Pre-orders for GTA IV
projected at six million copies globally - with expectations of nine million copies
sold before the year is out.
Publisher Take-Two's CEO, Ben Feder, thinks that these predictions are too low however, telling Reuters
, "Our expectations are very high, higher than analysts give the game credit for. All the analysts had a (sales) number, give or take, and I think we will be on the upside of that rather than the downside."
So, what does all this mean for the company? Well, today is also the official deadline for Take-Two to 'initiate discussions'
with Electronic Arts as well as other potential bidders. Back on February 25th T2's executive chairman, Strauss Zelnick, stated that:
"...given the great importance of the Grand Theft Auto IV launch to the value of Take-Two, the board has determined that the only prudent and responsible course for our company and its stockholders is to defer these discussions until immediately after Grand Theft Auto IV is released.
"Therefore, we offered to initiate discussions with EA on April 30th, 2008 (the day after Grand Theft Auto IV is scheduled to release)."
Take-Two's NASDAQ share price closed at $26.63 (£13.20) yesterday, above Electronic Arts' proposed offer of $25.74 (£12.50). EA had dropped its price per share offer from $26 (£13) in order to maintain its $2billion offer. EA's share price closed down by 15 cents (7p) at $51.68 ($25.75).
The only other video game company likely to be in a position to offer to purchase Take-Two at this high-water mark in the company's history would be the newly formed Activision/Vivendi publisher, Activision Blizzard
, which is valued at $9.85 billion (£4.9b) compared to EA's current $16.3b (£8b) valuation. As of now, however, nothing official has been heard from that camp.