The retail community is buzzing in anticipation of Grand Theft Auto IV's release, following Rockstar's confirmation of an April 29th release date – with many key figures from the trade voicing confidence in the title's record-smashing ability.
As with previous GTA releases, GTA IV will be the benchmark for all future releases with regards to volume of sales. The question is what will sell more: PS3 or Xbox 360?” said Jonathan Edwards, games buying manager at Tesco.
Tricia Brennan, buying director at GAME added: There is huge consumer anticipation for GTA IV. This truly is the launch event of 2008. Customers cannot wait to be able to play the game.”
And despite the title's post-Easter release, the trade believes the quieter period will actually serve its prospects well.
Ren Wright, senior category manager for console and games at DSG International said: GTA has a lot of pressure on its shoulders, but I think in terms of next-gen titles it will absolutely smash records. The fact that it's launching in April won't hold it back; the anticipation is already there from consumers and I think less ‘noise' from other big IPs in April and May will give it a clear run.”
And Juliana Foley, trading manager for games at Entertainment UK, added: I don't believe the timing of the release will matter to the long term success of Rockstar's GTA IV.
A non-peak GTA release will certainly change the dynamic for other triple-A releases. However, GTA is both day one and an evergreen sales opportunity. It should still feature highly in the Christmas charts as well as at launch.”