Everyone’s holiday plans were screwed up a bit with the announcement of a delay for Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto IV, which moved the release date from November of this year to the second quarter of next year. It probably never occured to us to think about how the game retailers feel about the delay.
Games analyst Michael Pachter says that Take-Two’s decision is serious business for games business, and that the GTAIV delay could shift as much as $80 million of GameStop’s sales from the third quarter of this year into the second of next. He predicts that GameStop will sell 35% of the estimated 2 million copies that would be moved in the first two weeks after release, but now that $40 million will have to come later.
Pachter says, “We believe that the game would have driven hardware sales of at least $100 million, and think that GameStop would have captured a similar market share [of 35 percent].”
Don’t worry, GameStop isn’t going anywhere, and it’s not like they won’t make the same money when the game releases next year. It’s still quite impressive to see how much one game can affect a retailer’s sales.