Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (TTWO), Activision Blizzard, Inc. (ATVI): Can “Grand Theft Auto V” Save the Video-Game Industry?

Shares of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO) hit a fresh 52-week high this week, and it’s not necessarily the past that has investors excited. Shares of the Rockstar Games parent have nearly doubled over the past year in anticipation of next month’s release of Grand Theft Auto V.

It’s easy to see why the market’s excited. More than five years have passed since Grand Theft Auto IV set initial sales records. The industry itself has gone into a tailspin in that time, as social and casual games on smartphones, tablets, and social-networking websites have eaten into the industry’s revenue.

Diehard gamers are still there. There’s no joy in Candy Crush Saga or Plants vs. Zombies for them. However, they have been fewer in number, as hardware and disc-based software sales have fallen every year since 2009.

Thankfully for Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO), the trend in recent years has been for gamers to ignore all but the marquee releases. Despite dwindling sales for the industry overall, Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI)‘s annual Call of Duty installments continue to set new records.

That’s good news as the market’s bracing for the Sept. 17 release date of the gritty title.

Source: Rockstar Games.

How big will the game be? Well, GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME) delighted investors on Thursday by forecasting an 11% to 15% spike in store-level comps this quarter. Grand Theft Auto V is the quarter’s big release, as Call of Duty: Ghosts as well as the potentially game-changing release of the Xbox One and PS4 consoles won’t take place until November.

GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME) has posted nine consecutive quarters of negative comps, and it’s banking on Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO)’s release to turn that around.