What's new - Fashion & Trends

Violent video game is huge success

The latest installment in the violent and controversial video game series "Grand Theft Auto V" hit stores on Tuesday. The $60 game saw such strong preorders that analysts expected it to clear $1 billion in sales within the first month. With worldwide sales topping $800 million in the first day alone, that goal is within reach much sooner.

The game blew away the previous one-day sales record set by "Call of Duty: Black Ops II." That game, from Activision Blizzard (ATVI -0.06%), only brought in $500 million in its first 24 hours. "Call of Duty: Black Ops II" hit $1 billion in sales in 15 days, so "GTA V" should hit that same milestone within the week.

We're now at the point where we're ranking video-game sales along with tentpole box-office performances. If and when "GTA V" crosses that $1-billion threshold, it would be equal, at least on revenue terms, to "Iron Man 3" and "Despicable Me 2."

"GTA V" cost at least $270 million to build and market, according to news reports, though developer Rockstar Games has not confirmed that amount. The game has been five years in the making.

About 8,300 stores in North America stayed open past midnight to sell the game. And there was something of a "grand theft sickout" the next day, as twentysomething gamers mysteriously caught the same illness and called in sick to work.

The game is notorious for its ultraviolent depiction of life on the streets as well as its misogynist themes, but that hasn't dampened its critical acclaim. IGN calls it a "bitingly relevant commentary on contemporary, post-economic crisis America." Game Informer says it's "filled with beautiful scenery, a wealth of activities and the promise of fortune."

The game comes just two months before the arrival of the Sony PlayStation 4 and the Microsoft Xbox One.

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