Following the breakthrough performance of Halo 3, Microsoft made sure everyone interested knew of Bungie's success. The day after the game's release, Microsoft said that Halo 3 had become the "the biggest entertainment launch in [American] history," and followed that announcement up a week later with news that the game had hit $300 million in sales in its first week. However, with nary a dissenting opinion on whether Take-Two and Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto IV will post massive sales numbers, the publishers have been oddly silent on the game's actual performance.
In the UK at least, Take-Two's tight lips aren't a result of the game not living up to expectations. Chart-Track, the UK's gaming industry stat trackers, said today that Grand Theft Auto IV has become "the biggest All Formats No. 1 ever." According to Chart-Track, GTAIV sold 631,000 copies in its first 24 hours on sale in the UK, up from its initial projection of 609,000 copies, and a total of 926,000 units across the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in its first business week on the market.
ChartTrack pegs first-week revenues for GTAIV in the region at £39.9 million (about $78.7 million), saying the game amounted to 61.2 percent of all sales. The game outpaced sales of previous No. 1 Wii Fit by a ratio of 9-to-1, with ChartTrack saying Nintendo's fitness simulator had dropped off 58 percent due to supply constraints. The industry trackers also noted that GTAIV outsold every 2007 UK release after only one week, save for Brain Training on the Nintendo DS and multiplatform titles FIFA 08 and Call of Duty 4.
Speaking of Call of Duty 4, GTAIV's multiplayer has apparently gone over quite well with online gamers. Microsoft director of programming for Xbox Live Larry Hryb said today on his company blog that the game has unseated Infinity Ward's shooter as the top Xbox Live performer for the week of April 28-May 2. COD4 retreated to second in Xbox Live activity, with Halo 3 falling back to the third slot.