The much anticipated GTA: San Andreas goes on sale today and is expected to break sales records in short order. Sales in the first week alone are expected to hit around 4.5 million units which would make it one of the top selling titles of all time.
“This will be one of the few video games to sell more copies than the preceding version,” said American Technology Research analyst P.J. McNealy, noting that the game’s predecessor “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City” sold 12 million copies. “The expectations are 13-15 million for this one,” he added.
At about $50 each, first-week sales of 4.5 million units would equal about $225 million. Should it reach 15 million units, sales of “San Andreas” would beat U.S. and Canada box office sales of the film “Titanic” by more than $100 million.
Its debut kicks off a season of blockbusters in the global interactive game publishing market, which at over $30 billion a year, dwarfs the movie business.
In addition to racking up big sales the title is expected to set off another round of bitching and moaning from the likes of Connecticut’s U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman and the various “family values” watchdog groups that will only prompt further sales. So get ready for a lot of news conferences from those folks as reports of massive sales start showing up in the news media. Given the high marks the game is already receiving from reviewers you can be certain it’s going to attract a lot of attention. IGN gave the game a 9.9 rating, Gamespot a 9.6 rating, and 1Up opened their review with the following:
San Andreas is very different from other games, though. It is a very big game. The term “big” really doesn’t do it justice. It’s huge, massive, colossal, stupendous, and somewhat humbling in its enormity. No matter what expectations you’ve developed based on the information that has dribbled out over the course of the past six months, you are wrong. If you’re expecting Vice City, only set in the ‘90s and with some RPG bits, you are wrong. If you believe they can’t possibly push it as much as they have before, that it can’t really be that good, you are wrong. San Andreas is shocking, not necessarily because of its typically contentious subject matter (though there’s plenty in it to rub those of a conservative disposition the wrong way) but because of the sheer scale of the experience.
The 1Up review does a good job of giving you a sense of just how friggin’ huge this game is and confirms the rumors that there is a two-player co-op mode of sorts in the game in the form of team rampages that first show up when you make it to San Fierro. They end their review with the following statement:
There are literally hundreds of things about the game that I’ve not touched on here, but pretty much all of them are just as rewarding as the things I have discussed. All that remains is to tackle the question we posed at the beginning of this review: Is it really the best game ever made? Quite possibly, yes.
I can’t wait for this one to arrive from Amazon, which it should do before the weekend arrives. If there’s a dearth of posting for a few days you’ll know why as the game is said to hold over 100 hours of game play putting it on pair with many Japanese RPGs.