'Grand Theft Auto V' earns nearly $1 billion on day one

Published September 19, 2013

| New York Post

“Grand Theft Auto V” has pulled off the biggest video-game haul in history.

Take-Two Interactive said the fifth installment of its violent franchise rang up $800 million in its first-day sales, blowing past the previous $500 million record set by Activision’s “Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.”

What’s more, the company crowed that the one-day haul was a record across all entertainment to include Hollywood blockbusters like “Avatar.”

“It is the largest day one entertainment launch ever across any medium,” a Take-Two spokesman told The Post. “Bigger than the first weekend of ‘Avatar’ … and bigger than [Call of Duty].”

The $800 million in sales on Tuesday means that gamers bought around 13 million copies of the crime-filled GTA V, according to analyst estimates.

Take-Two shares rose 1.2 percent to close at $17.20 on Wednesday.

GTA V still has a way to go before it can claim the mantle of best-selling video game of all time — a title held by the original “Call of Duty: Black Ops,” which has sold an estimated 28 million copies since 2010.

Despite the big opening, Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter said he’s sticking with his initial forecast of 24 million units for GTA V.

Pachter predicted the game would sell 15 million copies in the first month.

While GTA V is off to a fast start, analysts said sales could slow because of next-generation XBox and PlayStation consoles diverting gamers’ attention and dollars when they launch over the holidays.

“Call of Duty: Black Ops II” was the fastest game to hit $1 billion in sales — taking only 15 days — a mark that GTA V is looking to beat.

The next “Call of Duty” game, “Ghosts,” arrives in November, but sales are expected to fall short of GTA V in the long run. Pachter estimated “Call of Duty: Ghosts” will sell 22 million units over its lifetime.

Warner Bros. also has a highly anticipated game coming next month with “Batman: Arkham Origins.” While a popular franchise, the original “Arkham” title sold only 2 million in its opening week two years ago.

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