Grand Theft Auto V debuted more than a year ago, but it is still making plenty of money for publisher Take-Two Interactive.
The company revealed its fiscal Q2 earnings today, and it exceeded expectations for the ninth month in a row. Take-Two got a big boost from its catalog releases and from its digital products. The publisher generated $89.8 million in revenue due to games like NBA 2K , Borderlands 2, and Sid Meier’s Civilization V. But Take-Two’s biggest digital product was Grand Theft Auto Online, which is the persistent multiplayer mode that comes bundled with the open-world crime game Grand Theft Auto V.
GTA Online is different from the standard game in that you share an online space with other people. It also has a functioning economy where you can purchase in-game goods. You can earn currency to buy better weapons, clothes, and more by completing machines or by purchasing currency with real-world money. In that way, GTA Online behaves very much like a free-to-play game except that you can only get it by purchasing GTA V.
“Grand Theft Auto Online has both exceeded our expectations and been the single-largest contributor to digitally-delivered revenue in every quarter since its launch,” reads a Take-Two press release.
GTA V is still only available on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, which are outdated systems that millions of players have already moved away from. But this didn’t stop the game from helping Take-Two’s bottom line.
This is also good news for GTA V going forward. It’s set to launch on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 this month. The PC version follows in January. It’s likely that players on the new-gen systems will also get into the online game and start spending cash.
It’s clear that Take-Two and developer Rockstar are trying to maximize the profitability of this latest GTA game. The studio took around five years to go from GTA IV to GTA V, and the previous game didn’t make a whole lot of money in those intervening years. This time, Rockstar can start development on its next game or the next Grand Theft Auto with GTA Online consistently bringing in extra cash.