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'Grand Theft Auto V': Putting Blockbuster Sales in Perspective

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 20 comments
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"Grand Theft Auto" raked in $800 million in sales in its first 24 hours, breaking the $500 million industry record set just a year ago by "Call of Duty: Black Ops 2." Yet, a September 2013 study by Asymco shows that overall sales for Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony consoles have been in decline since their peak in 2008. Just like with films, blockbusters prop up the games industry, analyst and consultant Scott Steinberg says.

But why has this effect seemingly snowballed, with day-one sales of big-budget, so-called AAA game releases skyrocketing over the past decade? Steinberg chalks this up to an increased awareness and healthy demand for these games over the years. But more important, properties like "Grand Theft Auto" and "Call of  Duty" have broad appeal, beyond the scope of hardcore game fans, thanks to widely approachable thematic elements, Steinberg told Tom's Guide. 

MORE: 10 Cool Things You Can Do in 'Grand Theft Auto V'

According to Steinberg, it's these blockbuster releases that keep the industry going amid horrid general sales reports and doom-and-gloom studies. As consumers continue to regroup around these mega hits, will these money-guzzling exceptions become the rule, or is that alreadythe case?

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  • -7 Hide
    Non-Euclidean , September 20, 2013 10:06 AM
    I cant see any validity to including an MMO in here with console/PC games. 2 different animals that are not comparable. And given WoWs incredibly shrinking user base, it looks even stupider when you see their sales numbers in here.
  • 3 Hide
    jl0329 , September 20, 2013 10:23 AM
    Is MMO not video game? Just because it's on a different platform it's not valid? Then by your logic, COD is a multiplayer shooter, why compare it with GTA? Why compare them to SIMS?
  • 8 Hide
    neodude007 , September 20, 2013 10:36 AM
    I can't believe I need to say this, but this article is putting things in to perspective people. It is not "OMFG here are the top selling shooting games".
    If you don't compare it to other games and game types you have horse blinders on.
  • 0 Hide
    Blessedman , September 20, 2013 10:42 AM
    For sales statistics it is unfair as WoW is a subscription based sales model. So they are only including the original development cost where their cost are on going (server maintenance, expansion cost, r&d) and their income constant.
  • 0 Hide
    hiruu , September 20, 2013 10:44 AM
    WoW was the best investment in the history of gaming, by Blizzard! With each year...it just keeps adding o that total. albeit a bit slower.I have to wonder what Rockstar's plans are for GTA Online...on current gen...it has a limited shelf life...
  • 2 Hide
    hasten , September 20, 2013 11:17 AM
    Someone knows how to make pretty bar graphs that use statistics that have no relation. Its not adjusted for inflation. There is no mention of ongoing expenses related to MMO. On that matter where are DLC revenues? Shouldn't that be included if you are going to include subscription fees? Invalid on so many levels. Nice shot though.
  • -1 Hide
    JamesSneed , September 20, 2013 12:11 PM
    @Blessedman Its fine to compare to wow but the numbers should be based off of games sales not subscriptions for it to be a valid data point. The rest of your point totally agree.
  • 1 Hide
    deftonian , September 20, 2013 12:50 PM
    $800 million in one day. *Sigh* and to think I struggle with house payments on a monthly basis.

    Good for them, they make great games.
  • 1 Hide
    dalethepcman , September 20, 2013 2:51 PM
    Blockbuster games in a span of 10 years have already reached the point of being placed on a pedestal next to blockbuster movies. Its only a matter of time until they surpass movie sales.

    As many gamer's already know, a quality game is much more bang for your entertainment buck than an hollywood movie.
  • 1 Hide
    back_by_demand , September 20, 2013 2:58 PM
    dalethepcman, GTAV already does beat movie sales, $800million in a single day - that's $40million more than Avatar did in its entire run at the cinema
  • -1 Hide
    hasten , September 20, 2013 5:22 PM
    Someone knows how to make pretty bar graphs that use statistics that have no relation. Its not adjusted for inflation. There is no mention of ongoing expenses related to MMO. On that matter where are DLC revenues? Shouldn't that be included if you are going to include subscription fees? Invalid on so many levels. Nice shot though.
  • 0 Hide
    hasten , September 20, 2013 5:23 PM
    Sorry for the double post I opened up my laptop, the browser refreshed and it posted again. Guides for some reason doesn't allow forum posts for article threads so I can't delete it.....
  • 0 Hide
    eodeo , September 20, 2013 5:30 PM
    So many black ops games... Who plays these... how do they even differ..... Top selling games.. mind boggling..
  • 0 Hide
    Narcissistic_Martyr , September 21, 2013 9:04 AM
    I think the only game on this list I've played is Gran Turismo 3... I guess I just don't like shooters all that much.

    Also the fact that the list isn't inflation adjusted is just bad statistics.
  • -1 Hide
    shin0bi272 , September 21, 2013 11:52 AM
    if GTA5 made 800 mil its first day then the graph for highest grossing games ever is wrong (even ignoring the whole MMO debate). You cant show games that made ~750mil at the bottom and 10 bil at the top and not have a game that made 800 mil in there somewhere... especially when the game that you are writing the article on is that 800 mil game.
  • 0 Hide
    UVB076 , September 21, 2013 12:25 PM
    If you look at the graph it was made in 2012.
  • 0 Hide
    UVB076 , September 21, 2013 12:25 PM
    If you look at the graph it was made in 2012.
  • 0 Hide
    TammyHi17765516 , September 21, 2013 1:26 PM
    Only seriously interested people will be warmly welcomed,Thanks,,you have to work using a computer and internet.if you can do that and dedicate some time each day then you can do this with no problem. I have been working with this for a month and have made over $17,000 already. let me know if you need more here you go.
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  • 0 Hide
    CheezMeister , September 22, 2013 11:23 AM
    In fact, it is relevent to compare the highest grossing games of all time and include an MMO. You think that COD doesn't pay for server maintenance? You think they don't have updates and DLC? Isn't that an ongoing cost? That's not what the graph is trying to portray. It's simpy listing the video games that have made the most money in history. It does not concern itself with how they went about doing that, only that they did. In fact, games like COD and many of the others on that list have purchaseable post-release content that users PAY for, earning them more gross revenue. So, it is valid to include WoW. Don't hate on them because they are, in fact, the most successful video game in history. You can be jaded by the quality (or lack thereof) of their recent content and let that color your opinion, that's your own loss. But don't think for a second that just because their subscription base is rapidly shrinking that they aren't still a massive legend. WoW will eventually cease to exist, but when they finally shut down that last server the can do it with a smile knowing that they set the bar higher than any current (and many future) games will never be able to reach.

    As for comments about inflation, WoW has been out for 10+ years and is one of the oldest games on that list. Therefore your argument is made that much more invalid. Newer games should, because of inflation, be that much closer in the standings to a 10-year-old game. But they're not. If you adjust for inflation, I'd wager that WoW would be even further ahead, and you'd be crying harder.
  • 0 Hide
    somebodyspecial , September 22, 2013 10:40 PM
    ROFL, I don't play ANY of these games. Literally, ZERO. But semi-glad they exist to fund other games I actually play...LOL
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