GTA V to sell 18 million, says analyst

Arvind Bhatia, an analyst with Sterne Agee, has forecast sales of 18 million for Grand Theft Auto V during Take-Two’s fiscal year (April 1, 2013 – March 31, 2014).

The figure would equate to over $230 million in operating profit for the publishing giant.

According to Bhatia’s “hypothetical profitability model,” GTA V cost $137.5 million to develop, based on a five-year project using around 250 individuals. Furthermore, an additional $69 million – $109.3 million is factored in for marketing costs.

However, it’s worth noting that Take-Two could generate a massive $193.6 million in operating profit with just 15 million copies sold.

Unsurprisingly, the analyst expects GTA V to be the year’s biggest-selling title game, with “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4” from Activision being the only game with any chance of beating it to the punch.

As for next-generation consoles, Bhatia added: This is a long-awaited title that consumers are unlikely to pass up and we remain bullish on our outlook for this title and for the company."

GTA V is due out on September 17 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.