We knew gamers around the world were hungry for Grand Theft Auto V, but according to the numbers, they were downright starving for it. After it took Rockstar Games‘ latest entry in their open world series just a single day to sell $800 million worth of copies, publisher Take-Two Interactive is claiming the game now holds one of the most coveted records in modern entertainment.
After just three days on the market, Grand Theft Auto V has now sold more than $1 billion worth of copies. The previous titleholder, Call of Duty, took five times as long to do the same. If there were any doubts as to the most popular video game on the planet, this should put them to rest.
It’s a good day to be working at Take-Two’s offices, since not only has the controversial-as-ever video game brought in enough profit to make the reportedly $265 million development worthwhile, but media outlets and reviewers have made GTAV one of the highest-rated games ever. Jaded gamers might see a ray of sunshine in that avalanche of funds: audiences have put their money behind quality, not simply how well-funded the marketing happened to be.
Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser had previously explained that he hopes the GTA series is as relevant and contemporary today as it ever was. In the publisher’s official press release, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick sees this massive support as evidence that the franchise is now, more than ever, a cultural touchstone that few entertainment properties can rival. Whether that’s an encouraging statement on video games’ mass appeal, or cause for concern given the game’s subject matter is a separate issue (and one being hotly debated just about everywhere).
It’s worth pointing out that the sales numbers are just estimates on Take-Two’s part, but there’s little reason to suspect they’d fudge the numbers. Some within the industry had voiced concerns that the launch of a current-gen GTA so close to the release of next-gen consoles might stall sales, with Rockstar maintaining that a next-gen release won’t ever be in the cards. We can now see why the developer never seemed worried that fans would come out in droves, regardless of what platforms the game may – or may not – be available on.
As the undisputed king of the triple-A game space (for now, anyway), it makes it even more surprising that Grand Theft Auto almost never existed. But the developers are now looking forward, not backward: Houser claims that just about anything is possible for the future of the series, with gamers currently wondering what next-gen would bring to the world of Grand Theft Auto that GTAV doesn’t already offer.
We’ve got a few ideas of our own for GTA 6, but with Rockstar earning $1 billion before the weekend arrives, we think they’re free to do just about anything next. Did you expect to see sales this high, or has the public’s hunger for a new GTA been a surprise? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Grand Theft Auto 5 releases September 17, 2013 for the PS3 and Xbox 360.
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