Rockstar Games' upcoming open-world action game Grand Theft Auto V may have cost up to $266 million to develop and market, according to a report by Scottish newspaper The Scotsman. The article also claims that industry analysts expect the game "could sell" upwards of 25 million copies in its first year on the market. That would generate over $1.56 billion in sales for Take-Two Interactive, they say. That number is in line with an estimate given by EEDAR analyst Jesse Divnich in November of last year.
Another analyst, Sterne Agee's Arvind Bhatia used a "hypothetical probability model" to predict development costs of $137.5 million.
Whatever it costs to make, if any one franchise can make back costs like that and earn a profit, it is the juggernaut that is the Grand Theft Auto series. Grand Theft Auto V will be released on September 17 in the United States for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It is the one game that most analysts agree will lift the industry – which has floundered in recent months as consumers wait for the next-generation of consoles to launch – out of the muck.