Take-Two Interactive announced during their most recent quarterly earnings report that the Grand Theft Auto series has passed over 400 million sales over its lifetime since it started way back in 1997 with Grand Theft Auto 1 for MS-Dos, Windows and Playstation.
Since then there’s been numerous sequels and spin-offs, but none more successful than their latest release, Grand Theft Auto V. To call it ‘their latest release’ does feel odd, considering the game’s tenth anniversary is almost upon us, but with numerous re-releases, remasters and a multi-generation approach to the game, it’s no surprise.
Grand Theft Auto – Blueprint of the Future?
With the ballooning cost of video game development, some studios estimate their AAA endeavours set them back over $1 billion in costs before they’re shipping it, it comes as no surprise that there are considerably less options and variety on the gaming market these days. With many developers turning to their old backlog and taking the chance to remaster or remake them, rather than starting from fresh with a new IP, it does leave a somewhat bitter taste in the average gamer’s mouths.
Of course Take-Two and Rockstar aren’t alone in their approach with Grand Theft Auto V, with Bethesda following a similar model with their constant re-releases of Skyrim, to such an extent that both titles have come under fire and been ‘memed’ for their actions.
Thankfully it does look like behind the scenes things have been happening with both studios, with Bethesda having announced Starfield which is due for release later this year, and the long rumoured and leaked Grand Theft Auto VI for Rockstar, which no doubt will see a huge bump in those 400 million franchise sales, upon release.
Whilst the success of these two franchises prove there is some legs to this business model they’ve both adopted, there’s not many fans that’d agree they prefer it to the previous regular releases. Or at least regular compared to a ten year gap between releases.
Grand Theft Auto – Leading Video Game Juggernaut
Other than perhaps the sports franchises every year like FIFA, Madden etc, Grand Theft Auto has always been included in the upper pantheon of video games, with the likes of Mario, Zelda, Pokemon and others. Not only is it a guaranteed success with each new release these days, it is always in the public domain being discussed.
Some of that will no doubt be due to the controversial nature of the games, with the content being unarguably adult in nature, but it’s also due to being genuinely an inventive and trailblazing series. With each instalment bringing new features to the open-world genre, it’s always exciting to see exactly what Rockstar will bring to the table, both in the story sense, as well as the multiplayer and general gameplay sense.
For any game franchise to be able to boast 400 million lifetime sales is an achievement, but when coupled with the fact that in Grand Theft Auto V’s most recent quarter it still managed to sell five million units is ridiculous. Some games don’t manage that in total. Still, this may not be so surprising for the title that became the most profitable entertainment product of all time, and also the fastest entertainment product to reach $1 billion in sales. Not to mention over its multiple console launches Grand Theft Auto V has sold over 180 million units to date… outstanding.
Source: Take Two Earnings Call