In Forecast/Sales, News, Video Game Genres

Grand Theft Auto V Shines on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

GTA V PS4-SFEB. 4, 2015 • The release of Grand Theft Auto V on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One last November sold through extremely well, according to Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. By December 31, the title had moved more than 10 million units on the new consoles despite being in release on the PS3 and Xbox 360 since September of 2013. So far Grand Theft Auto V has sold-in more than 45 million units on all platforms and will see its release on PC this March. In addition, NBA 2K15 sold more than 5.5 million units between October and December, making the current installment the biggest launch in the franchise. The strong sales led to higher than expected non-GAAP net revenue of $954 million for the fiscal third quarter compared to $768 million for the same period last year. Other titles that sold well during the holidays were WWE 2K15, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, and Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth. Digital sales also were on the upswing, accounting for 28% of revenue for the three months ending December 31, up from 7% for the same quarter in 2013. The company also saw a steep increase in the amount of sales in North America for the period at 63%, up from 44% in 2013. As for platforms, PC sales contributed 17% of sales during the fiscal third quarter, up from 3% for the same period in 2013.

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Impact: Grand Theft Auto is the franchise that keeps on giving. General convention suggests that GTA V would not sell all that well on the latest consoles given those who really wanted the game already had it. Yet what we saw was a strong surge of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One sales during the holidays, and while attractively-priced bundles led to a lot of that action for both systems, it’s obvious many of these new owners picked up GTA V, as well. A lot of attention is now being directed on the PC release next month, which also may be better than expected. It is no surprise to us that the upswing in PC revenue during the holidays also corresponded with an increase in the percentage of digital sales. That too suggests GTA V will do well on the PC. These factors might also help to explain why Take-Two saw a higher percentage of revenue in North America where PC gaming is more heavily entrenched than in Europe. Also leading to better PC numbers were Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth that was only available on the PC, and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, which was a multiplatform release. The final takeaway, however, is that Take-Two is slowly making strides as a publisher with more than one strong franchise. The imminent multiplatform release of the new FPS Evolve will help prove or disprove that conclusion.

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