Grand Theft Auto 5 is, by any measuring stick, a massive success. It is on the way to earning the title “phenomenon” as it continues to score records and shatter sales expectations. In fact, the game has done so well that it has set seven new Guinness World Records.
The records are (courtesy of GameSpot):
- Best-selling action-adventure videogame in 24 hours
- Best-selling videogame in 24 hours
- Fastest entertainment property to gross $1 billion
- Fastest videogame to gross $1 billion
- Highest grossing videogame in 24 hours
- Highest revenue generated by an entertainment product in 24 hours
- Most viewed trailer for an action-adventure videogame
While all the records are impressive, the one that really stands out is the game’s sprint to $1 billion in three days, making it the fastest entertainment property – not just video game – to reach this milestone. It can be argued that games are more expensive than things like movie tickets or albums, but that probably doesn’t matter much to Take Two or Rockstar.
GTAV’s budget was rumored to be as much as $265 million ($150 million of which was spent on marketing), which would still make it less expensive than a Hollywood blockbuster. By comparison, The Avengers has a listed budget of $220 million, but that does not include the advertising budget, said to also be around $150 million. That means that regardless of the cost of the product, a video game earned just as much (and may end up earning considerably more) than some of the biggest films of all time. Throw whatever asterisk you like on that figure, but the bottom line is that a video game just became the most profitable form of entertainment of the year (so far).
At this point it seems unlikely that any other property will break GTAV’s records, at least not this year, but there are a few games that could try. The record GTAV broke when it crossed $1 billion in three days belonged to Call of Duty: Black Ops II. It’s successor, Call of Duty: Ghosts, is due out on November 5. Even if it doesn’t top GTAV, it is likely to do very, very well, which is good for the gaming industry as a whole.