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 GTA V  smashes sales projections, surpasses $1B in three days
GTA V smashes sales projections, surpasses $1B in three days
September 20, 2013 | By Kris Ligman

September 20, 2013 | By Kris Ligman
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    39 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



Sustaining its day-one momentum, Rockstar and Take-Two's Grand Theft Auto V has flown right past sales projections, grossing $1 billion in sales within three days of launch.

Analysts previously forecasted that GTA V would hit the $1 billion mark within 30 days of launch, with an expected 12-13.5 million copies moved by the end of September. By contrast, given a specified U.S. price of $60 (many games retail higher in other regions, such as Europe), it would appear the game has instead moved somewhere between 14-16.5 million copies in the span of roughly 72 hours.

In addition to blowing analyst forecasts straight out of the water, this also means Grand Theft Auto V has set a new record in performance at retail, vastly outstripping Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, which brought in $500 million from day one and surpassed $1 billion in sales within 15 days of its launch.

Don't miss: Leigh Alexander's op-ed on Grand Theft Auto V's open world.


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Comments


Troy Walker
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boggles my mind... yet people balk at buying a mobile or indie game for a 1$.

Harry Fields
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I'm a capitalist, so I believe people are willing to pay what they perceive something to be worth. Obviously, a lot of people perceive the boatload of content in GTAV is worth 60$ but don't find the majority of IAP, banner-ad riddled mobile titles to be worth anything. There are some exceptions (P&D) that do make very nice money, so there is a market there. It's up to the developer to find a way to engage them.

As a player, I personally would rather pay 5$ for a mobile title that is polished and fun that has no ads or IAPs. I know many feel the same way. I'm sure there are equal numbers who'd rather look at ads on the top of their playfield than pay anything. It's still a nascent market. The viable business models will shake out in time.

Dane MacMahon
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I would pay $150 for GTA and Elder Scrolls games, yet I haven't paid for anything on my phone, ever. Everyone's different, everyone has their own tastes and priorities.

Ferrie Bank
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> I would pay $150 for GTA and Elder Scrolls games

Yeah, better not say that out loud. They might hear you.

Jonathan Jennings
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I waited until 12:30 A.M. in a 300 person line ( and i was in the middle) to pick up my copy.... It was soooo worth it .

Cordero W
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It's just one of those moments when publishers can say "Yeah, marketing works."

Sean Sang
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I find this comment quite insulting to all the hard working developers who made a great game. Marketing can only go so far and these sales numbers are more based on the quality of the previous titles and the bigger install base of a mature console. All marketing really has to do is say to the public, look here's a new GTA game.

Harry Fields
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Though good marketing doesn't hurt. They used some brilliant Guerilla marketing tactics and created a level of Buzz that undoubtedly had an effect. Quantifying that is near impossible, but one should never discredit a massive and intelligent marketing initiative.

Dane MacMahon
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Good marketing + top shelf development, writing and art talent + massive budget + established franchise.

There's a reason all these aspects to game making exist.

Cordero W
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GTA stopped being good after San Andreas. The 4th leaves a lot to be desired, and reminded me how tired the game really is. I played cops n robbers when I was 12. I'm too grown for it now. But some people still find that senseless fun alluring. Just another evidence of the mental capacity of the majority.

Kris Ligman
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"Mental capacity of the majority"? Seriously?

If you don't enjoy the series, that's fine enough, but I'd really encourage you not to make projections on people's intelligence just because they don't share your tastes.

Kujel s
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@Kris Ligman: Cordero has a point though, my personal observation has been the poeple who are fans of GTA do seem to be cognitively inferior to fans of more niche games.

Kris Ligman
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@Kujel

Why not just come right out and call them stupid? You're veiling your personal judgments in classier language, but the sentiment is still clear enough.

I don't know how anyone can look at some 14-16 million sales and go "these people must all be idiots to a man." Even if you find the game or the franchise asinine -- I sure do -- there are plenty of reasons to pick it up besides being "cognitively inferior." This thread is grossing me out.

Harry Fields
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So because I love the GTA series, I'm intellectually inferior? Wow. Wanna' compare college scores? Salaries? Care to wax intellectual about quantum entanglement, cryptology or the deeper meanings present in Shakespeare's histories?

And really, I'm not saying I'd be at a higher level than you; I very well may not be, but please think before you apply labels and hurl generalities at people. As with any form of blockbuster entertainment, the series appeals to people across age, gender, race and intelligence lines.

Michael Scala
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I appreciate your opinion but, and I have to imagine many people who grew up playing GTA 3 such as myself, my brother and a majority of my friends grow up to become intelligent people and enjoy all forms of games whether they be outlandish, simulations, or charming.

I will admit, there are some people who gravitate toward these types of games due to their, 'lack of maturity' but I can't imagine it's because they play GTA.

The fact that the game sold as much as it did speaks volumes about the industry, the general population, and pop culture. I like to compare GTA/ COD to the New York Yankees; you don't have to be a baseball fan or a Yanks fan to wear their NY cap, it's a fashion statement and a pop culture icon much like GTA/ COD is.

Dane MacMahon
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Judging peoples' intelligence by their media tastes is about as ignorant as you can get.

Kujel s
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Let me clarify what I mean about the GTA fans I've encountered in my personal life. Of the people I've talked to face to face (I'm excluding people online as that is a far less clear place to judge intellect) about GTA they have all been kind of slow and tend not to listen to a word I say. Not every fan of GTA is slow but I've yet to talk to a GTA fan in person who wasn't.

Dane MacMahon
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I think GTA actually has some really smart satire going on, that's a big reason I enjoy it. It could be like South Park where some people get the politics and some people laugh at the fart jokes, I don't know. Either way you can't assume intelligence based on what games someone likes.

Kujel s
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@Dane: it's less the games they like and more what they say and believe but the people I've personally talked to (offline) who are big fans of GTA have not been terribly bright but this is not every fan I admit.

I should point out by big fan I mean someone who more then just plays the games but thinks the GTA games are the greatest game. I've met a few of these people and they have all been a little or a lot on the dim side. I've also met people who play GTA but don't treat it like a piece of eden and these people don't really seem dimmer then the average.

Jed Hubic
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So basically you make idiotic statements then backtrack when smart people call them out. Keep trying.

Kujel s
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@Jed: this is why I didn't include people online in my judgement of GTA fans, I get lots of defensive remarks about games or franchies people like and this often makes it harder to guage their intellect as people tend to type/speak less articulately when angered.

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Nathaniel Smith
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That is an insane amount of units Rockstar must have predicted and shipped for launch.I wonder how much of those "14-16.5 million copies" were digital purchases.

Michael Pianta
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Clearly the AAA industry is doomed.

John Flush
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Sarcasm aside, it probably is doomed for anything that doesn't say GTA, Assassins Creed, COD, or the other small handful of games that sell well every time their name is on the box. "AAA and not an established franchise" is probably still massively doomed.

Harry Fields
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I'd say AAA games can sell incredibly well if they are new IPs, so long as they come with a pedigree. I mean, everyone's expecting Destiny to be the cat's meow. I think it's safe to say, it will push 5-10 million copies in a fairly short time-span. Titanfall will do well.

Yes, when dealing with multi million dollar budgets, you have a fiduciary responsibility to provide managed risk to your investors, but you can still stretch the amount of risk a bit here and there if you can deliver quality product. And even if you don't like the Sequel mills, there's no denying that they do put out insanely high quality content.

Dane MacMahon
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The problem is a lot of the people who bought this game buy maybe 2 or 3 games a year at anywhere near full price. This is not some sign of AAA resurgence in general.

Ken Nakai
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The problem is the game cost almost $150m to make so if it tanked there'd be a serious problem. The AAA part of the industry is definitely running parallel to Hollywood these days. It's the reason we have GTA V and COD 23,493. You aren't going to invest that much money into a game if you don't think you'll come out big on the far end.

This sort of this is just a self-feeding loop. I'd be surprised if some exec somewhere isn't already planning for GTA 6 with a budget that could top $200m.

Still, push out one of these a year (split between other franchises) and you could pretty much print money for a living...

The funny thing is I think because it's GTA 5 and not GTA 1, sales are so healthy because gamers paying $60+ know what to expect.

Michael Pianta
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No, I agree it is parallel to Hollywood. And I certainly think the AAA industry has major problems and rough times ahead, but on other hand there was obviously pent up demand for something exciting. Maybe the current AAA games are just not interesting enough to people.

As I see it AAA is a continuum anyway. How small a budget could you have and still produce something that people would recognize as AAA? Because clearly you have to work you way up to something like GTA 5, but I think you could still introduce a new AAA IP if your idea people thought the idea was cool.

Kujel s
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When all we have left in the AAA space is GTA, COD, and maybe Destiny it wont be an industry anymore, it will be a money singularity :( And no verity at all >:(

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Michael Scala
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I don't know about lack of variety. Seeing how people always want, ' the next best thing' I imagine that studios will be pushing the bar of creativity a bit further.

And with the PS4 being so indie friendly, their will be so many games to choose from by those devs; I think the industry will be revitalized in a year or two.

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Jed Hubic
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Probably not, and even if it's true, so? How many of us played m-rated games when we were kids? I'm sick of seeing this argument online, about a bunch of out of touch people that are suddenly angry about kids playing games rated m, when they did when they were kids. If that stick ever gets that far up my ass, I hope it kills me in the process.

Kujel s
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Sad but true, though GTA is not the only "mature" game that is guilty of this. Nearly the entire AAA games secotr is targeted at tweens.

Jakub Majewski
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Jed - to be fair, we in the games industry really like having that cake and eating it too. On the one hand, we say "well, so what if kids play m-rated games? We did too, and nothing happened." But on the other hand, whenever the media try to connect teenage violence with kids playing m-rated games, our reaction is always: "hey, don't blame the games, blame the parents. Those ratings are there for a reason, man!"

I'm not saying that the media are right to connect these dots - they may occasionally be, most of the time they almost certainly aren't. It doesn't matter. I'm just pointing out that our industry takes a pretty hipocritical stance on all this, using the ratings system as an excuse half the time, and talking about its unimportance the other half of the time.

David Konkol
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Living in China, I have heard none of the marketing. yet I still bought a copy of GTA5. WHy? Because Rockstar has a track record of making good games that are relatively bug free.

That said, why would I want to take a chance with my limited gaming dollars on some phone game that I never heard about, or a game from a company known for shipping things with a ton of bugs *cough*cough EA *cough*

No matter what the news says, the economy is still not doing great. So I will pay a lot of money to support a company I know will give a good product, instead of a supporting a bunch of smaller games that only MIGHT be entertaining.

Jarod Smiley
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lol...kids shouldn't be playing GTA5...

Seriously, I don't care about labels or generalizations, or any of that nonsense, your an ass if you buy this for your kids.

The amount of vulgarity/sexuality/violence/satire/comedy will go completely over a ten year old's head, not to mention the constant profanity could easily influence acceptable speech at a young age. It's simply inappropriate for kids, doesn't matter if turns them into a psycho or not.

Great Game btw...but it even bothers me at times with vulgarity, really annoying actually, and I'm a minority from a very poor town lol...

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