Best-selling ENTERTAINMENT product of all time…is a Video Game!

For every Baby Boomer who told me growing up that “video games are a waste of time and money”I have news!

Based on some trusted news sites, (and the radio on my way to work this morning), The video game Grand Theft Auto 5 (GTA5) is now the:

Best-selling entertainment product in history, eclipsing any medium.”
Market Watch April 9, 2018

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, here is the games trailer from  2011 (2 years before it’s release):

Since it’s launch in 2013, GTA5 has sold 90 million copies and earned somewhere in the neighborhood of $6 Billion US. (Yes that’s Billion with a “B”). And just to be clear here, we’re talking about GTA5 by itself. (NOT GTA 1, 2, 3 , and 4. NOT the Franchise. JUST GTA5.)

To put that into perspective, here are the Top 10 Box Office grossing films of all time:

Rank Title Worldwide gross Year
1 Avatar $2,787,965,087 2009
2 Titani $2,187,463,944 1997
3 Star Wars: The Force Awakens $2,068,223,624 2015
4 Jurassic World $1,671,713,208 2015
5 The Avengers $1,518,812,988 2012
6 Furious 7 $1,516,045,911 2015
7 Avengers: Age of Ultron $1,405,403,694 2015
8 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows $1,341,511,219 2011
9 Star Wars: The Last Jedi $1,332,649,225 2017
10 Black Panther $1,300,189,694 2018

Even factoring in DVD Sales these films still fall $2 or $3 Billion shy of GTA5.

Top 10 Selling Albums of all time:

ARTIST TITLE LABEL CERTIFIED UNITS
(In Millions)
MICHAEL JACKSON THRILLER EPIC RECORDS 33
EAGLES EAGLES/THEIR GREATEST HITS 1971 – 1975 RHINO 29
BILLY JOEL GREATEST HITS VOLUME I & VOLUME II COLUMBIA 23
LED ZEPPELIN LED ZEPPELIN IV ATLANTIC 23
PINK FLOYD THE WALL COLUMBIA 23
AC/DC BACK IN BLACK EPIC 22
GARTH BROOKS DOUBLE LIVE CAPITOL NASHVILLE 21
FLEETWOOD MAC RUMOURS WARNER BROS. 20
SHANIA TWAIN COME ON OVER MERCURY NASHVILLE 20
THE BEATLES THE BEATLES APPLE 19
GUNS N’ ROSES APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION GEFFEN 18

Even assuming a generous average sale price of $30.00 or $40.00 per unit, these albums barely break the $1 Billion range.

How did This Happen?

How did a modern day (violent video game) beat out the sales of the Star Wars and Marvel franchise juggernauts.

Short Answer: I have no idea and am not an expert…I just write about what I hear.

Assumption: GTA5 follows all the traditional earmarks of “viral videos”. How can you help ensure your videos go viral? 3 Main elements.

  1. Unexpectedness (Creative Content)
    Although not as “revolutionary” or “groundbreaking” as previous iterations of the franchise, GTA5 tells a solid story with creative game-play elements.
    Its true strength in creativity is it’s online mode. This allows players to interact with each other in some pretty…unexpected ways.
  2. Taste-makers
    With video games full accepted/adopted into the main stream, its not surprising that a popular franchise game would garner interest from celebrities. Plenty of actors, musicians and even just professional gamers (yes that’s a real thing Boomers) have spent countless hours streaming their gameplay footage through sites like Twitch.
    That coupled with the developers clever use of in game “Easter Eggs”, where real life celebrities appearing in game, GTA5 is in no short supply of taste-makers.
  3. Community Participation
    This is where the game truly breaks from the pack. As I mentioned, the games online mode allows players to just exist in the GTA5 world. Sure there are objectives and things players are “supposed” to be doing…but most of the community just hangs out online and does weird and unexpected things.
    The YouTube results alone for a “GTA5” search result in hundreds of videos ranging from “Funniest Moments Compilation” to “Prank Videos” before ever getting to the traditional “Guide” videos you would expect to see.

Why are any of these elements important or meaningful? One word…Longevity.

As I said at the beginning of this post, GTA5 was released in 2013. It’s now 2018, and the game is STILL selling. 5 years is a very long time in the gaming industry. Typically for games to stay relevant for even close to requires at the very least large expansions pack releases.

But none of that matters when you have the groundswell of a community participating and perpetuating your product.

For anybody interested in more stats and figures on GTA 5’s revenue, you can find them here.

 

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8 thoughts on “Best-selling ENTERTAINMENT product of all time…is a Video Game!

  1. Big fan of the game, but the only problem I have is that you have to grind so much to get the nice cars, houses, boats and etc when playing online. Like the missions and what not do not pay much.

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  2. I’m curious what will happen now that a lot of entertainment creators are making games free such as PUBG. Although you can pay for upgrades, the majority of people probably won’t so what will this mean for companies?

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    1. “Free to Play” is definitely changing the gaming industry. The smart and successful ones are learning how to keep there games monetized though while still providing a “Free” game. League of Legends and Hearthstone both do it pretty well.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. As a gamer since four years old, I was very interested when I first heard this news. It was very surprising to me since mainstream is so focused on moves and music. I have heard over the years that the industry was very lucrative but I still, even as a gamer, considered it a niche product. This really legitimizes the earning potential for video games. I’m excited that maybe more talent will get recruited for some awesome games in the future.

    I also have seen that game producers are moving to be more female-friendly as this is a whole untapped market, even though we are half the population. I literally have no female friends who like to play video games and I only play with gamer guy friends. More money for them if they can get women gaming as much as men right!

    A whole ‘nother discussion on the problematic content of this particular game! But games like this never bothered me with it’s “bad” content because I figure it’s just fantasy like any crime novel or crime movie or TV show. Like, come on, everyone rips so hard on GTA V but then goes and says Breaking Bad is the most iconic show and a must-see, which have similar themes of drugs and violence! So it’s very interesting about GTA V beating all other entertainment.

    As a gamer, I always felt if you tell a good story, had great online content, paid attention to the details in graphics, good voice acting, and music, then, your game should be amazing! GTA V did this well. But…as I see you haven’t played it all the way through, it was actually a really really good playthrough in terms of story and as your other commenter said, the attention to detail is just ridiculous. So stop playing around and well..play around and finish GTA V and Fallout 4 too. Falllout 4 (though very glitchy) is still one of my top favorites. 🙂

    – Teri – http://millennialadulting.life

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