Analysts stateside have predicted that over nine million copies of GTA IV will ship this financial year.

But the game's developer Take-Two has stated categorically that they'll do even better than this enormous estimation.

Take-Two is currently riding high on the plaudits the fourth installation of the Grand Theft Auto series has won from critics worldwide.

However the company is also in the midst of fending off a hostile take-over bid by gaming giant EA Games, who has been open in admitting that the Grand Theft Auto series is its target.

Analysts are therefore saying that GTA IV sales and the company's resultant profit boom could gain Take-Two some negotiating power (though in recent weeks EA has actually lowered its offer just to flex its muscles).

Take-Two's CEO Ben Feder told Reuters: "Our expectations are very high, higher than analysts give the game credit for".

"All the analysts had a (sales) number, give or take, and I think we will be on the upside of that rather than the downside."