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Old 04-13-2009   #1
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Post Only 200,00 GTA Chinatown Wars Sold in March

GTA Chinatown Wars sold only 200,000 in March
Source: Today's NPD March US sales preview report by Jesse Divnich, director of analyst services for Electronic Entertainment Design and Research (EEDAR).

What we heard: One of the bigger surprises at Nintendo's E3 2008 media briefing was the unveiling of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. After its suddenness wore off, the announcement of the first GTA game for the DS had as many supporters as it did skeptics. On one hand, releasing a spin-off of 2008's second-biggest game* on 2008's most popular platform appeared to be a license to mint money. On the other, there were doubts whether the ultra-felonious title--which lets players steal cars, shoot enemies, deal drugs, and commit myriad other crimes--would translate well to the handheld's more family-oriented demographic.

Which position is correct will be determined this Thursday, when the NPD Group releases US sales figures for March. But instead of being in near-agreement, analysts are offering wildly diverging estimates on how the critically lionized Chinatown Wars fared. Wedbush Morgan Securities' Michael Pachter believes the game sold 450,000 units in the two weeks after it went on sale March 17, a solid debut by any standard. By contrast, EEDAR's Jesse Divinch thinks the game's sales were less than half that, coming in at around 200,000 units.

"It appears the industry may have been over-zealous with initial expectations on how GTA: Chinatown Wars would perform based upon the news it had received one of the highest quality scores for a Nintendo DS title," wrote Divnich in his report.

Divnich also contends that with the trigger-happy game's lackluster debut, Take-Two Interactive may have shot the M-rated DS game market in the foot. "EEDAR believes the results of GTA: Chinatown Wars confirms that attempting to release a major AAA title on the Nintendo DS, targeted at a mature demographic, carries significantly elevated risk," contended the analyst. "With the majority of publishers currently taking a risk-adverse stance, we expect this to slow the growth rate of future mature rated titles on the DS."

The official story: Take-Two reps said they were looking into the matter and had not officially commented as of press time.

Bogus or not bogus?: The world will know for sure on Thursday, when NPD releases (and GameSpot reports) the March NPD numbers. The market, however, seems confident that Chinatown Wars waged a decent struggle at retail. Take-Two stock has been rising for the past week, shooting up $1.05--or 12.5 percent--today alone.

Source Yahoo NDP:
Source Gamespot: http://www.gamespot.com/news/blogs/r...-in-march.html
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