Depending on which analyst you ask, first month sales of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars are either a worrisome indicator that Mature-rated content simply can't sell on the Nintendo DS—or a great success.
That's because two analysts who follow the video game market, Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter and EEDAR's Jesse Divnich, have wildly different estimates of the DS game's performance in March. While Pachter pegs sales at about 450,000 for Chinatown Wars, Divnich estimates they'll come in at less than half of that, with just 200,000 copies sold in the United States.
Yes, I know. Analysts.
But Divnich, based on his low ball prediction, says that his findings indicate "elevated risk" for publishers who are thinking about bringing more mature, more violent fare to the generally family friendly Nintendo platform.
We haven't seen Pachter's comments on Chinatown Wars' sales, but would expect they're more positive than the warning that his peer at EEDAR released to investors. We'll know for sure this Thursday who's right, when the NPD Group releases its findings. Then the victor will be forced to eat the heart of his analyzing enemy.
EEDAR: Chinatown Wars Performance Proves Mature DS Games 'Risky' [Gamasutra]
Analysts Disagree Widely About ‘GTA: Chinatown Wars' Sales [MTV Multiplayer]