It’s been more than two years since Grand Theft Auto V first came out for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, in 2014 the game hit PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and last year the game launched on PC. This week Take Two revealed that Grand Theft Auto V has now sold in more than 60 million units worldwide and the series as a whole has now sold in more than 235 million units. This is a huge achievement for the series and is a testament to how Rockstar have been able to grow the series. Sales from Grand Theft Auto products have now generated more than $2.5 billion in GAAP revenue for Take Two since the release of GTA V, this is more than 55% of all revenue generated by Take Two since the release of Grand Theft Auto V.
Grand Theft Auto V has consistently been the biggest contributor to Take Two’s bottom line through the release of Grand Theft Auto Online. The company reported that there were more than 8 million active users playing the game each week back in October and this week they said that the holiday season bought the highest level of revenue yet for GTA Online with the highest number of active users for the game ever. Revenue generated by Grand Theft Auto products in the final quarter of 2015 was up $109 million year on year. Rockstar Games has driven sustained engagement with Grand Theft Auto Online by delighting audiences with free content updates during the game’s lifecycle. As a result of this, Rockstar are now forecasting that revenue generated from Grand Theft Auto Online will be up year over year in fiscal 2016.
Grand Theft Auto V has been in the top 10 selling games list for 3 years now both in the US and the UK according to The NPD Group and GfK Chart-track. Grand Theft Auto V also achieved 6 Guinness World Records, the most prominent of which were ‘Best selling Videogame in 24 hours’, ‘Fastest entertainment property to gross $1 billion’ and ‘Highest revenue generated by an entertainment product in 24 hours’. The game sold through 11.21 million units to end users during the first 24 hours of sale and generated revenue of $815 million going on to reach $1 billion after just 3 days on sale (Please note that not all this revenue goes to Take Two). These records are yet to be broken and at the moment it looks like only another Grand Theft Auto game will have a shot at smashing these records. Not even Star Wars can break the entertainment records set by Grand Theft Auto V.
Take Two have done well to extend the lifecycle of Grand Theft Auto for so long and I expect this is something they plan to continue doing with their other top franchises. Take Two of course have their annual sports titles which they will continue to release annually, titles such as NBA2K16 have sold in more than 6 million units and WWE2K16 saw improved review scores and sales this year as well. They will also continue to support their robust catalog titles which continually sell well, for example ‘Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas’ re-release for PS3 & 360 have sold in more than 3.5 million units to date and their other mobile ports of older games are selling well. With the annual releases, Online titles and catalog titles as the backbone, Take Two plan to release at least one title a year with the opportunity to have an extended lifecycle to generate revenue for the company over a number of years. Last year it was Evolve and this year it’s Battleborn, but Grand Theft Auto remains the main generator of revenue for the company and there is no doubt that the company will look to extend GTA5 as long as possible and replicate the success with GTA6.
Grand Theft Auto V has now sold more than double that of Grand Theft Auto IV, even the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of Grand Theft Auto V have sold more than 35 million units which is more than any original Grand Theft Auto game release. We can work out that the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC versions of Grand Theft Auto V have sold slightly less than 25 million which still puts the sales of the re-release version ahead of some of the older games. It’s really crazy when you think about it and Grand Theft Auto Online has been able to keep those buyers engaged and playing. Rockstar also noted that there is more content to come to Grand Theft Auto Online to delight players in the future.