At $6 Billion, ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ Has Now Made More Money Than Any Movie Or Video Game Ever

Grand Theft Auto V 5 Money

Rockstar Games

Five months ago we learned that with an estimated 85 million units sold, Grand Theft Auto V is the best-selling video game of all time. What we didn’t realize at that time, and has since been revealed, is that Grand Theft Auto V is also the most financially successful entertainment property ever (yes, that includes movies like Star Wars) and has now sold over 90 million units.

We’re talking about a video game that came out four and a half years ago… in September of 2013! That’s like 100 years in internet/video game time. After earning $800 million on its first day of availability and $1 billion in its first three days, Grand Theft Auto V has had a shelf life like no other video game ever.

According to a new report by MarketWatch, “GTA V stands alone largely because of the title’s continued longevity: It continues to bring in hundreds of millions in revenue more than four years after its launch, finishing 2017 as the sixth best-selling video game in the U.S., according to NPD Group data.”

The sixth best-selling video game! Sixth! Almost five years after its release.

GTA V sales are so impressive over such a long period of time that when asked, Needham & Co. video game analyst Laura Martin said she literally didn’t believe that a title originally launched in 2013 could sustain that level of success into 2018. Martin does not cover Take-Two, but does cover competitors Activision Blizzard Inc. and Electronic Arts Inc. which employ a strategy similar to Nintendo’s with Mario: Crank out new titles based on the property to get more money.

“The companies I cover have a new update every year or two, at the longest, often with a big expansion pack,” she said in a telephone interview, adding that companies should be investing in titles every year within existing franchises.

According to NPD Group data, people spent $36 billion on video games in 2017, a 15 percent increase over 2016. Meanwhile, movie box office sales improved only three percent globally, and actually fell when limited to just the United States.

So will Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar Games be able to replicate this kind of success when, if ever, Red Dead Redemption 2 gets released? Cowen analyst Doug Creutz thinks it’s unlikely, “Michael Jackson had a lot of hit albums but he only had one Thriller.”

Good point. I guess we’ll just have to wait until 2022 (?) for Grand Theft Auto VI to come out before we know for sure though.

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