The millions of GTA V

The Grand Theft Auto (GTA) franchise help put Rockstar on the map as a major player in the lucrative gaming industry.

The wildly popular franchise managed to spawn some of the biggest controversies the gaming world had ever seen due to allegedly excessive violence.

Interestingly enough, the GTA  franchise has always been modeled on American cities with fictitious names.

The cars are generally loosely based on existing real models, though they are not licensed or branded traditionally.

One of the most popular titles in the franchise remains Grand Theft Auto III, which is one of the games that helped pioneer the open environment setting – spawning hordes of copycat games. Essentially, players can opt to simply cruise around the GTA world at their own pace,  jacking cars and shooting things up. Meanwhile, primary game play is based on staggered missions that help the player rise through the criminal underworld.

The next video game in the franchise is Grand Theft Auto V, and analysts are predicting huge sales for the latest GTA installment. Analytics firm Stern Agee projects GTA V will sell more copies in its first week – $14 million – than GTA IV sold in its first year.

For comparison, GTA IV sold 13 million copies in its first year when it hit store shelves in 2008. Considering the much broader adoption of game consoles and PCs in 2012, sales of 14 million during the first week of GTA V’s release in March 2013 is certainly achievable. If the analytics firm is correct, Rockstar would make about $700 million in revenue from GTA V alone.