Take Two’s Q4 2023 earnings report revealed that Grand Theft Auto V has sold 195 million copies since its September 2013 debut. This is an additional 5 million copies sold, an increase of 2.6%, since the last quarter.
In comparison, Take-Two’s NBA 2K24 sold 7 million copies since its September 2023 release. GTA V remains the second best selling game of all time, only behind Microsoft’s Minecraft.
GTA VI anticipation
Undoubtedly, the first trailer for Grand Theft Auto VI renewed interest in the previous installment. The trailer became the most watched non-music video debut ever on YouTube with 93 million views in 24 hours across partnered channels. Part of this momentum is due to Rockstar releasing the trailer a day earlier than planned.
Twitch viewership for GTA V also exploded thanks to this renewed interest. From November to December, GTA V viewership grew nearly 60% to 162 million hours watched according to SullyGnome data.
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According to market research firm mindGame, GTA VI is by far the most anticipated unreleased video game. A month after the trailer debuted, GTA VI commanded more mindshare than every other unreleased game the firm tracks combined. Yes, this includes all titles announced at The Game Awards in December.
“With a single trailer, GTA VI was able to capture more mindShare than any active game, including behemoths like Roblox, Minecraft, and Fortnite,” said Brian Rogers, mindGame founder and product lead. “We are not being hyperbolic when we say that any game, from AAA to AA to indie, should avoid launching a few weeks before or after GTA VI — it’s essentially a guarantee that your game will not be able to stand out.”
While developers will be hard pressed to capture an audience in GTA VI’s wake, other entertainment companies should pay attention. The title’s impact will ripple across the broader entertainment landscape.
“In the same way Game of Thrones was a monocultural event for TV, GTA VI is set to be one for gaming,” said Colan Neese, SVP, Gaming at Screen Engine/ASI. “If you’re a major entertainment company, even outside of gaming, plan on avoiding a launch around GTA VI’s release. GTA VI will suck up all the cultural oxygen, smothering any other debut.”
GTA V engagement and monetization boost
Take-Two’s earnings reveal that anticipation drove engagement and monetization for GTA V too.
GTA Online’s holiday update, Chop Shop, captured the highest number of active users in years. The trailer also drove the largest-ever increase in new GTA Online accounts for Take-Two.
While recurrent consumer spending declined 7% in Q4 for Take-Two overall, GTA Online virtual currency and GTA+ memberships offset losses driven by weakness in mobile advertising and NBA 2K24. The company expects GTA Online and GTA+ to deliver modest RCS growth into FY2024.
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