Grand Theft Auto 5 Becomes The Most Commercially Successful Entertainment Product of All Time

By Intan Mawarni on Apr 10, 2018

For a game that received a lot of flak for its depiction of torture, misogynistic portrayal of women  laden with sexual scenes as well as offensive racial terms, Grand Theft Auto 5 (GTA5) is racking up all the cash.

Widely anticipated and extensively marketed before its launch in late 2013, GTA5 received acclaimed success during its initial release on PS3 and Xbox 360, selling 90 million units to this day, thanks to the second release on next-gen consoles.

To put the icing on the cake, GTA5 has generated USD$6 billion in revenue which means it has surpassed box-office movies like Star Wars and Gone With The Wind when adjusted for inflation based on report from MarketWatch.

The highest grossing films of all time Avatar, which made $2.8 billion, couldn’t even match up with the big bucks that GTA5 has received.

However, the report was unclear on how GTA5 able to bank in USD$6 billion; whether the number is purely on sales or it’s contributed from “recurrent consumer spending” which is Take-Two Interactive’s alternate terminology for microtransactions in online multiplayer.

We’re not just talking about the blockbuster movies that GTA5 knocked down, GTA5 is also taking over the sales of its closest competitors.

Although Call of Duty series ranks as one of the highest selling video games series, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Black Ops achieved 26.5 million and 24.2 million units sold respectively, which is a far cry from GTA5’s total sales.

The sterling sales record of GTA5 is also equivalent to all sales combined from previous GTA titles like GTA III, Vice City, San Andreas and GTA IV.

It’s also worth mentioning GTA5 is still going strong and delivering regularly updated contents for online multiplayer, which means the game continues to deliver plenty of value despite being around for 5 years.

With that being said, GTA5’s stellar record sales of $6 billion certainly beats films, books, music and other entertainment products.

Latest still of Red Dead Redemption 2 courtesy of Rockstar Games
Latest still of Red Dead Redemption 2 courtesy of Rockstar Games

Rockstar Games’ next big instalment would be Red Dead Redemption 2 which will be released in October for PS4 and Xbox One. The prequel has been anticipated by loyal fans for so long, it will obviously be a huge hit. But the question is will the upcoming Red Dead Redemption 2’s sales be able to match that of GTA5?

Well, the answer for that possibility is “unlikely” as told by Cowen analyst Doug Creutz. He added it’s going to be hard to create another GTA5’s success, “That’s not to say Rockstar won’t have other big hits—it may—but another ‘GTA5’ isn’t likely. Michael Jackson had a lot of hit albums but he only had one ‘Thriller.’”

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Intan Mawarni
About the Author
Story-driven games like Uncharted and The Last of Us are my favourites. I write and play video games! Yay!
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