According to Doug Creutz, managing director and senior research analyst covering the media sector at Cowen, Grand Theft Auto V is the most successful piece of media in history, selling over 90 million units and currently sitting at $6 billion in revenue.
To put this into perspective, Creutz compared GTA V to movie classics like Gone with the Wind and the various Star Wars movies, both only bringing in around $3 billion max when adjusted for inflation. Even with the home entertainment sales (i.e. releasing on VHS and DVD), Creutz found that the blockbuster hits were still a few billion dollars shy of Rockstar’s sensational game.
At the end of last year, GTA V was already topping over 85 million copies sold, and with no end in sight, the sky is the limit for the already five-year-old game. In fact, Take Two CEO Strauss Zelnick reported that the game was on 42 out of 50 National Purchase Diary monthly Top 10 charts just last year. For the record, that is more than any other game ever in the history of the industry.
Creutz added that he thinks “it’s a wild outlier” and that “another GTA V isn’t likely. Michael Jackson had a lot of hit albums, but he only had one Thriller.” I suppose we will have to see if Rockstar can follow up on the massive industry hit that is GTA V, with the release of Red Dead Redemption 2 in October.