Publisher Take-Two Interactive reveals that the open world crime title Mafia 3 sets a launch record for developer 2K Games, shipping 4.5 million units in its first week.
Despite having received mixed reviews prior to its release, it seems as if Mafia 3 is somewhat of a success — at least when it comes to copies sold to retailers. As it happens, the open world crime title has shipped 4.5 million copies in its first week, which has helped set a record for the company 2K Games, as no other title in its stable of releases has shipped that many units within its launch week.
The news regarding Mafia 3's big shipping figures comes from 2K Games' parent company Take-Two Interactive, as the video game software firm relayed the information to The Washington Post. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that Mafia 3 has actually sold a record set of copies, as a sold-through number — that is, the amount purchased by consumers — was not shared.
Regardless, Mafia 3's shipping of 4.5 million a week makes the crime-laden release the "fastest-selling title in 2K Games' history." For those unaware, this means that the open world game has surpassed previously set records by some of the developer's other largely recognizable franchises such as Borderlands, BioShock, and NBA 2K.
Another notable aspect from The Washington Post's story about Mafia 3 comes from Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick, who revealed that early in the game's development, there had been discussions about main character Lincoln Clay's racial identity. Apparently, there were questions among the developers as to whether or not the team wanted to take the particular route it did with the title.
Eventually, though, the discussion shifted into talk about how to genuinely capture the 1960s in Mafia 3's New Orleans-styled setting without being "exploitative or preachy," as Zelnick described. The Take-Two CEO further explained, "It's tough to take on a subject material like this and treat it realistically and sensitively. We have to be sure not to put our words in the character's mouths, but to make sure the words belong in the mouths of the characters."
Although it's currently unclear as to exactly how many copies of Mafia 3 were sold to gamers, it's quite possible that the figure of 4.5 million units shipped to retailers could be a close indicator of actual purchases made. After all, just ahead of its launch, an annual Nielsen survey indicated that Mafia 3 was one of the most anticipated games of holiday 2016. Nevertheless, we will have to wait and see if such eagerness translated to a sales boon.
Mafia 3 is available now for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.