This has got to go down as one of the biggest “whoopses” in recent memory. Cowan analyst Doug Creutz has predicted GTA: Chinatown Wars will only be “marginally” profitable, after the game – the highest rated in GTA’s history – managed to secure only a woeful 89,000 sales in the US last month.
“We believe the experiment was a worthwhile one for Take-Two, and still expect the title to be profitable (though likely marginally so),” he said.
“However, the disappointing first month sales reinforce our view that achieving meaningful success on Nintendo platforms remains a very difficult proposition for third party publishers.”
Creutz added that the game had heavily failed to meet expectation.
“Despite a strong critical reception, Take-Two’s GTA: Chinatown Wars sold a very disappointing 89,000 units in March, well below our more recent 200-250,000 estimate and far below the 400-450,000 we thought the title might sell upon its release,” he said.
“Take-Two exported their most valuable IP onto the most widely distributed gaming platform, and created the most highly-rated title in the history of that platform. We knew there were some uphill challenges due to the demographics of the platform, but believed there were enough core gamers/adults owning a DS that the title could still perform very well.
“However, either the demographics are more challenging than we thought, or core gamers did not view the title as an essential purchase due to the nature of the platform.
It’s almost as if all that growth came from “non-gamers,” or something.