“Grand Theft Auto V” reached $1 billion in sales within three days of its release world wide. $800 million of that came from a massive, worldwide, midnight launch that saw people from Singapore to Rabat and down to Sydney lined up around the corner from the tens of thousands of stores that participated in the launch.
Grand Theft Auto V the biggest title
To put that into perspective, “Call of Duty: Black Ops II,” took 15 days to hit $1 billion in sales in December. The blockbuster 2009 movie “Avatar,” the highest-grossing film ever, reached $1 billion in 17 days. In July, Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO) CEO Strauss Zelnick said Grand Theft Auto V could be the biggest title the company has ever released, and the Street clearly believed him, the stock is trading up nearly 60 percent this calendar year.
Sales of the game since its release are well over a million but how will Grand Theft Auto V see $2 billion? Going back to other media releases that failed to see $1 billion as quick as GTA V did, Avatar ended up making about $2.8 billion thanks to the film-making that made it a repeatable watch, something video games can’t duplicate. Unless you lose the game, or lend it to “that” friend, you won’t be buying it twice.
GTA online rolling out
Where video games can follow the Avatar model, however, is in sustaining the spending cycle through the inclusion of weapons that players pay cash for, or subscriptions to enhanced online worlds. And that is precisely what Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO) will endeavor to do when it rolls out GTA Online next Tuesday, October 1. GTA Online will offer a gaming world parallel to Grand Theft Auto V and will be available to all that purchased GTA V for Playstation or XBox 360 last week.
This announcement from the company’s website should have players worldwide salivating:
Spend cash you’ve gained on cars, clothes, guns, properties and much more. You can either quickly accumulate cash through profitable activities like knocking over armored cars, winning street races, doing stick-ups or a host of other cash-making endeavors – or if you’re the completely instant gratification type, you can choose to buy denominations of GTA$. You will have the option to purchase GTA$ through the in-game Store.
It sounds as if Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO) knows what it needs to see that second/third billion. Look at the makers of Candy Crush as they prepare their IPO based on satiating the “instant gratification” type players.