Video games are lasting longer than ever thanks to downloadable content and fan mods, but Grand Theft Auto 5's tail is long enough to circle the world twice. Data collected and published earlier today by MarketWatch indicates GTA 5 has brought in $6 billion since its launch in 2013—far ahead of any other game, or even any film in history.
MarketWatch's report states box-office totals for film classics like Star Wars and Gone with the Wind don't touch GTA 5's sales numbers, not even when the movies' earnings are adjusted for inflation and have video / DVD sales numbers tacked into them (the total would be approximately $4 billion for each film).
Doug Creutz, an analyst with the financial services firm Cowen Group, admits some of GTA 5's blockbuster numbers can be attributed to the fact the game released on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as well as the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. "There’s been some double dipping," he says, but stresses GTA 5's still an outlier. "There’s never been a console game that’s sold so many units."
To date, 90 million copies of GTA 5 have been sold. The second most successful game in the series, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, sold 27.5 million. Even other popular game franchises can't hold a candle to GTA 5. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 racked up 26.5 million sales since its 2011 launch.
MarketWatch admits it doesn't know if there's a "secret sauce" flavoring GTA 5's success, but says a combination of factors is likely: GTA 5 powers GTA Online (which is constantly updated with new content), GTA 5 received rave reviews at the time of its release, and like its predecessors, it also received its fair share of controversy thanks to its violent content.
One thing's for sure: GTA 5's continued success has given us plenty of time to dissect the game and write up some of the industry's best guides for Rockstar's hit. Take a look at our hints, tips, and guides for GTA 5, including how to earn tons of money and build rep quickly. We've also got all the GTA 5 cheats you'll ever need.