The hotly anticipated game appears to have blown past the one-day retail sales record set by Activision Blizzard Inc., whose “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” brought in $500 million in its fist 24 hours of release. That game went on to reach $1 billion in sales in 15 days — faster, many observed, than the box office record-holder “Avatar.”
Take-Two Interactive Software said “Grand Theft Auto V” delivered the highest first-day retail sales of any title in the company’s history. Some fans flocked to stores at midnight to buy the game, which received widespread critical acclaim. About 8,300 stores in North America held midnight openings to meet demand.
“All of us at Take-Two are thrilled with the initial response to ‘Grand Theft Auto V,'” said Strauss Zelnick, chairman and chief executive of Take-Two, parent company of Rockstar Games.
Some media analysts projected that “Grand Theft Auto V” would cross the $1-billion retail sales threshold soon, selling roughly 18 million copies of the game.
The $1-billion retail milestone would rank “Grand Theft Auto V” alongside Hollywood’s top box office performers for the year, including Walt Disney Studio’s and Marvel Entertainment’s “Iron Man 3” and Universal Pictures’ “Despicable Me 2.”
Cowen and Co. media analyst Doug Creutz said the game franchise has seen sustained popularity since “Grand Theft Auto III,” which represented a milestone in open-ended game play and storytelling.