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Analyst: GTA IV may sell 5.8 mln week one

Rockstar set to drown in cash, says Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey

Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto IV is poised to sell 5.8 million units during its first week of availability, according to Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey.

In a note to GameStop investors, Hickey highlighted this year's top games that are expected to drive sales at the retailer.

Among titles such as Gears of War 2, Fable 2, Halo Wars, Wii Fit, Fallout 3, Mercenaries 2 and other high-profile games, Hickey singled out GTA IV, which is slated to release April 29.

"We expect [GameStop] will benefit from the release of GTA IV in their fiscal Q208 period, which could ship 5.8 million units in the first week or $360 million in retails sales and potentially $110 million for the Company," he wrote.

Hickey's week-one estimates are in line with Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter, who said in mid-March that he expects GTA IV to sell 6 million in its first week.

Pachter said he expects the game to sell 9 million during Rockstar parent Take-Two's fiscal year.

Hickey expects game industry software sales to grow 20 percent year-on-year for calendar 2008, with hardware sales growing 13 percent.

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