Grand Theft Auto V sales top $1B in first three days

Publisher Take-Two Interactive has more good news to share: the latest installment of its flagship Grand Theft Auto series has shattered video game sales records...again.

Nick Statt Former Staff Reporter / News
Nick Statt was a staff reporter for CNET News covering Microsoft, gaming, and technology you sometimes wear. He previously wrote for ReadWrite, was a news associate at the social-news app Flipboard, and his work has appeared in Popular Science and Newsweek. When not complaining about Bay Area bagel quality, he can be found spending a questionable amount of time contemplating his relationship with video games.
Nick Statt
2 min read

Given the overwhelming hype and Wednesday's news that Grand Theft Auto V hit $800 million in its first 24 hours of sale, it's not too surprising to see Rockstar Games' latest title reach another astounding sales threshold. GTA V reached $1 billion in retail sales only three days after its September 17 release.

The news was announced by publisher Take-Two Interactive on Friday and makes GTA V the fastest-selling video game in history. The previous record-holder, Call of Duty Black Ops 2, hit $1 billion in retail sales after 15 days on store shelves last November. That was one day faster than 2011's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

It will be interesting to see whether or not the massively successful Call of Duty franchise, with its latest installment, Ghosts, hitting four consoles simultaneously (Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4) this holiday season, will be able to dethrone Rockstar with the help of its cross-generation release.

Contributing to the interest in GTA V is the impressive number of controversies that have been unearthed just days after its release: there's a graphic torture scene; an alleged cannibalism scene that was mistaken as an instance of in-game rape; a Scottish town's backlash over its namesake being attributed to a locale of "druggie hipsters"; and, of course, the usual torrent of necessary and needed criticism over the game's treatment of women.

After all, GTA V was the first game to feature three protagonists, yet none of the three are females, and the females that are incorporated into the storyline are more or less buzzkills, junkies, and strippers, critics have pointed out.

Still, it appears the video game world's preeminent unhinged reality simulator is irresistible. Early sales estimates pegged the game's lifetime earnings at $1.4 billion, though it could very well earn the title of the first $2 billion game if sales momentum continues through the end of the year.

Watch this: Grand Theft Auto V Launch Trailer