Move over, Gone With The Wind, Star Wars and, essentially, the entire film industry: video game Grand Theft Auto 5 is now the highest grossing piece of entertainment ever, according to entertainment analysis firm Cowen.
To take these top honours, GTA 5 has sold more than 90 million units and raked in more than $6 billion in revenue.
*Daft Punk’s ‘Celebrate’ plays faintly during bank robbery*
Talking to MarketWatch, Cowen analyst Doug Creutz makes sure y’all know this isn’t some tricky number play or PR move. He says even adjusting for inflation, cinema’s top grossing films (Gone With The Wind, Star Wars) only reach around the measly $3 billion mark. Even taking in DVD & streaming revenue, Creutz reckons that adds about $1 billion, which is still $2 billion short of Rockstar’s magnum opus.
How is this possible? While other GTA games sold well, there’s been an unusual longevity to GTA 5. Released back in 2013, the game has remained high up on international charts.
Most other games can’t really compete with numbers like that. While IPs like Nintendo’s ever-expanding Mushroom Kingdom might make up larger numbers across their decade-long reign, they rely on a cycle of new games to keep up sales. GTA 5, for whatever reason, has legs.
“I think it’s a wild outlier,” said Creutz. “…That’s not to say Rockstar won’t have other big hits—it may—but another GTA 5 isn’t likely. Michael Jackson had a lot of hit albums but he only had one ‘Thriller’.”
Of course, analysis like this should always be taken with a grain of salt – with a lot of access to numbers the public don’t see, it’s hard to know exactly how they reached the final numbers.
What is undoubtably clear is that GTA5 is a machine. Looks like the game won’t stop till in envelops the world, like the shimmer in Annihilation. I, for one, can’t wait.
Image credit: GTA 5/Rockstar