Concern Over GTA Franchise Sales

It’s safe to say that the Grand Theft Auto franchise is as solid as they come.  For years, every new installment in the series has received mass critical acclaim, and sales have exceeded all expectations for the most part.  According to Broadpoint AmTech analyst Ben Schachter, however, it seems that the popular car theft, do-a-prostitute-then-shoot-her franchise may have finally hit a bump.

“Has the Grand Theft Auto franchise peaked?”  This is the question asked by Schachter, and he justified his concern by stating that, despite the strength of the GTA license, the numbers for the last few GTA releases haven’t been on par with the rest of the series.  Obviously, this statement has nothing to do with GTAIV.   “Our concern is that the very highly rated new GTA content for Xbox as well as PSP and DS did not perform up to expectations in 2009,” stated Schachter.

Is Schachter on to something here?  Could it be that the GTA franchise has finally reached its limit?  Take-Two recently announced that they have no plans of releasing yearly GTA titles.  Could it be that they believe the GTA series has peaked?  Or are the low sales figures just an indication that full-blown GTA games such as GTA III, San Andreas, and GTA IV are what fans really want as opposed to handheld installments and downloadable expansions?

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