GTA4 Breaks Sales Records

With the numbers officially trickling in, it looks like GTA4 is an official mega-hit. According to Publisher Take-Two Interactive, over six million copies of the game sold in the first week it was on sale.

"Grand Theft Auto IV's first week performance represents the largest launch in the history of interactive entertainment, and we believe these retail sales levels surpass any movie or music launch to date," said Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick.

Besides just the first week of sales, GTA4 was setting records on the first day it was released, on April 29th. The game generated $310 million in sales on day one. That makes it the best selling multimedia entertainment launch in history. The previous record was held by another video game, Halo 3, which launched to $180 million in day one revenue.

Unlike Halo 3, which was only out on the Xbox 360, GTA4 was out for both the 360 and the PS3, giving it a higher install base of gamers hungry for the title. And as a side benefit, new console sales are up. According to retailers who reported trends to Gamerscore News, the game is attaching strongly to new console sales, with roughly 40 percent of new consoles selling with a copy of Grand Theft Auto IV.

And the game has been getting rave reviews, including a perfect 5 of 5 GiN Gem score from Gameindustry.com.

What will this all mean for Take-Two Interactive and its current resistance to the takeover bid by Electronic Arts? Industry analysts are unsure. The current EA bid of $25.74 per share, made before the GTA4 launch, was said by Take-Two to be too low. Now EA will either have to raise the bid, or insist that the game's sales were factored into the bid to begin with. According to GiN's own analysis, the shockingly huge size of the GTA4 launch will likely force EA to raise the bid, perhaps by as much as $4 per share. If that does not happen, then EA will likely have to walk away from its takeover plans.

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