Take-Two Interactive, the distributor of Rockstar’s latest entry in the Grand Theft Auto franchise, GTA 5, has announced that the open world game has stolen the ‘Biggest Entertainment Launch in History”, from Activision’s Call of Duty.
According to a press release made available by the company, GTA 5 hit $1 billion in sales this past week, surpassing that of the previous record holder, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3. While both games managed to hit a record of $1 Billion in revenue sold during their launch window, it took GTA 5 only three days to hit that mark as opposed to the 16 days it took Modern Warfare 3.
While the news is especially great for Rockstar Games, which reportedly spent upwards of $300 million developing and marketing Grand Theft Auto 5, the record is also great news for the gaming industry.
When Call Of Duty captured the record from director James Cameron’s Avatar, many entertainment insiders pegged the milestone as a fluke. With GTA 5 joining the ranks of fastest entertainment earning properties, it’s more likely that the gaming industry will be taken more seriously as a whole — especially from outsiders who have yet to even consider video gaming an art form instead of a passing immature fad. For comparison, Avatar took 19 days to reach the $1 Billion revenue record.
Grand Theft Auto reaching the record didn’t totally come out of the blue. This past week, Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive announced that the game reached $800 million in sales in its first 24 hours.
The game’s record also flies in the face of what video game developers have passed off as conventional wisdom: that only titles with first-person shooter mechanics can rival other entertainment choices.
GTA 5 is the first open-world title to make it to this level of revenue. Typically, this level of interest and excitement in blockbuster video games is reserved for new editions of Halo, Call of Duty, and Uncharted. Of those three, two are first-person shooters and one is an action-adventure game.
The record likely reinforces the decision some gamers made to stick with the current generation Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 gaming consoles instead of ordering the upcoming Xbox One and PlayStation 4. GTA 5 is only available on current generation platforms, and Rockstar Games hasn’t confirmed if it’ll even be porting it to next generation gaming consoles.