The lights are on
The Grand Theft Auto IV expansion packs received rave reviews from critics, but the Xbox 360-exclusives haven't performed up to expectations for Take-Two's executives.
"Both we and Microsoft believed there was a big market for
GTA IV episodic content," Take-Two CEO Ben Feder admitted to investors on a conference call Thursday.
So what was the problem? To Feder, timing is the culprit. "Both were released significantly after the core unit," Feder said in reference to Grand Theft Auto
IV, which launched in April 2008, "and therefore weren't able to
leverage GTA IV's initial marketing campaign and initial launch fervor." The first expansion, the biker-gang themed Lost and Damned, came out in February 2009. The Ballad of Gay Tony, which focused on the criminal nature of high society, just hit Xbox Live this past October. In the same month, Rockstar also released Episodes From Liberty City, a retail disc that included both expansions.
Though the sales figures haven't been shared publicly, considering Feder's language and that fact that Episodes From Liberty City failed to even crack the NPD top 20 in November, it's easy to conclude that the sales are a far cry from the millions of copies Grand Theft Auto IV sold.
Despite the slower-than-anticipated sales, Feder stated he believes the expansions will have long legs. "There's very little precedent for this type of episodic content at the
price point we offered it," Feder said, "and so we're confident that these titles
will continue to have a long life just as we've seen a long life from
all of our other prior GTA releases."
So armchair analysts, what you think was the biggest contributing factor to the poor sales? Did being buried in the Xbox Live Marketplace hurt the GTA expansions, was it simply bad timing, or has Grand Theft Auto lost some allure with consumers?
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Sucks that it's not on PS3. I have GTA IV on PS3 and no xbox :( .
I think these expansions will be selling for quite some time, but they certainly wont have extremely strong sales at any given point in time. The longevity of games these days just isn't what it used to be, so he is right the timing was a ways off, however when people are inbetween their new released purchases im sure a few here and there will be picking these up for the entirety of the 360's life span.
with the amount of GREAT games that came out during the time Liberty City Episodes was released, i'm not surprised it didn't do well. i plan on buying this eventually but not for a while.
Price could be an issue...1600 microsoft points? a little steep.
Not being released on the PS3 hurt their sales because Xboxers want stuff now and have very short attention spans LOL. JK they need to release it on the PSN and then they could make more sales and hopefully break even.
While both expansions may be good (even though Lost & Damned is a Sons of Anarchy rip-off), I think the timing of these "expansions" were too late. Especially with the CoD, Assassins Creed, L4D2, Uncharted 2, Demons Souls, and all the other good games that have come out. People will buy and play it, it just may take a while.
This is the same reason L4D2 and Assassins Creed are trying to get their DLC out as soon as possible (Spring 2010 i believe) The longer you wait, the less people play your game, and even less that will care about your DLC.
I have a PS3 and loved GTA4. Woulda bought the expansions if they were available. It's pretty unbelievable that an exec at Rockstar can't understand why cutting out half your audience would have a negative impact on sales.
Two things: Timing and price. The Ballad of Gay Tony released at the height of the holiday season rush. I'm sorry but I got bigger fish to fry. And the price was another factor. $10 is a lot to ask for. I know it might not be that much to some people, but it is to me. If both episodes were around $5 like the Assassins Creed 2 DLC is going to be, I'd jump onboard from day one.
Or yknow you could try adding them to PS3...just a thought. NKO18 I feel your pain.
It was just god-awful timing. An October release? Let's see, ODST in October, and Assassin's Creed 2, Modern Warfare 2, Left 4 Dead 2, Dragon Age: Origins, among others, released in November. I didn't even realize this was releasing.
I just realized that it wasn't $10. It was $20! That's a lot of freakin' money, man. That's like buying the game twice.
I look at it like this:
In the music industry, you've got EPs and LPs. A band can release a REALLY good EP but it's still an EP. There's something about an EP that just isn't satisfying enough. Even if EVERY song is AAA material, it leaves you thinking, "Man, I can't wait for their next full length album!" Plus, people do discover bands through EPs, but to me, it seems like the majority of EP sales come from the hardcore fans of the band who want to listen to everything they put out. Personally, I've got 3 or 4 bands that I own nearly everything they release, including EPs. But, I'm not that way with EVERY band I listen to.
The pricing is fine. I'm surprised people are complaining about the cost. I have only played Lost and Damned, but it was well worth the twenty dollars it cost. Are those who say the price is too steep basing this opinion on experience with the games? These aren't your typical DLC packages.
I believe the timing - The Ballad of Gay Tony for sure - is what has hurt the most. I have every intention of playing the second DLC, just not at this time. I know this is a here and now business, but I think these expansions will have proved to be a good decision in the long run.
they shouldnt have made them xbox exclusive. they would have sold more.
I've played through both, and I don't agree that the price is too steep. You're going to get a good 10+ hours of GTA goodness, plus new multiplayer experiences. In the office we consider Episodes From Liberty City to be the bargain of the year.
Just out of curiousity (sp?), does anyone know why this wasn't released for ps3? Some kind of hardware/programming issue, or just microsofts deep pockets?
There problem was releasing the content way too long after the games release. By the time the content came out no one cared about GTA 4 anymore they were focused on this years titles. If they would have released the content within 6 months of the original release the sales figures would be quite different.
Probly would have made sense to release them on the PS3 as well...especially since it was originaly a playstation title. I think its kinda funny! Anyone with me?
the exclusivity obviously hurt its sales a lot. eho knows if it would of equated to however much microsoft paid them for it though.