Grand Theft Auto 5 generated $1 billion in sales just three days, making it the fastest-selling entertainment product in history.
The game broke the record set by Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 by almost two weeks. Black Ops 2 took 15 days to cross the $1 billion mark, beating Modern Warfare by one day.
Take-Two chairman and CEO Strauss Zelnick called the Grand Theft Auto franchise a “cultural phenomenon” and said he was proud of the game’s success.
“Grand Theft Auto is a cultural phenomenon and Rockstar Games continues to redefine what can be achieved in interactive entertainment,” Zelnick said. “We are incredibly proud of the extraordinary critical and commercial response to Grand Theft Auto 5.” The game is also the most expensive video game ever with a marketing and development budget of $265 million, but it made back triple what it cost in less than a week.
GTA 5 also generated $800 million in just 24 hours, making it the UK’s fastest-selling game. Take-Two said the amount “marks the highest first day retail sales of any title in the history of the company and the Grand Theft Auto series.” Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 took in $500 million in its first 24 hours.
Despite its high scores across multiple gaming publications, Grand Theft Auto 5 hasn’t been with its controversy and criticism. Human rights groups condemned the game for a scene in which the player is ordered by the FBI to torture an alleged terrorist. Players can use sledgehammers, electric cables, and even dental equipment, to get information out of the man.
“Rockstar North has crossed a line by effectively forcing people to take on the role of a torturer and perform a series of unspeakable acts if they want to achieve success in the game,” said Freedom from Torture chief executive Keith Best.
One critic lamented the lack of satire in the game, something that was more prevalent in past installments.
“Yes, these are exaggerations of misogynistic undercurrents in our own society, but not satirical ones,” Jeff Gerstmann of Giant Bomb wrote. “With nothing in the narrative to underscore how insane and wrong this is, all the game does is reinforce and celebrate sexism.”
Gerstmann also said that Grand Theft Auto 5 “feels expected and unadventurous, hardly the biting satire that it felt like in past outings.”