Grand Theft Auto V earned $1 billion after just three days of release but don't expect Rockstar Games and publisher Take-Two Interactive to end things there. Research firm SuperData predicted Tuesday that the PS3 and Xbox 360 title could haul in another $206 million in its first year thanks to DLC and GTA Online's microtransactions.
According to SuperData, GTA V will earn $165 million alone from possibly two DLC expansions that will add more content and activities to the game's story mode. The firm expects microtransactions in the form of GTA Online's in-game currency to make up the remaining $41 million.
By comparison, Take-Two's biggest DLC earner so far is Borderlands 2 which earned just over $10 million from DLC in the first year.
While the revenue for two DLC expansions from a userbase of over 20 million people is certainly within the realm of possibility, the larger question will be how gamers take to microtransactions. While Rockstar Games insists that it will not give GTA Online players an unfair "pay-to-win" advantage, the accelerated acquisition of more powerful weapons and vehicles certainly opens up that possibility. Furthermore, most players will likely prefer to simply grind out leveling up their characters as SuperData noted.
"Take-Two is testing the microtransaction waters with a playerbase that may be largely unfamiliar with them," the firm explained why microtransactions will not earn as much as DLC. "It’s also introducing it in a game environment that, unlike an MMO, does not require in-game items to progress. GTA’s microtransactions will merely let players acquire items faster, so the conversion rate will be lower than free-to-play games."
Take-Two President Karl Slatoff confirmed that the publisher sees GTA Online's microtransactions as "just another way to experiment" during a recent MKM Partners Entertainment & Leisure conference.
Grand Theft Auto V has the potential to hold gamer's interest between its story mode and online mode. Take-Two and other publishers are sure to pay attention and find ways to expand on or improve the hybrid model employed by the game according to SuperData.
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