To say this is of course, a bold claim, if not a little unsurprising. So let’s get down to brass tacks. On it’s own, Grand Theft Auto 5 has generated $6 billion in it’s lifetime across several platforms and two gaming generations. This means it has sold around 90 million copies worldwide. That one friend you know who bought a PS4 just to watch Netflix? Odds are, the one game they have is Grand Theft Auto 5.
In a new report, published by MarketWatch, it remains unclear whether the $60 billion figure has arrived where it is due to game sales alone or has been bolstered by in game microtransactions. It is likely the latter as Strauss Zelnick, head of publisher Take Two Interactive has recently stated his business-like affection for the marketing practice with a strong belief of keeping them around for future games. He has a good 60 billion reasons to feel that way. By the end of 2017, around 42% of Take Two’s profits were thanks to microtransactions and Zelnick has, perhaps infamously, said “recurrent consumer spending” is the future for videogames… He’d like that, wouldn’t he? A lot of this "recurrent consumer spending", its profits and Zelnick's fondness for it likely sprout from GTA V Online and the game's Shark Cards, which offer in game money after a real world transaction is made.
When a singular game is this successful, we naturally have to wonder if its successor will reach even loftier heights. The inevitable GTA 6 will likely never even touch GTA 5’s success due to the fact that GTA 5 also enjoyed exposure to gaming audiences across two generations. The mere average gamer re-buying the product for their shiny new console would have likely boosted Take Two’s profits massively on its own. Cowen & Company analyst Doug Creutz says in an interview at MarketWatch "That's not to say Rockstar won't have other big hits–it may–but another GTA V isn't likely," he told MarketWatch. "Michael Jackson had a lot of hit albums but he only had one 'Thriller.' " It’s worth bearing in mind that GTA 5 first arrived on last generation console back in 2013! It takes time to pump up those rookie numbers. While Rockstar Games’ next title Red Dead Redemption 2 won’t get to enjoy the same success, it will likely reign in another fresh wad of cash for their publisher, Take Two Interactive.
For a concise look at just how much ass GTA 5 has kicked commercially, check out the image below, courtesy of MarketWatch