Grand Theft Auto is still one of the biggest gaming franchises in the world.
Publisher Take-Two Interactive revealed today that developer Rockstar Games has shipped more than 60 million copies of Grand Theft Auto V across all platforms. That does not mean consumers have bought 60 million copies — instead, this figure refers to how many GTA V units retailers have ordered in total. With the possible exception of the military first-person shooter Call of Duty, no gaming franchise regularly reaches megahit status like Grand Theft Auto. The open-world crime originally debuted in 2013, but Rockstar was able to keep demand high by releasing an updated version for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles in late 2014 and the PC in April. PC and console gaming is a business worth tens of billions of dollars, and a lot of that cash goes to biggest blockbuster hits.
The company went on to say that GTA was its biggest contributor to its digital revenues as well.
“The largest contributors to [net revenue] in fiscal third quarter 2016 were Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online, NBA 2K16, WWE 2K16, and the Borderlands series,” reads the Take-Two financial report.
During a call with investors, Take-Two chief executive Strauss Zelnick elaborated on that.
“The holiday season brought us the highest level of revenue yet for GTA Online,” the executive said. “And we had the highest number of active users [for the game].”
Even though GTA V debuted more than two whole years ago, it still ended 2015 as the fifth best-selling game at U.S. retailers, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. That put it ahead of games like NBA 2K16 and FIFA 16.
But this time around, Grand Theft Auto V isn’t a success simply because it sells at retail. Rockstar included a mode in GTA V called Grand Theft Auto: Online that enables players to do missions and take on jobs with friends around the world. This feature also includes the option for players to buy in-game currency with real-world money. This has turned GTA: Online into a reliable source of revenue for Rockstar and Take-Two even when they don’t have a full new game to release to fans.
To keep GTA V and GTA: Online relevant and to maximize the revenue from those 60 million copies, Rockstar is planning to release more content in the future.