A recipe for you: Take one of the most successful game franchises of all time, give its developers the budget of small South American country, apply enough hype to sink a blue whale, allow to simmer gently for 6 months until public desire reaches a raging fervour, and serve. There you have your very own Best Selling Game Ever™.
Yes, it is with very little shock at all that GTA IV has wreaked havoc on the UK All Formats games charts, cruelly destroying some hippie yoga nonsense Wii Fit board by a factor of 9 to 1, shifting over a million copies and raking in over 40m in its first week. In fact some 926,000 copies were gone in the first five days.
While we don’t yet know the figures for the rest of the world, I’ve heard it on the grapevine that one or two of our American friends thought the game was rather spiffy too, although there were a couple of bad eggs getting up in front of news cameras to whinge about how bad it all was, and asking us to think of what it’ll do to the children for whom it is neither made nor intended to be sold to.
What they didn’t of course realise is that they were only serving the game even more publicity and that any parent who had actually managed to shield their children from the corrupting influence of Grand Prostitute Bash was then noting the sudden perking of the ears from little Brad and the shifty gaze.
Yes, he’s off down the street to the that troubled family’s trailer to have a look for himself. Then he’ll tell his friends. And their friends. And their friend’s friends. And pretty soon anarchy will reign and the western world will be lost forever beneath a tidal wave of moral depravity.
Back on topic: Take-Two has yet to crack open the bubbly and publicly announce its own sales numbers, which will presumably take all the various regions into account. This interesting fact has not escaped the hawkish gaze of game industry
wise woman analyst, Michael Pachter. He even questioned whether the sales had been lower than expected, prompting Take-Two to cover up the fact in order to keep the share prices up and defend itself against the EA takeover bid.
EA has been pursuing Take-Two for quite some time now and Chairman Strauss Zelnick was getting increasingly desperate to delay a takeover until after GTA IV hit store shelves. Well, he’s done that now, but shares haven’t soared skyward on the back of its success. If anything they’ve taken a slight dip, below that of EA’s original offer. We’ll await those figures, and the timing of those figures with a great deal of interest.
Related posts: Oddly enough, lot’s were sold on the first day too | Tech Digest’s video review