Grand Theft Auto V: $1 billion sales mark after just three days

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 21, 2013

Grand Theft Auto V achieved sales of $1 billion worldwide in just three days. This is the fifth instalment of the controversial videogame from Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. The game went on sale at midnight on Tuesday. This is Take Two’s most lucrative franchise but this version broke first-day records for the series. In this game, players are able to roam freely on their automobiles at real-life locations like Los Angeles. The shares of Take-Two closed up 1.2% at $17.20. Its stock has risen by 12% since July, when the fiscal 2014 forecast was released and when the September release of the game was announced. Analysts estimated that $800 million in retail revenues means that it had sold around13 million to 14 million units of the game (which costs $60).

Daniel Ernst, an analyst at Hudson Square Research, said that his expectations were surpassed. He pointed out that what the last major Grand Theft Auto title sold for the course of the year, this latest version accomplished in just one day. The 16-year-old Grand Theft Auto franchise, which has been around for 16 years, has received multiple awards and is already a part of popular culture.

However, the game’s violent and adult nature has stirred controversy. Only gamers older than 17 can buy this game due to its “Mature” rating given by the industry group that rates video game content in the U.S. "Grand Theft Auto IV" came out in 2008 so fans have been in a frenzy while waiting for the fifth instalment.

Analysts believe that it cost from $200 million to $250 million. It has taken over 5 years for Take-Two's Rockstar Games studio to develop this game. This debut is considered as one of the industry’s most impressive launches. In 2012, $500 million in sales was recorded for Activision Blizzard Inc's "Call Of Duty: Black Ops II". Ernst said that over 20 million units a year are sold by other blockbuster titles from top-selling franchises like "Call of Duty" and Nintendo's "Mario" games. Mike Hickey, an analyst at the Benchmark Company, describes the first-day record as “phenomenal” and that he expects that it will have sold 23 million units by March 2014.

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