Home Gaming FFD: Can GTA V save the gaming industry?

FFD: Can GTA V save the gaming industry?

1 min read


The gaming industry is pretty much screwed. Publishers are losing money left, right and centre to the point of breaking. In an industry where 3.5 million sales in less than month is a failure, something’s quite clearly wrong. The gaming industry needs saving – and according to analysts the one thing that’ll save it is Grand Theft Auto V.

That’s the opinion of Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia, who believes that the current negative industry trends are set to continue until they’re single-handedly brought back to black by just one game, Grand Theft Auto V – with next-gen consoles giving it a second jolt later on.

No doubt, it’s an insanely popular franchise – and its latest instalment is quite probably the most eagerly anticipated game of the year. But can one game save the world?

Historically, GTA games have done incredible business. GTA San Andreas was the most successful game on the PlayStation 2, selling 17.33 million copies just on that console, with a total on all formats reaching 27.5 million. Its successor, GTA IV has sold over 25 million copies to date – with the franchise as a whole selling through over  114 million copies since its 1997 debut.

Times have changed though. People are a little tighter with their money. Many are saving for “next gen,” instead of splashing out on new games. Others still have turned off of GTA after the fourth game, which many felt was a bit of a flat, unfun experience. there’s also some serious competition now, in the way of the zanier Saint’s Row series which has grown from strength to strength.

GTA V will no doubt sell like the proverbial hotcakes, only with more dead hookers – but can it really reinvigorate the market?

Last Updated: April 19, 2013


  1. AndriyP

    April 19, 2013 at 10:34

    i dont think so…theres just so much they can innovate in a sadbox game

    If you think about it all the gta’s are the same dough from gta 3 just improved graphics and new models…



    • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

      April 19, 2013 at 10:42

      GTA2 FTW!


  2. Admiral Chief Erwin

    April 19, 2013 at 10:34

    GTA SA was bloody epic.

    NOW, if we can make a GTA RSA, I would play that!


  3. Admiral Chief Erwin

    April 19, 2013 at 10:35

    Jokes aside, methinks GTA is a bit of a dead horse


  4. Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    April 19, 2013 at 10:37

    Nothing can save the industry, because Greed is stronger than GTA 5. In fact, Greed always rolls high with a d20.

    For those joining the festivities, the industry is doomed. They’re going to gut themselves into oblivion.


    • AndriyP

      April 19, 2013 at 10:41

      The Banana has spoken, it must be so then

      I also think the industry is in a mess its not right where they invest so much money in one title and all it takes is for the title to flop and then the company is under


    • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

      April 19, 2013 at 10:42

      Who will rise to close the gates of Oblivion? Is it the illegitimate child of Rockstar? Will they be able to keep the dragon fires burning?


      • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

        April 19, 2013 at 10:45

        The people will forge themselves a key, for already the masses are grumbling. Soon they will storm the castle, slay the KING and eat the dragon…


        • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

          April 19, 2013 at 11:01



        • Jonah Cash

          April 19, 2013 at 12:25

          Does the dragon have some horse or donkey in it??? Otherwise I’m out!! My body it seems has been conditioned on those meats for who knows how many years?????


      • Hendrik Ruhe

        April 19, 2013 at 10:50

        For me the industry awaits the arrival of the absolutely holy appearance – of a Pokemon for Android /iOS ! One day….


        • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

          April 19, 2013 at 10:54

          Gameboid + ROM

          Also if you have an S3 (or equivalent) and up you can emulate NDS roms as well 🙂


          • Henry Wilken

            April 19, 2013 at 13:03

            But you can’t trade with your friends yet… Well unless something came out in the last 4 months?

          • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

            April 19, 2013 at 13:05

            Well there is that. Which does suck. But yeah it would be nice to see a game designed specifically to work on mobile phones. In fact I am surprised they haven’t grasped at the opportunity yet.

    • Slade Boender

      April 19, 2013 at 10:46

      Hear hear!


    • Ultimo_Cleric_N7

      April 19, 2013 at 11:13

      Hit the nail on the head. Upvote Central Jim. You cant put a bunch of empty suits in charge of a gaming company who expect EVERY GAME in their portfolio to sell like GTA and CoD. These guys budget and plan, expecting that their games will fly off shelf. Seriously, their business acumen is lacking and they obviously understand NOTHING of what gamers want and how they think.


    • LordCaptainAwesomeness

      April 19, 2013 at 11:46

      I am actually hoping for a crash. The Likes of EA and such have been running rampant, providing sub-standard, copy-and-paste products, and charging an arm and a leg for too long.

      It is about time that there is a wake-up call.

      Why must we be supplied with Crap, and be expected to pay huge wads of Randela’s for crappy products.

      Give us proper games (Bioshock infinite, Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon) and see how well you will do.. Give us nonsense ( Aliens: colonial Marines, Dead Space 3) and be prepared to get your behind kicked.

      This is a hobby yes for us… it is also a service industry, and as a publisher, you must fight to get my Randela’s…..

      viva revolution viva


    • GTO

      April 19, 2013 at 11:59

      Not sure why anyone wants to save the industry. We will all be here, the people wrinting the code will still be there. What won’t be there is a lot of the cause for a lot of games sucking.


  5. Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    April 19, 2013 at 10:40

    No it can’t. Reasons:

    1) It can only save the developer and publisher involved in it. Other companies won’t suddenly make a profit because GTA did
    2) Suits will see it making a success and try to emulate it (Even bigger development costs) which would drive them further in to the ditch
    3) They have limited it to console only. They have already taken a huge chunk out of their consumer base by doing this. This on top of recession and people in general having less money.
    4) The franchise is starting to slow down. People want new and imaginative. Not iterations of the same game (unless it’s CoD or BF. But those are the exception, not the rule.)


  6. umar bastra

    April 19, 2013 at 10:42

    The behemoth that is GTA … I don’t think this single game can save the industry really. I don’t see how it can … with developers budgeting way beyond logical reasoning, games will still continue to be considered a loss even though they sell well over the millions. GTA can do nothing in the face of corporate greed…did I say nothing?…I meant DIDDLY-SQUAT! these companies should look to From Software who are happily comfortable sitting with over 2 million in sales . Budget correctly and the losses will stop.


  7. Purple_Dragon

    April 19, 2013 at 10:55

    Bit much expecting one game to “save” the market.

    Tomb Raider did not do badly, they just overestimated their sales figures badly. Start setting some realistic budgets and expectations. Then slash those insanely high marketing budgets while you are at it. I still cannot understand how you have have a marketing budget that is the same as the cost of making the game or even more than the cost of the game.


  8. Macethy

    April 19, 2013 at 11:00

    For over R700 a piece, I don’t see many people rushing to buy it new…


  9. Sir Oldfart

    April 19, 2013 at 11:02



    • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

      April 19, 2013 at 11:04

      Rearrange them and they make an excelent GATVol


      • Sir Oldfart

        April 19, 2013 at 11:08



  10. Anon A Mouse

    April 19, 2013 at 11:11

    One game isn’t going to make it. I’m sure the powers that be already set up minimum sales of 11 million in one month or something like that. With more gamers being burned with incomplete games and high prices more and more are using a wait and see approach to gaming.

    That and the fact, as you mentioned, that there are new consoles on the horizon does not bode well for sales.


    • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

      April 19, 2013 at 11:12

      Yeah. I wonder when the industry is going to realise that they are failing because of consumer hate towards unfinished, unpolished games?


    • Purple_Dragon

      April 19, 2013 at 11:12

      Exactly, incomplete games with higher prices is really not helping! It is also getting to the point where it literally pays to wait for the GOTY editions.


  11. Carl Angus

    April 19, 2013 at 11:14

    Is the gaming industry really in such dire straits?

    These articles make it sound like there are only 1 or 2 publishers left making games.

    Is it time to start nekkid rage toy-toying around a bonfire made of PS3’s and Xboxes?


  12. Ultimo_Cleric_N7

    April 19, 2013 at 11:15

    One game will not change the fact that the Directors of these big companies think everyone on Earth will buy every game they make. Work business strategies EVER.


  13. Rincethis: Spellalicious

    April 19, 2013 at 11:28

    Wha? The game is apparently going to retail, minimum, at R700. That’s before megarom and any suppliers have added their cut. How is that going to save the industry? I love GTA, but I am not spending R700 on it, and that’s without the obligatory DLC that will no doubt come out later, at a cost. The only thing that will save the industry, imo, is for the marketing departments to all go to hell. When the fuck did 3.5 million sales become ‘not enough?’ When? Well, when the marketing departments were issues with up to 200% the budget of the fucking game, that’s when! Rant over.


    • Purple_Dragon

      April 19, 2013 at 11:30

      I’d buy you a beer just for that comment. Exactly, when did 3.5 million sales become not enough!!!


      • Rincethis: Spellalicious

        April 19, 2013 at 11:31

        It makes me want to take a hammer to my balls man. Really, what stapler-up-the-ass suit decided that hey? 3.5 million?! That’s nearly every person in Cape Town central!


        • Henry Wilken

          April 19, 2013 at 13:06

          hammer to balls… eish baba. I know it’s bad, but that’s worse. My throat is drying up right now.


    • Sir Oldfart

      April 19, 2013 at 11:42

      Hear fucking hear.
      If GTAV is not $59 then Im going to boycott the game like I did with Max Payne 3. Even if it is half price4 months later. NO SALE!!! BITCHES.

      Principle. VOTE FOR OLDFART.


  14. Trevor Davies

    April 19, 2013 at 11:31

    It always amuses me to listen to analysts who think a silver single bullet will save an entire industry. GTA selling well will only paper over the cracks.

    Personally I’m just tired of entitled publishers acting like I’m a mindless zombie who is obliged to give them money whenever they wave something shiny in my direction. Especially when that something shiny is bug-laden and/or comes with money-grubbing DLC & micro transactions and/or social features you can’t disable and/or DRM that makes me have to jump through hoops and/or crappy middleware that I don’t want but have to install for your game to work and/or that I don’t own the game I bought, I’m just granted a license to play it because you’re being nice – and you expect me to like it. WELL I DON’T.

    What happens when your paying customers tell you they don’t want these awesome amazing value-add features? You double down on arrogance and tell them that their opinions don’t matter, that the game sold well so tough, deal with it, and that you generally don’t give a crap what they think, because AWESOME.

    I love gaming, but this stuff pisses me off. You want to know why your crap isn’t selling, look at the above, then look in the mirror.

    Nap time.


  15. TechniKyle

    April 19, 2013 at 11:33



  16. DieJason

    April 19, 2013 at 11:41

    R700+ for GTAV? O_o

    Reckon it’s time to mosey on down for a replay of RDR


  17. Ryan

    April 19, 2013 at 11:43

    Gta has always been about the cars driving from point A to Point B, weapons and then driving to point C. Hopefully a good story, Gta 4 messed that up.

    Gta is a game that people like buy over and over again through the years. I wouldn’t be surprised if Gta SA and Gta 4 is still being bought today.

    But Gta 5 is just one product. So what will save the gaming industry is if people stop buying and playing Call of Duty and start buying and playing other games. The way these companies are using DRM, always online, servers, trying to capture and keep users to their products. I hope The Witcher 3 sells well with no DRM. Don’t spend so much money on advertising and saying that you needed 6 million units to break even, that is just bullshit. Use the money to support gaming studios to develop good gaming experiences so that people can want to buy your game for years to come.


  18. fred

    April 19, 2013 at 12:03

    Nope , one game can’t save the other mediocre franchises. It will make them even less popular. The future is subscription based services and software like PS+.


  19. Lukas De Kock

    April 19, 2013 at 13:20

    klink soos propaganda. wat is fout met die industrie? fokol. net kak games met belaglike pryse.
    indies wys ons waaroor gaming gaan. nie die cod kinder kak wat gecopy en paste word elke jaar nie.


  20. Wtf101

    April 22, 2013 at 08:37

    GTA V will save the gaming industry as much as I can end world hunger by this afternoon. One game doth not an industry make.


  21. Sentient_Slug

    April 22, 2013 at 09:08

    There is no CRISIS. this argument has been going on for YEARS. its so difficult to listen to. Games are still being produced, new hardware continues to be developed. do you REALLY think that the industry will collapse and that there will just be no video games. Not a chance. get over it.


  22. Tbone187

    April 22, 2013 at 16:05

    GTA is worn out….plenty o’ sandbox titles to rival it nowadays…It’ll be lucky if it can save itself , let alone the entire gaming industry…


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