Sept. 17 - Grand Theft Auto V- the first new edition of the popular franchise in 5 years- has fans lining up to buy and investors carefully monitoring sales. Bobbi Rebell reports.
This is the scene at a GameStop location in the Bronx just after midnight, the line stretches around the corner. Fans eager to plunk down $60 to score the latest installment of Grand Theft Auto- number five- five years in the making. Reviews have been off the charts- and Piper Jaffray's Michael Olson expects sales of 14 million units in the first two weeks alone: SOUNDBITE: MICHAEL OLSON, SENIOR RESEARCH ANALYST, PIPER JAFFRAY (ENGLISH) SAYING: "This historically has been one of the biggest entertainment franchises in the world. So it's a huge game for Take Two which is the developer that puts it out, but it's also a big game for the industry overall. It helps to drive new console sales and things of that nature." Both Microsoft's Xbox and Sony's Playstation consoles have updated versions coming out this fall. Grand Theft Auto V, produced by Rockstar Games, lets players compete in criminal missions in an urban setting- complete with everything from yoga and tennis- to strip clubs, hookers and bong hits. But it's been years since the previous generation of consoles- and a new generation of gamers is now the target audience. But Olson says huge franchise games like Grand Theft Auto will drive sales: SOUNDBITE: MICHAEL OLSON, SENIOR RESEARCH ANALYST, PIPER JAFFRAY (ENGLISH) SAYING: "One of the things that we have found is that video games are still cool. And by that I mean specifically, console games, not just mobile gaming and things like that. So we are seeing with the survey we did last night the majority of the people we were talking to who were out at midnight, wanting to buy Grand Theft Auto, were in their upper teens or lower 20's. Average age of the people we surveyed was 24 so we are definitely finding that console gaming is still top of mind for that age category. " And because those gamers are used to mobile and social gaming, Olson says virtually all of the core gamers will spend even more money on downloadable content- keeping the cash flowing until the next installment.