Just in case the point hasn't been hammered home yet, Grand Theft Auto 5 is extremely successful.
The game recently broke the 90 million shipped copies mark, had its strongest year in 2017, is continuing to grow, and microtransaction revenue and sales projections only point one way - up.
None of this is new. What is, however, is that the impact of the game on the entire industry is even bigger than previously thought.
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While the UK is only the fifth largest video game market in terms of revenue, the country's stats seems to be better tracked than that of others, giving us a clearer picture of how everything measures up. And in spite of being a four-year-old game, GTA 5 is leading the charts and continues to have a colossal impact on the entire industry.
The revenue from the game is having a marked influence on the health of the video game market globally, and Britain is no exception.
The Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) and Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE) have released a set of stats regarding the video game market in the UK covering calendar 2017. In general, the game industry is growing - though this has been the trend for years on end now - with a growth over and above 2016 of 12.4%. Gross revenue came in at a total of £5.11 billion.
Broken down to distribution method, retail sales were up 3.1% whereas digital increased by a significant margin, 13.4%.
Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Take-Two Interactive, parent company of GTA's developer Rockstar Games, recently stated that he believes the industry is heading towards an all-digital future, and that it may come around sooner than expected. These stats seem to indicate as much, but we doubt GTA 6 will be a digital-only affair.
This news is relevant to GTA 5 because alongside FIFA 18 and Call of Duty: WWII it was among the top three best selling games in the UK, selling well over one million copies in 2017. The majority of sales still happen in the USA, however this is still a significant contribution. Considering that GTA 5 was first released in 2013 and still appears next to names like FIFA and COD, beating out others like Battlefield and Destiny 2, is a huge achievement.
This bodes well for GTA Online players in two ways - the player-base is guaranteed to continue being healthy, and with such attention, you can bet on lasting content support.