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Grand Theft Auto V now at large amid billion-dollar expectations

The latest edition of the streetwise game has received rave reviews and could well be the biggest launch of the year.

Rockstar Games

At long last, Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto V is on store shelves. And before long, the game could prove extremely popular, according to some analysts.

Grand Theft Auto V will post 14 million unit sales worldwide by the end of this month, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter wrote in a note to investors on Monday. Overall, Pachter thinks Rockstar's hit title could reach 24 million unit sales over its lifetime, helping the franchise potentially generate more than $1.4 billion.

RW Baird analyst Colin Sebastian is similarly bullish on Grand Theft Auto V's chances of success. In a note to investors published on Monday by, he reportedly wrote that the franchise could generate about $1 billion in retail sales volume in its first month on store shelves. His estimate is based on a retail price of $60 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Whether Grand Theft Auto V can reach that milestone remains to be seen. Not everyone is buying a new, physical copy of the game at launch, and used games tend to throw a wrench in any developer's plans for a cash windfall. Still, the point is well-taken: Grand Theft Auto V promises to be extremely popular.

Grand Theft Auto V follows the franchise's long and controversial history, allowing gamers to play as three protagonists. As with previous titles, the game includes committing crimes and a fully realized storyline that reviewers, say, is fantastic. Speaking of reviewers, they're extremely impressed by the game, giving it rave reviews across the board.

The rabid excitement for the launch might have spurred a tragedy in the UK on Tuesday when a 23-year-old man was attacked and stabbed after picking up a copy of the title after its midnight launch. In a statement, a Scotland Yard spokesman said that the man was "robbed of items he had bought from a nearby Asda supermarket, including a copy of Grand Theft Auto. The supermarket was open late to offer gamers a midnight launch of the title.

Grand Theft Auto V is available now on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Now playing: Watch this: Grand Theft Auto V Launch Trailer