OCT. 31, 2013 • How well is Grand Theft Auto V selling? Well enough that Take-Two Interactive has shipped 29 million units worldwide since the title’s September 17 release. By comparison, Grand Theft Auto V shipments in the first six weeks are more than its predecessor has sold-in on consoles over its lifetime since launching in April of 2008. During the two weeks that GTA V was in release during September also drove a huge boost in revenue for the quarter September 30. Non-GAAP net revenue for the period totaled $1.27 billion compared to $288 million for the same quarter last year. The digital download of the title from the PlayStation Network has become the largest release ever on that service, while on Xbox Live, GTA V ranks as the top single day and first week digital seller.
Impact: This far into the franchise we fully recognize how big every Grand Theft Auto installment is for both Take-Two and the industry as a whole. Yet we were thoroughly impressed at how huge GTA V’s sell-in has been so quickly. It is far and away the biggest launch ever for a game that was not bundled with a console. It is popular these days to presage the death of consoles in the face of the growth of smartphone use, but GTA V proves consoles are nowhere near death yet and shows when you hit payday it rings up bigger than ever. Something else we expected differently was how many people would digitally purchase the title. On the PlayStation 3 users must have 36GB of space available during installation, and GTA V will end up using 17GB-18GB after it is fully installed. We suspected this would deter many console owners, but that has not seemed to be the case. In fact, Take-Two is seeing an 85% increase in digital sales of non-GAAP net revenue to $105.5 million for the most recent period compared to the same quarter last year. That’s closing in on the $118.9 million in net revenue brought in by catalog titles. So what’s different about this installment in the Grand Theft Auto franchise? Good buzz helps, and there was no shortage of positive reviews for the title. We presume, however, the inclusion of GTA Online for no extra cost is a major contributing factor in fueling demand, but that will need to be quantified down the road after Rockstar releases more data on GTA Online users. The online component also has the potential of giving GTA V a longer tail than previous versions. Rockstar denies having any plans for releasing the game on the PS4 or Xbox One. If that holds, GTA V may keep many more gamers playing on their last-generation systems than anyone would have predicted.