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Grand Theft Auto franchise has shipped 125 million units

Wednesday, 28th November 2012 04:06 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Grand Theft Auto 5 is sure to add to the tally, but Take Two has revealed a significant new milestone for the franchise to date, which the publisher credits to the careful management of franchise fatigue.

CEO Strauss Zelnick told Gamespot the franchise’s shipments to date have reached 125 million.

It’s a significant jump on the September 2011 announced figure of 114 million, as no major releases have been made in the interim, suggesting demand for older titles is still high. A company representative said 2008′s Grand Theft Auto 4 alone accounts for 25 million units.

So why is Grand Theft Auto so perennially popular? Zelnick said it’s because the series isn’t annualised. Although he had nothing but praise for the industry’s titan, Call of Duty, describing it as a “quality product”, Zelnick said Take Two won’t gamble on yearly releases.

“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,” he said.

Zelnick said Black Ops 2 hasn’t sold as well as Modern Warfare 3, which he credits to fans going cold on the series.

“That’s never been the case with one of ours. 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,” he concluded.

GTA 5 is due on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in northern spring 2013.

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8 Comments

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  1. SlayerGT

    I applaud Take Two for their handling of devs.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Dragon246

    “That’s never been the case with one of ours. 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,”

    EXXXXXAAAAAACCCCCTTTTTLLLYYYYY!!! GTA completely deserves the sales, one of the best franchises around, with a developer who knows how to outdo themselves each time and a publisher which knows the importance of a polished product and doesn’t hurry the game. Kudos to Rockstar and 2K for this achievement.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. mistermogul

    @1 – Me too.

    Props to Take Two/Rockstar for not milking the cow.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. TD_Monstrous69

    The reason why Take Two is even as big of a publisher as it is, is because of the success Grand Theft Auto, and yes, I get Take Two has many other franchises to thank for its success as well, but GTA was essentially where it all started. Kudos Rockstar, here’s to another 125 million sold (like anyone will tell me it’s not going to happen), and kudos Take Two for the excellent management, here is a model I wish more publishers would follow.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. TheBlackHole

    Wow. Seriously?

    Ten core games and half as many expansion packs in under 15 years (not including ports), and you complain about other devs milking the cow?

    This is a milked franchise like any other, they just market it better and plan their release schedule to make it feel less like an annualised product (i.e. put the numbered releases 3 years apart and make subtitled versions in between).

    Grand Theft Auto
    Grand Theft Auto 2
    Grand Theft Auto: London, 1969
    Grand Theft Auto: London, 1961
    Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
    Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
    Grand Theft Auto (Game Boy Advance)
    Grand Theft Auto III
    Grand Theft Auto IV
    Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories
    Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and Damned
    Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony
    Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
    Grand Theft Auto V

    #5 1 year ago
  6. DrDamn

    @6
    I’d say only 7 of those are core. GTA1-5 plus Vice City and San Andreas. The rest are spin-offs and DLC. It’s only more recently that a lack of obvious milking of the main franchise has occurred though. Just 2 major releases in a very long console cycle.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. stuffedgamer

    They might not release games annually, but Rockstar’s re-releases are kinda annoying.
    No to mention they release every game on at least 3 systems (eventually).
    example:
    GTA/london combo set
    GTA/GTA2/london combo set
    GTA 3/Vice City Double edition.
    GTA3/Vice City / SanAndreas trilogy
    GTA3 Vice City re-release for PSN/Mobile/OSX
    Vice City Stories / Liberty City Stories duo pack
    GTAIV: seperate DLC packs
    GTAIV: both DLC packs
    GTAIV: complete edition

    So yeah, that’ll double the sales records for sure.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. Moonwalker1982

    He has some nice points and i really appreciate their ways. But it’s not entirely true about annual releases eventually hitting the wall. BOII might had sold less than MW3, but it sure still sells like hotcakes. What releases is he talking about? If we look at EA with NFS…hasn’t hit the wall either.

    #8 1 year ago