rise in the Take-Two stock price, Nollenberger Capital Partners analyst Todd Greenwald tells GameDaily BIZ that BioShock is "not the next GTA" and he thinks investors are "getting carried away." Greenwald says he expects BioShock will beat sales expectations (which were originally under 1 million units) and land somewhere in the 1.5 - 2 million range. He says, "However, with the stock up over 20% in the last few days, we have heard of expectations in the 3-4 million unit range, which we believe are unrealistic... keep in mind that Bioshock is only being released on one console platform (Xbox 360), and will likely be limited by its intense, hard-core, first-person-shooter style of game. The game is very dark, very complex, and will have a hard time penetrating the mass market, in our view."
But what about Gears of War and its phenomenal success? Greenwald says that was a more "accessible game, had more marketing support, and was released in the holiday window." BioShock sales may come to a screeching halt come Sept. 25 with the release of Halo 3. Most importantly, Greenwald says that he believes the stocks rise can actually be attributed to the expectation that EA (or some other large entity) will acquire Take-Two -- although he doesn't expect it to happen in the next 3-6 months, he also says that management wants to get GTA IV out the door before talking buyout.