Video-game publisher Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. said Wednesday that sales of its popular and eagerly anticipated title "Grand Theft Auto IV" reached more than $500 million in its first week of availability.

The company said it has sold more than 6 million units globally since the game was released on April 29.

The New York-based company said it sold 3.6 million units on its opening day alone, worth a retail value of $310 million worldwide.

"Grand Theft Auto IV" follows the criminal exploits of protagonist Niko Bellic, an immigrant-turned-gangster who travels from Eastern Europe to Liberty City, the game's fictional locale based on New York City.

As Bellic, players can hijack cars, earn cash for criminal activities, shoot innocent bystanders and visit strip clubs.

Critics say the extreme violence in "Grand Theft Auto" video games could be harmful to children, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving has complained that the latest version includes the ability to drive while intoxicated.

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