GTA V tops $800 million on day one

Rockstar's latest crime game posts largest sell-through launch revenues in Take-Two history

Grand Theft Auto V is officially off to the fastest start in series history. Take-Two Interactive today announced that the Rockstar-developed open-world crime game brought in more than $800 million worldwide in its first 24 hours on sale.

That's a record not just for the Grand Theft Auto franchise, but for Take-Two Interactive itself. And although Take-Two didn't claim it, that $800 million figure appears to be a new day-one record for the industry as a whole. Last November, Activision touted Call of Duty: Black Ops II as raking in $500 million in day-one revenues, surpassing Modern Warfare 3's $400 million+ total, which at the time was billed as the biggest one-day launch total ever in any entertainment medium.

"All of us at Take-Two are thrilled with the initial response to Grand Theft Auto V," Take-Two chairman and CEO Strauss Zelnick said. "Once again, the team at Rockstar Games have outdone themselves, setting the entertainment industry's new standard for creativity, innovation and excellence."

Grand Theft Auto V's success on the commercial front matches its critical acclaim. The game was almost universally showered with praise, with the Xbox 360 edition posting a Metacritic average of 98 as of this writing. It also generated some controversy in familiar series fashion with some critics put off by its misogyny and treatment of disturbing subjects.

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Latest comments (16)

Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 8 years ago
Cost aprox 270million to make, makes 800million in one day....Like a Boss!

What can I say, they earned their success through multiple iterations of the game.

Never really got into a GTA game. Maybe Ill give this one a shot. In one day Ive heard nothing but good things from my friends all convincing me to buy it. The hype and excitment of people who actually played it speaks for itself. And the online component is the first time in any game that actually interests me. I will eventually pick it up, just waiting on the PS4 version. I dont think Rockstar is gonna miss the opportunity to make people buy the game twice.

Ill probably play Final fantasy Realm Reborn first. I get the PS4 version for free.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Rick Lopez on 18th September 2013 8:39pm

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Asif A. Khan, CPA Financial Reporter 8 years ago
That is a lot of donuts.
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James Ingrams Writer 8 years ago
And so it begins - and seems to even confuse professionals!

This figure is based on retail, not profit! This means we're talking about 12 million units sold, and assuming $10 profit per unit, that $120 million in profit so far, with another $160 million to go!

When will people learn and see through the BS?
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Show all comments (16)
Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development8 years ago
Even though I'm more in the "console is dying" camp than out of it, props where they're due. The winners certainly do win!
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 8 years ago
Damn. This game will also surely break the 1 billion mark faster than any other title in history, GTA game or any other. Theres no doubt about it, they will turn a very healthy profit from this within the first month alone, if they haven't already.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Jace on 19th September 2013 1:16am

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Cale Barnett Animator 8 years ago
@James - wouldn't your example of $10 profit be their profit margin? In other words they make more revenue from each game sold (say $30), but $10 of that is profit over their expenses. TBH I don't really know how it works...
I understand that they haven't personally made $800 million but surely they have broke even, or close to?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Cale Barnett on 19th September 2013 3:03am

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James Brightman Editor, North America, GamesIndustry.biz8 years ago
@Paul, I think Black Ops 2 took 15 days to total $1b in sales, so it does indeed look like GTA V will set the new record for fastest to $1b
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 8 years ago
@James: Which means there will be a pre-order campaign for the NEXT Call of Duty game starting a month after Ghosts goes on sale just because that crown MUST be kept where some think it belongs...;^)
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Xander "Fluke" Dent Games Journalism, Technical Support and Cat-Herding. 8 years ago

It's not confusing anyone. The figure stated is the revenue generated in the first twenty four hours, before any costs are subtracted. As it's the largest figure any company will see coming in, of course it's the one they'll tout, you'd be a tool not to with the media and consumers being the way they are.
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Theodor Diea QC, Ubisoft Paris Studio, Ubisoft8 years ago
60 Dollar Game Breakdown - approximate breakdown of costs:
- Retailer Margin - $15
- Platform Royalty - $7
- Distribution, Packaging - $4
- Publisher - $27 - $34, depending on how many returns on sell-in versus sell-through

Basically, the Publisher will see roughly half of the revenue generated by sales of a game developed by an internal development team, so GTA definitely paid for itself and turned a profit after its first day out on the market.
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I was going to do a similar break-down to that provided byTheodor in response to James Ingrams' misleading statements. GTAV's contribution will be much higher than $10/unit at full price. it is also worth pointing out that neither Take 2 nor this article have tried to pass the $800m off as Take 2's revenue so not sure where the "BS" is here. They have reported gross sales in the same way that movie gross takings are reported, a perfectly acceptable and easily comparable way of demonstrating the extent of consumer demand for an entertainment product such as this.
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James Ingrams Writer 8 years ago
Very general numbers Cale:

$59.99 retail.

Boxed units via retail (from Amazon on the web to Walmart on main street and 100's of smaller/independent chains/stores) would be 65-70% discount to distributors to sell to smaller retailers at a 45-50% discount, and maybe sell direct to the big guys directly at 50% discount. So your looking at $25-30 at best for gross income. Then you take off packaging, disk duplication,printing, royalties and marketing, etc from that and you can reckon on about $10-$12 net profit. Give or take $1-2. This is why many publishers now have websites where you can buy direct from them!

So whichever way you cut it, this title has not garnered a profit yet for Rockstar, and given that these heavily marketed AAA titles tend to sell 95% of what they sell in total in the first month,makes it quite a risky venture in today's market.

Skyrim was a similar situation, but it didn't sop me finding a copy of the game for $20 6 weeks after release!

Rockstar WILL make a profit, but as I say, most people will read about this $800 million and assume net profit. In effect, GTA V has to do this $600 million two more times to get into the numbers where Rockstar are in profit.

The risk for these titles is how so little of attention is given to them 3 month down the road, so they have o do the numbers very quickly.

An opposite example would be the 2000 point and click adventure game "The Longest Journey, by Swedish developer FunCom In it's first year it only sold 1.2 million units, but over that year it started getting lots of great word of mouth and demand from non English speaking countries for a version in their language. So in the second year it released versions in 11 languages. In year 2 it sold 3 million units, and over the next 3 years totaled 11 million units worldwide sales. To date, 15 years on, it still sells and is around the 15 million unit mark.

These heavily marketed AAA titles with $100 million plus budgets are getting more and more risky to release, because of how many units have to b sold and how quickly. It's why so few are profitable.With only one in twenty making a profit.

A by product of the above, is all the DLC we see now, which can tip a game into profit.

Publisher's don't give out precise sales figures, either units or income, o a lot has to be educated investigation reporting. With 30 years in the business, this is what I do. take it or leave it.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by James Ingrams on 19th September 2013 4:50pm

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Darren Adams Managing Director, ChaosTrend8 years ago

I think you have totally missed the point and randomly made shit up to validate your incorrect assumptions.

But then again we all know what the mother of all fuck-ups is....
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James you numbers are way way way off. Retailers wish their margins were what you think they are. Take a look at Theodor's numbers, they are basically ( for the sake of this discussion) right.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Todd Weidner on 19th September 2013 10:31pm

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Paul Jace Merchandiser 8 years ago
@James Brightman--You are correct. I just searched and Black Ops 2's 15 days broke Modern Warfare 3's previous record of 16 days to make one billion in sales. At the rate GTAV is going they should hit one billion within the first week at best and 7-10 days at worst, although theres really no "worst" to it.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Jace on 20th September 2013 6:11am

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James Robertson Founder, Oso Games8 years ago

A few minor points: Firstly, The Longest Journey was developed by NORWEGIAN developer, Funcom. Secondly, three years after its release, it had actually sold around 450,000 copies worldwide.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by James Robertson on 20th September 2013 3:29pm

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