Let's try to forecast exactly where the hotly anticipated Grand Theft Auto V will land in the pantheon of highly regarded and hugely profitable game launches, but first! A disclaimer: this isn't a scientific study. I'm just looking around for anything that doesn't spoil missions and such. If you wanna do more research and sift through more numbers, check out Sliverstorm's series of excellent statistics articles to calm your rage and realize that I graduated from a fancy four year college with an English degree... It's worthless, I tell you!
Anyway, reddit user bigfootson submitted that Grand Theft Auto's current preorder tally three weeks until launch encompasses both 360 and PS3 versions of Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty: Ghosts combined (with plenty room to spare). That stat isn't all that impressive when you consider that Grand Theft Auto V, once again, only has three weeks until launch compared to 9 and 10 weeks for the other games of note, respectively.
Also, should preorder numbers for previous uber game launches make a reliable measure of how 2013's biggest games rank after launch, Grand Theft Auto may or may not reign surpreme. The question:
Will Grand Theft Auto V be the biggest video game launch of 2013?
As it stands, yes, er... possibly. For total preorders up to three weeks to launch, GTA is outpacing last year's Black Ops 2, Halo 4, and Assassin's Creed III, three of the biggest video game software launches with primary focus on the two platforms that are set to receive GTA V in 2013. Remember, there's no science here.
The picture gets a little fuzzy when you consider the movement each game did on the preorder charts in their third week. While Grand Theft Auto V has a higher total, Black Ops 2 was preordered more in its third week on both Xbox 360 and PS3. Halo 4 was preordered roughly 30% more in its third week and Assassin's Creed 3 isn't even worth mentioning, gobbling up about 50% less preorders three weeks till launch.
Maybe more gamers got their preorders in for GTA earlier, whether they wanted to snag one of Rockstar's fancy collector's editions or not. Perhaps Call of Duty: Ghosts and its multiplayer improvements will surge past Black Ops 2 launch success last year. We'll have to see when the dust settles and Rockstar Games sends out a celebratory press release. I wish game sales were more readily trackable.
Here's the data I "collected." It shows the game and platform, total preorders and number increased for the third week before launch. All of these numbers are for the third week until launch.
GTA V - X360 - 3 - 1,581,146 ^104,103
GTA V - PS3 - 3 - 1,037,597 ^74,758
BO2 - X360 - 3 - 1,533,711 ^145,507
BO2 - PS3 - 3 - 868,790 ^99,868,790
Halo 4 - X360 - 1,294,730 ^157,274
AC3 - X360 - 527,322 ^52,235
AC3 - PS3 - 339,137 ^31,267