Earlier this year, Hudson Square Research analyst Daniel Ernst issued estimates for Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto IV, pegging 2008 sales for the title at 13 million copies. Not a bad take. Analyst analyzers populating the post's comments called that figure into question, with insight ranging from "Durrrr" and "dude is captain obvious" to "unbelievable" and "unrealistic."
Today, Ernst upped his estimate to 15 million on word from Take-Two that the publisher had already sold through 8.5 million copies of GTA IV, with 11 million shipped to retailers. Ernst noted that "We expect GTA IV sales to re-accelerate in the latter part of year in conjunction with the seasonal holiday period."
As for Final Fantasy XIII shipping 7 million in 2008?
Ernst said that "Initially we had hoped it would make it in for the end of the year" but that FFXIII "definitely appears off the table" according to Square Enix guidance. Frankly, we'll be thrilled (and maybe even a bit flabbergasted) if it hits North America before 2010.
The Hudson Square Research analyst updated us on a handful of other key figures, noting that Gran Turismo 5 is also expected to be a "no show" this year and that next week's release of Metal Gear Solid 4 "won't be enough to materially accelerate the PS3 this year."
"For the PS3, that's definitely a set back," Ernst told us about titles that the firm expects to hit next year, "And I think is why their 10M unit guidance for the [fiscal year] was lower than most had expected."