Grand Theft Auto IV hijacks blockbuster season

9 May 2008

Grand Theft Auto IV is not just the fastest-selling video game of all time, it has also beaten Hollywood in the numbers stakes by shifting six million units globally in seven days with an estimated retail value of over US$500m, in comparison to this summer’s blockbuster movie Iron Man, which took in a mere US$210m in its first week.

The nearest another game has come to this record breaking figure is Halo 3 which sold US$300m worth of copies in the first week of its release.

Grand Theft Auto IV‘s first-week performance represents the largest launch in the history of interactive entertainment, and we believe these retail sales levels surpass any movie or music launch to date,” said Strauss Zelnick, chairman of Take-Two, the company that publishes GTA.

Zelnick may well be right considering the biggest movie release to date was Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End and this managed US$406m in the first six days of its release.

Added to record sales, the game is apparently driving up sales of the Xbox 360 console. The official blog – written by employees in Microsoft’s Xbox and Games divisions – reports that sales of the Xbox went up by a whopping 54pc as a direct result of the release of GTA IV.

Blog author and Xbox employee Chris Paladino said that retailers reported to Microsoft that 60pc of all Grand Theft Auto IV copies were sold for the Xbox 360 platform.

In contrast, Gamestop Ireland reports that GTA IV for the PS3 is outselling the Xbox version. Either way, getting your hands on a copy last week was nigh on impossible as the game flew off the shelves faster than shops could restock.

By Marie Boran