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Grand Theft Box Office

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“The buzz in Hollywood, which I heard from some Hollywood folks…is people are worried whether Iron Man the movie is going to get killed by Grand Theft Auto the game.”

These were the words said by John Riccitiello, CEO of Electronic Arts during an interview with the Financial Times. Riccitiello, as some know, is heading EA’s attempted hostile takeover of 2K Games, the publishers of Grand Theft Auto IV.

Analysts predicts that GTA IV could sell 5.8 Million copies in it’s first week, giving it retail sales of around $360 million (R2.8 billion), with total predicted sales hitting the 13 million mark. It’s no wonder that Hollywood is worried. The gaming industry has boomed significantly over the last couple of years and I’m not surprised that something like this is happening. Ben Stillers’ Heartbreak Kid suffered from opening weekend sales that weren’t quite as high as they were hoping and the finger was pointed at Halo 3.

Gaming has definitely come a long way if the folks in Hollywood are genuinely worried that a new video game is going to destroy their movies opening weekend. Riccitiello also emphasizes this point saying that “The games industry 10 years ago was a toy business in the minds of most consumers. Toys ‘R’ Us at the time merchandised products alphabetically so Monsters toys were next to Madden [NFL football games], Barbies were next to boxing games.”

Gaming is truly starting to be recognized as a very lucrative industry and a widespread, popular form of entertainment. The eye of the world is on gaming now more than ever, for better or for worse.

source: The Financial Times

Last Updated: April 15, 2008

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