New York (NY) – Apparently a life of crime does pay off and in the case of Take-Two Interactive’s Grand Theft Auto 4 video game, it’s paid off big time. The company has announced that retail sales of the ultra-violent Xbox360 and PlayStation 3 game have surpassed $500 million dollars in the first week.
GTA 4 was released on April 29th and sold an amazing 3.6 million units or approximately $310 million worth on the first day. In the week since, it has sold an addition 2.4 million copies for a total of six million units.
The $500 million weekly take is an all-time record for any video game, movie or album and Take-Two’s chairman Strauss Zelnick says, “Grand Theft Auto IV's first week performance represents the largest launch in the history of interactive entertainment, and we believe these retail sales levels surpass any movie or music launch to date.”
GTA 4 cost the company $100 million dollars to develop and while that price tag is on par with the cost of current major motion pictures, the company has made its money back quickly.
GTA 4 is rated M for Intense Violence, Blood, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Partial Nudity, Use of Drugs and Alcohol. The game has become a magnet of criticism from various consumer and lobbying groups and even notorious anti-violent games attorney Jack Thompson, but all this attention seems to have fueled the buying frenzy. People who wouldn't have bought the game before are now picking up copies just to see what all the big deal is.
The game is available for $60 and a special edition with an extra art book, lock box and duffel bag is being sold for $90.