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article imageGTA 4 Breaks Video Game Sales Records, Pulling in $500 Million in First Week

By Chris Hogg     May 8, 2008 in Entertainment
According to Take-Two Interactive Software, the new and controversial video game Grand Theft Auto IV has broken all-time entertainment records for one day and one week sales by dollar value. The game has beat out the previous record set by the game Halo.
Digital Journal -- Take-Two Interactive Software is the company behind Grand Theft Auto (GTA) IV and this week they have reason to celebrate: Their game has broken every sales record to date.
GTA IV was released on April 29 and the company says it sold about six million units globally, pulling in more than $500 million in the first week. The company says it sold about 3.6 million units on its opening day alone, generating about $310 million in sales globally.
The previous daily record of $170 million in sales was set by Halo 3 in September 2007.
The game's story follows a man named Niko Bellic, a Serbian veteran of the Bosnian war. Bellic comes to the U.S. in search of the American Dream but is disappointed to learn his cousin lied about being wealthy.
The game has been no stranger to controversy since its launch, either. Bellic walks around large environments where he can beat up people, steal cars, commit crime and ravage the town. Critics say it's senseless violence while avid gamers mostly agree it's all just for fun.
Grand Theft Auto 4
Scenes from the game Grand Theft Auto
Photo courtesy Take-Two Interactive
In my testing of the game, I was actually quite impressed with visuals and gameplay. I found there to be a bit of a learning curve with the Xbox 360 controller (there are many button combinations and 360-degree camera movements) but the overall gameplay comes quite easily to anyone who is used to casual gaming.
The artwork and storyline were what grabbed me most; texture, shadows, movement and dialogue are startlingly accurate and realistic. The developers put a lot of time into small details like when you jump from a moving car, your body somersaults over and over itself adding realism. The use of shadows and highlights also make buildings and city setting look very real, while also adding a great deal of texture to vehicle movement.
The Grand Theft Auto series has been around for quite some time, so it's no wonder it is selling so well. Very few games have the marketability or brand recognition of GTA and the fact that the game is available on multiple platforms gives it a big edge over titles like Halo.
"We knew Grand Theft Auto IV would break new ground in terms of the player's experience, with its compelling story line, extraordinary gameplay and action that ranges over a broad urban canvas, "said Strauss Zelnick, Chairman of Take-Two, in a news release. "Now, it has broken sales and rating records as well. 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. We congratulate the entire Rockstar team on creating a must-have experience that takes the legendary Grand Theft Auto franchise to a new level."
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