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

"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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  • Non-Euclidean
    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.
  • jl0329
    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?
  • neodude007
    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.
  • Blessedman
    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.
  • hiruu
    WoW was the best investment in the history of gaming, by Blizzard! With each just keeps adding o that total. albeit a bit slower.I have to wonder what Rockstar's plans are for GTA Online...on current has a limited shelf life...
  • hasten
    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.
  • JamesSneed
    @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.
  • deftonian
    $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.
  • dalethepcman
    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.
  • back_by_demand
    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