Rockstar's latest GTA
game, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
for the Nintendo DS has met with disappointing sales that are well below estimates according to investors. That's even in face of the renewed interest in the platform thanks to the launch of the Nintendo DSi
While Rockstar and Take-Two originally reckoned that the game could sell around two million copies in the US in just the first year, those estimates have now been slashed to just 500,000 units according to GI.biz
"Despite a strong critical reception, Take-Two's GTA: Chinatown Wars sold a very disappointing 89,000 units in March, well below our more recent 200-250,000 estimate and far below the 400-450,000 we thought the title might sell upon its release,
" wrote Doug Creutz of investor firm Cowan and Company.
Investors reckon though that the quality of the game is not the problem though, but the demographical issues surrounding the DS platform.
"Take-Two exported their most valuable IP onto the most widely distributed gaming platform, and created the most highly-rated title in the history of that platform,
" detailed Creutz. "We knew there were some uphill challenges due to the demographics of the platform, but believed there were enough core gamers/adults owning a DS that the title could still perform very well. However, either the demographics are more challenging than we thought, or core gamers did not view the title as an essential purchase due to the nature of the platform.
Take-Two still expects the game to be profitable, though it admits it will only be marginally so if sales continue as they are.
Personally, we reckon the problem probably stems from how easy it is to pirate games on the DS platform, but what do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the forums