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Rockstar Games: Grand Theft Auto Franchise Has Sold Over 350 Million Units

Rockstar Games continues to flourish as a recent Take-Two Interactive report reveals just how lucrative the studio's franchises are.

by Smangaliso Simelane

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Rockstar Games is one of the most well known developers in the gaming industry, and their claim to fame lies mostly with the Grand Theft Auto franchise which pioneered the open world genre and popularized it. A recent investor presentation by Take-Two Interactive details exactly how profitable the long-running franchise is. As revealed, through Grand Theft Auto, Rockstar has created a cash cow of a magnitude never seen before.

According to Take-Two, the Grand Theft Auto franchise has sold over 350 million units globally. The series, which spans decades, is synonymous with the open world genre and draws heavily from Hollywood. Many of the games attempt to parody American culture while allowing gamers the freedom of limitless exploration in a city that feels alive.

The latest entry in the series, Grand Theft Auto V, has sold over 150 million units to date. This makes it one of the most successful video games of all time, and the bestselling game of the decade in the US. It stands as a giant not just within gaming, but within entertainment as a whole. As Take-Two reveals, the game reached $1 billion in sales faster than any entertainment product ever.

Grand Theft Auto is not the only franchise that Rockstar has been profiting from, however. Red Dead Redemption, a series set in the wild west, has also attracted a loyal following for itself and has seen strong sales. According to Take-Two, the series has sold over 60 million units worldwide to date.

Red Dead Redemption 2, released in 2018, is one of the biggest projects ever released by Rockstar Games. The mammoth title serves as the prequel to Red Dead Redemption, and is set in 1899 America. A herculean effort was necessary to make a game of that scope and detail, hence 2000 people worked on the game and it required assistance from all of Rockstar’s global internal studios. The hard work paid off it seems, because Take-Two reveals that Red Dead Redemption 2 has sold 38 million units, making it the second-bestselling title in the US in the last 3 years.

Take-Two does not paint a positive for just themselves, however. Their data shows that the gaming industry is growing fast and growing more lucrative each year. They estimate the global gaming market to be worth $286 billion by 2025, which is steep increase from its $208 billion worth in 2020. Take-Two also claims that there are 2.8 billion gamers in 2021, with an average age of 35-44. All these metrics point to the fact that gaming is increasingly mainstream and becoming evermore accessible.

Despite having been originally released in 2013, Rockstar is far from done with squeezing money out of Grand Theft Auto V. An expanded and enhanced version is set to release in November 2021. It will release on the PS5 as well as the Xbox Series X/S.

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