GTA 6 Is Most Important Game Release In Industry’s History, Analyst Says

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The games industry isn’t in the best shape at the moment, with cost-cutting measures leading to layoffs, studio closures, and game cancellations–and there are few major titles on the way to shore up sales. In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, industry analyst Mat Piscatella has said that GTA 6 might end up being an incredibly important release for the industry at large.

Piscatella, who works for tracking firm Circana, says 2024 isn’t looking great for the games industry, with overall spending expected to dip by anywhere from 2% to 10%, depending on how optimistic you are.

“There’s so much uncertainty when you look at the sales data or look to project this year,” Piscatella says. “There’s uncertainty around the hardware. There’s uncertainty about the content. Who the hell’s making the games?”

That uncertainty is underscored by this year’s two biggest games so far, Palworld and Helldivers 2, neither of which were expected to be such big hits. Despite their unexpected success, Piscatella says the industry would need another game at a similar level of success for overall sales to match the numbers driven by last year’s blockbuster hit Hogwarts Legacy.

When it comes to comparable titles, 2024 is looking a little thin, with many of the industry’s most highly anticipated releases not due out until 2025 at the earliest. “The uncertainty level this year is probably the highest I can recall … with the uncertainty of what’s going to get us to the finish line, because we don’t have those big games announced that we know,” he says. “When people are saying ‘our slate’s going to be light this year,’ that’s not something that usually happens.”

While this year is definitely looking rough for the industry, Piscatella is still optimistic about the future, with one major 2025 release already set to be massive–Grand Theft Auto 6. “We’re going to get a renewed batch of interest with GTA 6 in particular,” he explains. “There’s probably never been a more important thing to ever release in the industry, so no pressure.”