Grand Theft Auto 5 was first released on console back in September 2013, making it 18 months old now. Despite its age, the game continues to top sales charts and make headlines. And with the impending release of GTA Online Heists in a couple weeks, and a PC launch next month, we haven’t seen the last of the game’s domination.
In fact, thanks to digital games industry analyst Superdata we’ve learned of another way Grand Theft Auto 5 is beating out other newer video games. According to the analyst, the newest Grand Theft Auto game made $31.8 million in January from digital sales, which includes Xbox Live and PSN sales, DLC content, and microtransactions.
We estimate one of the biggest factors in this success was that Xbox One gamers were able to grab the game on Xbox Live for under $20 in the early part of January. That’s a great price for a game that still has plenty of life left, including the upcoming release of GTA Online Heists.
Even though players were unaware of the official release date of Heists until this last month, the hints towards Heists were likely enough to excite players into purchasing the game. For a while we were confident Heists would be available this past December, but when that didn’t happen, players assumed it was only a matter of weeks until they could knock over jewelry stores and banks with their friends. Combine that with the great price and it’s no surprise that the game sold so well.
We’ll be interested to see how well Grand Theft Auto V stacks up in digital sales in February, though if it does suffer a little, it could easily bounce back to the top of the charts in March when Heists releases.
For those who are interested, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare came in second on the list with an impressive $23.5 million in digital sales. We estimate this may be due in large part to the game’s first DLC, Havoc, releasing on Xbox at the tail end of January. Destiny rounded out the top three with $14.2 million in sales.
Interestingly, Battlefield 4 made $11.7 million in January – a strong showing for another 2013 release. Once again, though, we attribute this success to reduced prices and continued DLC releases. Plus, we're sure it helped when word hit at the end of 2014 that the game would receive a surprise sixth DLC as a ‘thank you’ to players for their continued support of the game.
We were also surprised to see Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 make the top 10, considering there are two newer Call of Duty games currently available, both of which also made the list. Black Ops 2 made $3.5 million in digital sales in January. What makes this even more impressive is the game is only available on last-gen consoles.
Overall, it seems January was a good month for digital sales. We’ll be interested to see how things change up over the next few months as new games are released and older games get better deals.
What do you think of Grand Theft Auto V leading digital sales for consoles in January? Did the numbers surprise you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.