Grand Theft Auto surpasses $1bn in sales
Grand Theft Auto (GTA) V has crossed the $1 billion sales mark after three days in stores, a rate faster than any other video game, film or other entertainment product has ever managed, its creator Take-Two Interactive said on Friday.
The latest instalment of GTA, a cultural phenomenon that has sparked a national debate on adult content and violence, received strong reviews and racked up $800 million in first-day sales alone.
That marked a launch-day record for the Grand Theft Auto franchise, which is Take-Two's most lucrative product, and allows players to cruise around a make-believe game world based on real-life locations such as Los Angeles.
Take-Two shares were little changed at $17.48 in early afternoon trading on the Nasdaq.
Gamers had eagerly awaited the fifth instalment of the 16-year-old game after Grand Theft Auto IV was released in 2008.
It took more than five years to be developed by Take-Two's Rockstar Games studio at a cost of between $200 million and $250 million, according to some analysts' estimates.
Last year, it took Activision Blizzard's first-person shooter title: 'Call of Duty: Black Ops II' 15 days to hit $1 billion in global sales after its November release. That game took in sales of $500 million on its first day.
While GTA V is off to a flying start, industry analysts are keeping a close eye on Take-Two's ability to sustain sales momentum.
Grand Theft Auto V is currently only available on Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 consoles, owned by over 160 million gamers. Take-Two is yet to announce a version for the much-awaited next-generation Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles, which will go on sale in November.