Grand Theft Auto series shipments reach 125 million

Take-Two Interactive boss Strauss Zelnick reveals new life-to-date sell-in milestone for open-world action series; GTA IV responsible for 25 million.

The Grand Theft Auto franchise has now shipped 125 million units life-to-date. Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick revealed the milestone today during his presentation at the Credit Suisse 2012 Technology Conference. This figure is up 11 million units from the 114 million Take-Two announced in September 2011.

Zelnick did not provide further details on how that figure breaks down between installments. A Take-Two representative confirmed the figure with GameSpot today, noting that 2008's Grand Theft Auto IV alone shipped 25 million units.

Zelnick also explained why he believes the Grand Theft Auto series is so popular, likening it to that of the long-running James Bond film franchise, which marks its 50th anniversary this year. He said much in the same way that a new Bond film is not typically released every two years, the same can be said for Grand Theft Auto games. This release schedule keeps the series "special," he said.

But what about the year-in year-out success of the Call of Duty brand? Zelnick praised Activision CEO Robert Kotick and the multiple development squads needed to release a "quality product" every year, but he said this business model has risks Take-Two is unwilling to take.

"IP that is annualized eventually seems to hit the wall and we don't want our IP to hit the wall."

"It's our view that if you want intellectual properties to be permanent, then you run the risk in that circumstance of having consumers fall out of love with that franchise. [Activision] obviously views the world differently."

To prove his point, Zelnick said it is his understanding that Call of Duty: Black Ops II did not perform as well as last year's game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, a sign that the series is beginning to slow.

"That's never been the case with one of ours," he said. "Ours do better each time. Our view is it's hard to make permanent intellectual properties if you annualize it, with the exception of sports titles. So far that's proven to be the case. IP that is annualized eventually seems to hit the wall and we don't want our IP to hit the wall."

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and is a big UCONN athletics fan.

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Discussion

0 comments
tgwolf
tgwolf

...About half of them under the permissible age...Can't get started on your life of crime too early these days...

SangheliZealotX
SangheliZealotX

GTA 5 should be xbox exclusive or else rockstar will have to dumb down the game for the useless ps3.

OneSamTwoCups
OneSamTwoCups

I get nervous, wondering if this GTA might be the downfall of the series... but then I thought about Red Dead, Bully, and Manhunt and I felt a lot better because I realized Rockstar isn't Treyarch or Infinity Ward, because they always release quality games.Congrats, R*! 

EKGProd
EKGProd

I've never enjoyed a single Rockstart open world game other than Bully. I thought GTA3, Vice City and San Andreas were boring. When GTA4 came around, I was ready to give them another chance, but I quickly saw that they had messed up again. The cars controller horribly. Your character controlled like a tank. The shooting and combat was abysmal, mostly because of the terrible controls and the disconnect between button presses and action on screen.

 

I then rented Red Dead Redemption when it came out since I wasn't going to give them any more money, and it had the same exact problems as GTA4, the horses controlled terribly, your character felt like a tank, and the combat was some of the worst in the industry. I enjoyed Bully very much, and I enjoyed Max Payne 3, but Rockstar makes some terrible open world games.

 

Red Faction: Guerrilla, Saints Row 3, Sleeping Dogs, these are great open world games that show you can have great combat, great controls, and great stories without having to handicap your game right from the start because you're desperately trying to make it as "realistic" and "cinematic" as possible. And that's where Rockstar goes wrong. They sacrifice fun and useability in the name of being realistic. Their characters don't need to control like tanks...they don't need to have some of the most unpolished shooting mechanics in games, and the cars don't need to control like tanks on ice skates.

 

They don't need any of this, as long as they realize that sacrificing fun for the sake of being "realistic" is the wrong way to go.

blurr82
blurr82

Judging by how the PC version of Max Payne 3 turned out I can't imagine why they aren't working on a PC version of RDR :|

ramb1402
ramb1402

I still want RDR for PC... i would buy it full price :(

MarcjinJaume
MarcjinJaume

I like their strategy, but there's one thing I'm concerned about. When GTA IV came out, being the first GTA in a new generation of consoles, it had a lot better graphics than SA, but instead, it (arguably) had less content. So what if we fall in a loop of improving graphics and loosing content in every generation change, resulting in a steady level of content throughout generations? I really think they should stick to something not far from this gen graphics in the next gen and instead improve in the content.

CTR360
CTR360

WOW gorgeous sales i hope GTA V sell around 30 milloin deserve it

wexorian
wexorian

GTA 5 will have less until they release it on pc too. nvm i don't care I'm not GTA fan like 7 year.

gba1989
gba1989

the bald guy on the pic looks a lot like tony cipriani....just sayin

Gamer_4_Fun
Gamer_4_Fun

Love this mammoth series, it will only increase. Rockstar deserves every sales it gets.

Rivboets7
Rivboets7

That's good I for one liked GTA4 but I still think that San Andreas and 3 were better.  5 has a lot of potential I'm hoping it will be good.

KBFloYd
KBFloYd

call of duty will surpass GTA.

hitman47forever
hitman47forever

one thing rockstar needs to do to not hit the wall is to stay light years clear of Liberty city - ever again -

xhawk27
xhawk27

Do you think GTA V is going to have DLC like IV did? 

 

videogamer008
videogamer008

alright alright alright wait a minute buddy i respect your opinions a WHOLE lot and you have your opinions and i have mine own and i am on the same page as you.  i have a Xbox 360 also and a PS3 but when you said that the PS3 was useless i would have to disagree.  lets say that both consoles are great because i have TONS of respect for you and for your opinions too.

mindownload
mindownload

 @SangheliZealotX it had to be pc exclusive if you really dont want any  dumbing down, just look at what the community did for GTA4.

 

xsonicchaos
xsonicchaos

 @EKGProd Bully? No other open world game made from Rockstar have you enjoyed, but Bully? You suck at games and you should stop playing. For your own good.

Tensho85
Tensho85

 @EKGProd I know for sure you don't even believe all the crap you just said. You don't know what is a good game for sure.

renome
renome

 @EKGProd Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but you spew so much bullshit in here that nobody can see clearly anymore.

OneSamTwoCups
OneSamTwoCups

 @EKGProd How does it feel? Hating every perfect game ever made but still liking that awful Metro 2033 game?

shantory
shantory

 @EKGProd "Sacrificing fun for the sake of being "realistic" is the wrong way to go."

while adding BULLSHIT for the sake of being fun is the right one

 

stating that Red Faction: Guerrilla is superior to GTA IV (or even GTA 2) in story and fun is a crime really .... not to mention SR 3 or the dogs

 

 

eddyoshi
eddyoshi

 @EKGProd

 Saints row 3 great combat? Its combat is awful compared to gtaIV (and yes I can say this because I played both too) , not only that but the car handeling, physics and graphics are better. Saits row 3 is fun and I love that you can customize the character but its nowhere near as good as gtaIV or RDR

xsonicchaos
xsonicchaos

 @blurr82 I don't know, I have the PC version of MP3 and I can't seem to find any issues. It's not what I expected, as a whole, but It's a great game. Not perfect, just great.

OJ_the_LION
OJ_the_LION

 @MarcjinJaume After GTAIV I don't think that'll fly. Part of Take Two's thing now is being on the cutting edge of graphics, so to cheap out next generation would get them a lot of flak.  Compare to GTAIV, which although it wasn't really as expansive a game as SA, was still damned big and amazingly detailed. I personally don't think it was as fun , but the sales speak for themselves as far as what people think of the strategy they took.

 

I'm looking forward to GTAV, and in general I think Take Two's one of the better publishers for precisely what Zelnick there articulated.  I only wish some other publishers I don't particularly hate would follow the same strategy, like Ubisoft with Assassin's Creed. That said, AC3 is astounding, especially considering they just released a game last year, so maybe they can get around it.

SangheliZealotX
SangheliZealotX

@Rivboets7 It will be good on Xbox, but on the ps3 it will be a laggy bug ridden mess like every other ps3 game.

Gamer_4_Fun
Gamer_4_Fun

 @KBFloYd In terms of sales, yes and so whats it to you? And in terms of sheer quality, content, fun, **** no

Trickymaster
Trickymaster

 @xhawk27 They basically put the DLC on the disc already. 3 characters, 3 stories. But yeah, they will. They spent far too much on development to only release a single game. But I don't think Rockstar will rip us off like Activision, EA and Microsoft with many tiny DLCs or pre-ordering DLC. It will be big, comprehensive and you'll be able to get a physical copy. Rockstar and Ubisoft are pretty much the last publishers who really care about quality.

super_voltron
super_voltron

 @thread-of-redI like playing as a hot babe as mucha s the next guy but not in gta.  thats a game where being a bad ass dude is best.

 

xsonicchaos
xsonicchaos

 @mindownload  @SangheliZealotX Why does a game really has to be exclusive? I really don't care about exclusiveness, but you're kinda right. Think how awesome Red Dead Redemption would have looked on a high-end PC.

shafe-man
shafe-man

 @OJ_the_LION  @MarcjinJaume Assassin's Creed III is different from the other AC games, it was put into development after the release of either the first or second AC game (can't remember off the top of my head) by the same studio; it's been in the making for a couple years now, which is why it upholds the same level of quality as the first and second games. It really proves to me just how big of a difference a year or two of development time can make, and it hurts me even more to see all these annually released games degrading in improved quality (as in, the game doesn't get any worse, it just gets less better, if that makes any sense).

MrHatnClogs
MrHatnClogs

 @Trickymaster  @xhawk27 

 

Rockstar usually gives out reasonable deals on DLC, plus sometimes sales like LA Noir and the bundle packs like the GTAIV trilogy. Sometimes it's worth it to wait and by the bundle pack which is practically three games for one price.

super_voltron
super_voltron

 @Pavlara  @thread-of-red

 cooking mama...science papa . heheh oh now someone is gonna wrtie an article about that being sexist lol. (if they do i will just comment about it ..on another article. whahaha