Take-Two Interactive shipped more than 4.5 million copies of Mafia III to retailers in its first week, and the company said in its earnings release today that it is the fastest-selling game in the history of the 2K label.

Mafia III shipped after the September 30 close of Take-Two’s second fiscal quarter, debuting on October 7. 2K didn’t provide early copies of the game to the press, and some reviews came in pretty poor. I rated it at 75 out of 100, largely because of bugs and other problems in the execution of the gameplay. But the story about Lincoln Clay, an African-American man who took on the Italian mob in 1968 in a fictional city that resembles New Orleans, was spectacular.

Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, estimated before the earnings were released that sell-in to retailers for Mafia III was likely around 3.5 million copies. He noted that negative reviews with lower scores surfaced the week after the launch. Those negative reviews will likely have an impact on preorders by retailers, Pachter wrote.

I’m glad to see that Mafia III sold well at the outset, as the story really gives players something to think about. Were it not for the problems with gameplay and bugs, I would have rated the story at 95 out of 100. It’s a pretty good outcome as the first game from Hangar 13, a new studio in Novato, California, which 2K formed to make the game.

Mafia III is being supported with downloadable add-on content, including a Season Pass, as well as a free-to-play mobile battle RPG game, Mafia III Rivals, for iOS and Android devices.

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