of course it will top off “Call of Duty”…COD comes out with a new game every year…GTA hasn’t had a new game each year since 2004…and GTA 5 has been highly, highly anticipated and built up for almost 2 years now…COD sales won’t be any different from what they usually are each year…it still is and will always remain an annual video game industry top favorite…though it’s not an annually released game anymore, so will GTA as well, and just as important, if not, more important than COD!

  5. I am really hyped for GTA V i even have one of the posters on my door.

    • Which? I got the dog side showing.

  6. COD is terrible GTA FTW.

  7. hah, is that even a question, no doubt it will

    • It is definitely a question. Call of Duty still sells extremely well and it’s been a long time since the last GTA.

      Also I ended the sentence with a question mark. :)

  8. I liked call of duty 2 and the first modern warfare, after that it was just pure crap. I really don’t understand why people buy that s***. Nevertheless, I cannot wait for GTA V. Not only do I love GTA games, but I pretty much love every game Rockstar puts out because they put so much love into each project. September 17th, get here quickly PLZ

  9. Ok, so I play a bunch of games, (Probably way too many) but I have literally never touched a Grand Theft Auto – 1st I’m not a driving game fan, 2nd the shoddy looking 3rd-Person shooter gameplay never appealed to me.

    Am I wrong in this? Or is GTA pretty much about driving and sub-par TPS (oh and hookers)?

    • Can’t call you wrong but you need to try it.

      It’s about freedom, driving, chaos, satire, humor, etc. All without being over the top. The scripts are hilarious, Rockstar’s story telling is fantastic. The action is like a good movie. I don’t know, man, try it.

    • GTA is definitely a “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” situation. Oftentimes there are plenty of graphical hiccups, and the shooting is still pretty wonky (at least in GTA 4 it was), but as a complete experience the games are pretty great.

      Driving is also pretty easy to get used to and you don’t need to be a pro.

    • Those are about 1% of the things that GTA games are.

    • You have not played as nearly as much you claimed.

      • Because you say so? Good stuff “Game Guy”…

        Just keep watching the hidden camera you have on my game room – I have a hand gesture to show you later…

  10. Possible Wii U version?

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