Rockstar Predicts $400 Million Open

Rockstar Games is predicting it will make $400 million in its opening week when they release their new game "Grand Theft Auto IV" onto the public on April 29.

Based on what retail stores have ordered, Take- Two Interactive (who owns Rockstar) says it is confident on the number. If it does happen, it will be the largest debut for an entertainment product ever.

Microsoft's "Halo 3" is the current reining record holder, clearing $300 million in sales in its first week, selling about 5 million copies of the game. However that was just for the XBox 360 platform. Since GTA4 will be released for both the 360 and the Playstation 3, the game is expected to have an even greater number of copies sold.

And all of this is taking place while Take-Two is trying to fight off a $2 billion takeover of their company from Electronic Arts.

However its unknown if the new game will have the staying power that Halo had in the preceeding weeks. There are a lot of loyal GTA fans out there (myself included) so it will be interesting to see if the new game can keep the momentum Take-Two needs to reject the offer from EA and boost their bottom line at the same time.

The Grand Theft Auto series has had its fair share of controversy over the amount of violence in the game and the accusation that it glorifies carjacking and other criminal acts. However all of that controversy has actually helped Rockstar make even more money with the franchise and this latest installment is destined to tick off a few ultra-conservatives out there.

This time around the game is based on a European immigrant, fresh off the boat that gets himself into trouble with all sorts of low-lifes trying to take advantage of him. The American Dream is not always what people think as our new protagonist learns quickly.

Will GTA 4 have the kind of opening Rockstar hopes? We'll keep a close eye on this one and report back as sales numbers are announced.

As always, stay tuned.

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