Television

Grand Theft Auto V tops $800 million first day

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MUMBAI: It had been over five years since the last Grand Theft Auto game hit store shelves, and all that pent-up demand did wonders for sales of the franchise's fifth installment, which went on sale Tuesday.



Take-Two Interactive Software announced Wednesday that the first day of "Grand Theft Auto V" sales topped $800 million worldwide (excluding Japan and Brazil, where the launch is still expected).



At about $60 a pop, that translates to more than 13 million units. It is the highest first-day retail sales in the company's history and the GTA series, which had sold 125 million units before this release.



The revenue numbers also make GTAV the biggest video game launch ever, exceeding the record set last November by Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops II, which hit $500 million in its first 24 hours and a record $1 billion its first 15 days.



The question is whether GTAV will be able to maintain its momentum over the next two weeks and beat Activision with its consistently record-setting game. Then next up whether Activision's next massive release, "Call of Duty: Ghosts," can match $800 million its first day.



GTAV's setting this record speaks of three major trends in the video game industry, which has otherwise been struggling with massive sales declines as consumers shift their spending to digital add-ons, and free or cheap apps.



First, big brands rule. During the past few years, consumers have bought fewer games, but they're continuing to spend big on established titles.



Second, digital content makes games more appealing. GTAV has more digital add-ons than ever, and that makes it a better value proposition to the consumer.



And third, while people have held off on buying new consoles, with the next Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation coming this fall, every year the user base with consoles grows and enables a bigger game launch.

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