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Grand Theft Auto 6 trailer arrives early, but the game won’t until 2025

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There were hopes and expectations that Grand Theft Auto 6 would be released in 2024.

The double whammy of the next GTA and the expected launch of a new Nintendo console would have boosted the global gaming market in 2024 and delivered a more positive year compared to 2022’s decline (at least compared to the COVID years) and 2023’s marginal growth.

But, as we learned yesterday, GTA 6 will not be released on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series

Grand Theft Auto 6 will likely be the biggest entertainment launch ever when it launches,” Matt Piscatella, CEO and video game industry analyst at Circana (formerly NPD), tells GamesIndustry.biz. “The potential is definitely there, the only question is how high the ceiling will go.”

George Jegiashvili, chief analyst at Omdia, agrees, adding: “It’s clear that Rockstar Games is ready to meet the high expectations for this long-awaited sequel… With so much anticipation and Rockstar’s track record, we expect GTA 6 to perform well.” It did exceptionally well when it was released in 2025, and will likely become one of the best-selling games of the decade.

“Even in the best-case scenario, they won’t be able to lead the entire market significantly [in the same way as Grand Theft Auto 6].”

George Jegiashvili, Omdia

Jegiashvili highlights that waiting until 2025 will not have a negative impact on GTA 6 sales. Rather, he expects the opposite.

“With mid-tier consoles launching in 2024 and more current-gen consoles in the hands of gamers overall, Omdia expects an installed base of 142 million current-gen PlayStation and Xbox consoles by the end of 2025, an increase of 26%. More than in 2024.”

With 190 million units sold worldwide, you only need to look at GTA 5’s performance to know how well its long-awaited successor is performing.

Taking the UK market alone, GTA 5’s boxed sales of around nine million are far more than double the sales of any other physical release. The game also holds the record for the highest first-week sales, grossing £94 million in just five days in 2013, the same amount GTA 4 made throughout its entire lifecycle.

The above figures come from GfK Senior Client Manager Dorian Bloch, who says: “Take-Two has the potential to maximize sales on existing platforms and by the time GTA 6 arrives, we’ll be looking at serious installs on PS5 and Xbox. From the series Plus a potential official console bundle at launch.

“I expect GTA 6 to easily surpass the records set by GTA 5, with a mix of direct digital sales (data I don’t have access to) and box sales. But even box sales will be exciting and should beat every other title in the box.” Published in Last few years.”

Bloch adds that the Vice City setting would help, as the original 2002 PS2 game remains the third best-selling SKU in the series, surpassed only by the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of GTA 5.

The broader takeaway from the GTA 6 reveal, specifically the release window Rockstar is targeting, is the potential impact on the rest of the gaming market. Few titles can directly impact the performance of a global industry from year to year, but Grand Theft Auto is undeniably among them.

Jijiashvili confirms that Omdia expected GTA to arrive in 2024, and that revealing a 2025 release would “negatively impact [projected] console market revenues for next year.”

But others were less surprised, with market analysts at Newzoo pointing to the $8 billion net bookings Take-Two expected for fiscal 2025 earlier this year.

“[This] led many to believe that GTA 6 would be released in FY 2025, [but] Take-Two’s FY 2025 starts in April 2024 and ends in March 2025, so there were already indications that they were aiming for a release date in Year 2025.”

Rockstar makes sure they take the time to get [their games] right,” adds David Cole, CEO of DFC Intelligence. “That’s why we’re more confident that they’ll be high quality than that they’ll come out on time.” I think some investors “We are disappointed, but it is the right decision to take the time to launch a strong product.”

So, without a new Grand Theft Auto game generating millions in sales and market growth in 2024, what prospects can the industry benefit from next year? Obviously the lineup isn’t fully known at this early stage, other than the usual annual hits like Call of Duty and EA Sports FC, as well as some announcements from The Game Awards tomorrow, but the launch lineup is here now. “Very basic,” Cole says.

“Big publishers like EA, Activision and Microsoft are focusing more on annual updates to existing products,” he says. “This leaves some Japanese publishers and Ubisoft among the big boys when it comes to new products. We’ll see if Ubisoft can roll out its Prince of Persia and Star Wars titles. Of course, we wouldn’t be too surprised if we do. Watch for big news from Nintendo about new products.”

“It will be difficult for 2024 to follow the amazing launch year that was 2023,” said Perry Gresham, forecasting and modeling analyst at Media Research. “We will still see some of the best games from 2023 sell well in 2024, like Modern Warfare 3, EA Sports FC, etc. In addition to some major new releases such as Final Fantasy 7, Alone in the Dark, Stalker 2, and Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024.

Bloch points out that several major franchise additions are currently listed as “2024 TBC,” making it more difficult to fully assess how strong the lineup will be next year. In addition to Call of Duty and EA Sports FC, he cites Star Wars Outlaws and perhaps Dragon Age: Dreadwolf as promising releases, with hopes for a new Mario Kart and 3D Mario (and perhaps Pokémon) if the Switch 2 launches next year.

Piers Harding-Rolls, director of games research at Ampere Analysis, points out that Grand Theft Auto will continue to contribute to industry revenue even without a new release.

“Let’s not forget that GTA Online is ongoing and there are regularly around 20 million players a month in GTA 5/Online on PlayStation and Xbox consoles,” he says. “Furthermore, while a portion of console players may be saving their money until GTA 6 launches, many of them will be happy to shift their spending to other games coming in 2024 or to their favorite live service game.

“There is no doubt that GTA 6 will be a driver of hardware sales and a boost to overall game sales, but I remain optimistic about the console market next year.”

Gigiashvili adds that the launch of Nintendo’s console, as well as potential mid-gen upgrades for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series consoles, as well as the “potential return of Fortnite to mobile devices,” will lead to increased consumer spending.

“Even with the absence of GTA 6, we will likely continue to see promotions on PS5 hardware, as Sony hopes to increase PS5 penetration in markets where it is still lagging generation after generation (i.e. in Western Europe.) [We hope] it is expected that The PS5 Pro is releasing in late 2024, and since it’s the first full year of PS5 Slim sales, Sony will likely have more room to get discounts to drive sales and promotions.

However, he admits that there is currently “a notable lack of big titles planned for 2024 with ‘guaranteed’ sales in the tens of millions.”

“Everywhere from Build to Rocket Boy, [Game Science’s] Wukong Black Myth and the live-service titles developed by Sony Studios are our wild cards for 2024, but we realize that even in the best-case scenario, “they won’t be able to significantly boost the entire market.”

Newzoo gaming market analyst Rhys Elliot is particularly focused on the long-awaited Switch 2, which he says will be a “huge help to console revenue in 2024.”

“Gamers often buy software to complement their new hardware,” he says. “Nintendo consoles in particular tend to launch strongly with popular franchises like Zelda and Mario drawing players to the platform from the get-go, and we expect the same from the next console.

“Nintendo has built a lot of goodwill among consumers throughout the Switch generation, and the Mario movie has cemented the power of Nintendo’s most important intellectual property. The Switch’s successor is on track to make a big splash, and Nintendo appears to be more serious about closing the gap between consoles and generations than ever.” time ago.”

Harding-Rolls adds that if the Switch 2 launches in 2024, it will “shape the end-of-year market performance.” “Obviously the launch of GTA 6 is a huge cultural moment, but the arrival of a new Nintendo console on the market takes it to the next level,” he adds.

However, some are concerned that even a new Nintendo release may not be enough to raise the bar for this year’s market performance in 2024, with Circana’s Piscatella noting that the next console “will have to do most of the heavy lifting to keep the console market at… At or near its current level.

“Given the large number of big new releases we’ve seen in 2023, even with new Nintendo hardware, it may be difficult to get the market into 2023. If we don’t see new Nintendo hardware in 2024, we could be looking at a percentage decline of Number one in the console market… followed by a larger double-digit increase in 2025.

“We can look forward to a big ride in the console market over the next few years. The console market has seen these declines from time to time throughout its existence, but 2024 has the potential to be one of the biggest.”

“If we assume that GTA 6 would have performed at least as well as GTA 5, and that GTA 5 grossed over $2 billion in its first year, then a 2025 release could cause a decline,” adds Karol Severin, senior gaming analyst and vice president of data at Media. Global game purchase numbers for 2024 (not including in-game sales).

“However, it is important to note that global gaming software revenues (game purchases, game spending, and advertising) will continue to grow, albeit more slowly, and below the rate of inflation anyway.”

Media is currently reviewing its 2024 forecasts and is expected to issue an update in the coming days.

Newzoo’s current forecasts were unaffected, though senior games analyst Tom Wijman explains that this is largely due to the fact that the data company doesn’t take into account games without an announced release date. In the absence of GTA 6, Newzoo expects live service games, especially Sony and Microsoft’s growing portfolios, to boost revenues in 2024.

“We can expect high-profile live service content to stream in 2024, 2025 and 2026,” says Wegman. “The console market is at risk of becoming saturated, in part due to these strategies. These risks negatively impact opportunities for individual publishers and developers, but we still expect the overall console gaming market to grow because of this. After all, the best live streaming Check Service games generate very good income, and with increased competition comes more aggressive strategies by major publishers.

“GTA is a phenomenon that will push people to buy new consoles. It could accelerate the growth of this generation and put the market on track to reach its peak soon.”
Tom Wegman, Newso

He also points out that the end of console generations tends to see a fair amount of big films released, if it seems too early to talk about the end of the current generation.

Wijman points out that 2026 will be six years after the launch of the PS5 and Xbox Series This is the point at which Newzoo expects its install base, content and subscription offers to theoretically peak. But GTA 6 could change that.

“Once GTA 6 is released in 2025, this install base will definitely receive another boost, as the new GTA release is a phenomenon that will push people to buy new consoles,” explains Wijman.

“This could accelerate the growth of the installed base for this generation and put the market on track to approach the peak a little earlier in, say, holiday 2025 instead of 2026.”

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