Grand Theft Auto V nets US$800m on first day

19 Sep 2013

Grand Theft Auto V on Tuesday delivered the highest first-day retail sales of any title in the franchise, with sales of US$800m reported around the world.

GTA V is on track to outsell this year’s biggest movie releases. The top 3 earners at the box office this year, according to Hollywood bible Variety, are Disney’s Iron Man 3, which generated US$1.2bn; Universal’s Despicable Me 2, at US$840m; and Warner Bros.’ Man of Steel, at US$663m.

The game was launched on Tuesday (17 September) worldwide and has achieved outstanding reviews. It has yet to be launched in Brazil and Japan.

The Take-Two Interactive game, which cost an estimated US$250m to make, was largely developed in Scotland by Rockstar North.

The latest instalment of the game, which puts gamers in a re-imagined version of Southern California, gives gamers the freedom to explore the dense urban metropolis of Los Santos and the wide open countryside of Blaine County.

The game, meant for players over 18 years of age, is controversial because of its depiction of crime. It takes players on a series of epic heists, arms tracking and more.

But the wonder of the game this time round is how many things players can do, be it base jumping or parachuting out of planes. There are also lots of intense action sequences, not to mention vast vistas, beautiful sunsets from mountain tops and swimming in the ocean.

“All of us at Take-Two are thrilled with the initial response to Grand Theft Auto V. Once again, the team at Rockstar Games have outdone themselves, setting the entertainment industry’s new standard for creativity, innovation and excellence,” said Strauss Zelnick, chairman and CEO of Take-Two.

“Beginning at midnight on Monday, consumers around the world gathered in anticipation to be among the first to experience the evolution of this remarkable series. In North America alone, more than 8,300 stores opened their doors at midnight to welcome fans whose loyalty and enthusiasm were rewarded with what The New York Times called ‘the most immersive spectacle in interactive entertainment’.

“We are incredibly proud of Rockstar Games’ creative achievement and could not be more pleased with the success of this launch,” Zelnick said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years