SAN FRANCISCO — Grand Theft Auto V has crossed the $1 billion sales mark after three days in stores, a rate faster than any other video game, film or other entertainment product has ever managed, its creator Take Two Interactive Inc said on Friday.
The latest installment of GTA, a cultural phenomenon that has sparked a national debate on adult content and violence, received strong reviews and racked up $800 million in first-day sales alone.
That marked a launch-day record for the Grand Theft Auto franchise, which is Take Two’s most lucrative and allows players to cruise around a make-believe gameworld based on real-life locations such as Los Angeles.
Gamers had eagerly awaited the fifth installment of the 16-year-old game after Grand Theft Auto IV was released in 2008.
It took more than five years to be developed by Take-Two’s Rockstar Games studio at a cost of between $200 million and $250 million, according to some analysts’ estimates. That cost was recouped more than three-fold on day one of its release.
Last year, it took Activision Blizzard Inc’s first-person shooter title “Call Of Duty: Black Ops II” 15 days to hit $1 billion in global sales after its November release. That game took in sales of $500 million on its first day.
While GTA V is off to a flying start, industry analysts are keeping a close eye on Take-Two’s ability to sustain sales momentum. Take-Two shares were little changed at $17.48 in early afternoon-trading on the Nasdaq.
VIDEO: Check out the official trailer for Grand Theft Auto Five, below