Sales expectations for Will Wright's upcoming Spore have clocked in at between 3 and 5 million units and profits of around a quarter billion.
That's the verdict of analysts polled by the financial analyst publication The Street, which also registered some caution about the nature of the expectations given the extremely positive performance of The Sims series.
"Spore could meet estimates but that may not be enough to please investors who are looking for more in a market where even the slightest disappointment could have a big negative impact on the stock," analyst Priya Ganapati wrote.
"I think Spore will do at least 3 million units as a packaged product, and if it's as good as it looks, it has the potential to do twice that," Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter has said.
For its part, simExchange estimates a total of 7.5 million units sold for both the PC and a Nintendo DS version of the game.
Perhaps putting things in perspective, another analyst, Arvind Bhatia, from Sterne, Agee & Lynch, commented, "The Sims is a billion-dollar plus franchise. If Spore does half of what Sims does, it will be a great success."
The game is due out on Sept. 5 in the UK on the PC and mobile platforms.