EEDAR analyst Jesse Divnich has estimated that Rockstar Games’ GTA: Chinatown Wars sold only 200,000 units in March in the US, a figure much lower than industry expectations.
“It appears the industry may have been over-zealous with initial expectations on how GTA: Chinatown Wars would perform based upon the news it had received one of the highest quality scores for a Nintendo DS title,” said Divnich.
While the 200,000 figure would appear lower than expected, Divnich noted that the game will prove to be a benchmark for the industry.
“The results from Chinatown are an important benchmark for the industry, as it will be the best-performing mature rated title on the Nintendo DS to date coupled with one of the strongest mature-rated game brands,” said Divnich.
Divnich added: “With the majority of publishers currently taking a risk-adverse stance, we expect this to slow the growth rate of future mature rated titles on the DS.”
Throwing a spanner into the works, Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter has predicted a five-week March haul of as much as 450,000 units for the game, more than twice Divnich’s estimate. All bets will be off later this week when the official NPD sales figures are published.
To put Chinatown Wars’ sales into perspective, previous GTA titles for the PSP have sold in excess of one million units over their lifetime.