Tag Archives: take two

GTA Online “Not Permanent” Says Take-Two

As opposed to what you may have derived from previous comments and statements, it looks like Take-Two doesn’t intend to rely on – or even continue to support – GTA Online indefinitely (at least in its current form). While the game is generating immense amounts of profit, even through microtransactions alone, the company will eventually pull the plug.

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Of course, if you think about it for just a little while, it all makes sense. GTA Online is only worth supporting while it has a big enough player-base. However, the game is over three years old and although it is still growing instead of shrinking, the playerbase will eventually take a turn and start to decrease.

During the recent Cowen and Company Technology, Media & Telecom Conference, Strauss Zelnick, the CEO of Take-Two Interactive Software has stated that GTA Online was never intended to be a permanent addition to their line-up.

We do expect GTA Online’s results to moderate because October will be three years since we released it. Not only was it not our intention that GTA Online was permanent, but it’s important that it not be permanent. We have to rest the franchise at some point.

While the GTA series as a whole does indeed constitute a “permanent” product of Take-Two, Online alone does not. This rather odd emphasis on a decline that has no sign of happening is a stark contrast to the recent announcements regarding how long-lived Take-Two intends Online to be.

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The game is expected to be profitable and therefore supported with content until 2020 at the least, with high chances of that period increasing. Despite Zelnick’s comment about expected drops due to the game’s age, it was the staggered release schedule accommodating different platforms that pushed Online into a strange perpetual state of constant sales.

By releasing the three versions of the game over the course of three years, Rockstar constantly re-infused GTA Online with hype and popularity. Today, Online is still among the most played multiplayer games in the world.

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But what do Zelnick’s words mean for the future? Well, to answer the immediate question on everyone’s minds: no, this doesn’t mean Rockstar will be pulling DLC support for GTA Online any time soon.

Thing is, despite not being permanent, GTA Online is here to stay as long as it is profitable – and right now, its exactly that. Rockstar has already revealed their short-term plans for the game, reaching though the summer.

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The massive Further Adventures In Finance And Felony DLC will be launching on the 7th of June, just two days from now. This will act as a follow up to last year’s hit update, Executives And Other Criminals.

The DLC will feature new kinds of properties and jobs, which will be used by the players on their way to the top of the Los Santos black market.

Rockstar has also revealed another upcoming DLC pack, titled Stunt Ready which will not only add several new vehicles made specifically with stunting in mind, but also an all new overhaul of the Content Creator with new features, props and the ability to stack objects.

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Rockstar has also stated in the same announcement that players cam await further feature-heavy DLCs. The company is still clearly keen on updating the game as long as the players demand it. They seemingly did a “test run” of low-support in early 2016 by only releasing a handful of cars, some Adversary Modes and only one minor DLC pack. The community was pretty ticked off, showing that the game still very much has an audience.

Of course, the implications of this statement are pretty far reaching, especially in-context. With E3 fast approaching, players are pretty buzzed about what Rockstar has to bring to the table. Usually the company skipped big events and made their announcements in their own time, however this year Take-Two first teased then confirmed that the developers of GTA will be dropping some serious bombs at the expo.

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Zelnick’s statement seemingly flies straight in the face of the numbers – GTA Online has over 8 million unique players per week, is still growing with constant sales and is bringing in steady revenue. Why would you speak of cutting support for a juggernaut like that?

Simple – he knows what we don’t, yet. Zelnick was probably looking forward, anticipating something in the near future that will cause GTA Online’s player-base to plummet. What else could cause such a thing, other than Rockstar announcing and soon releasing another game which turns out to be massively popular?

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Rumors about the Red Dead franchise becoming more like Red Alive have been swirling for a good long time now. The series, though significantly younger and less weathered, has almost as much fame in gaming circles as GTA. If Rockstar is indeed working on the next Red Dead game, they might be including a multiplayer much like GTA Online.

Getting a similar Online mode, from the same developers, also set in a popular franchise might seduce droves of gamers away from GTA Online. If Rockstar decides to ditch the peer-to-peer server architecture and make Red Dead Online hacker-proof, then there will be even more incentive.

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Of course, Red Dead doesn’t have the kind of mainstream recognition that GTA does. Ask any non-gamer what GTA is, they’ll know – ask them about Red Dead, they’ll have no clue at all. This mainstream recognition is what made Online so popular in the first place, meaning its success couldn’t possibly be replicated by any other franchise.

However, don’t make the mistake of assuming that this means that Take-Two is planning a successor to GTA Online itself within the same franchise. It is quite clear from Zelnick’s words, that once the sun of Online has set, they want to give the franchise a rest instead of instantly jumping into the next one.

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Whatever Rockstar’s next major project will be, it won’t be GTA. However, we all know that the devs love putting a ton of time into baking their games and polishing them to a shine, meaning that reports of VI being in development should not be discounted.

Take-Two, with the exemption of NBA 2K and WWE, is strictly against annual releases and franchise milking. While releasing – or simply announcing – a new GTA game three years after the previous one might not seem “too soon”, considering how strong Online is still going, it could be considered milking.

The market asks us, ‘Why don’t you annualize your titles?’ We think with the non-sports titles, we are better served to create anticipation and demand. On the one hand to rest the title and on the other hand to have the highest quality in the market, which takes time. You can’t do that annually.

Take-Two considers the trend of the biggest AAA franchises getting annual releases to hurt those franchises and the industry as a whole. This is why you don’t get a new Borderlands every year. In terms of sequels, often time you can expect them to be at least as popular as the predecessor. If the original is popular, the second will be even more so – however if the second is rushed and poorly made, the third is guaranteed to tank.

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Rockstar’s next release being non-GTA will divert attention, allow GTA Online to wind down. When support finally ceases, the current player-base will probably quit. Without Online to fill that gap, Rockstar creates demand that could only be fulfilled by the next iteration, allowing them to release it around 2020 with massive success and for an already existing player base.

This would coincide with Take-Two’s other statements that they want to keep GTA Online running until 2020. Doing so while supporting another Grand Theft Auto multiplayer component wouldn’t be wise, which is why players shouldn’t expect VI until that time at least.

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While never stated outright, based on Take-Two’s comments, Rockstar probably has more than one thing to show off at E3 this year. For all we know, one of the smaller announcements could be related to expanding GTA Online with a new city – a screenshot of Liberty City with better graphics was, after all, recently uploaded by a Rockstar employee – or, should the planets align, Story DLC.

However don’t expect the major announcement to be about stealing cars in a satirized version of the USA. The two most likely candidates are another installment of Red Dead or the long-lost project, Agent.

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The latter is the less likely of the two. Take-Two recently made a statement about having too many IPs under its control. While it is true that Agent as a trademark is still theirs, seeing as there is no game for it, it requires little management. The other factor is the work-in-progress screenshots released, which suggest that the project was either canned or rebooted – probably the first.

Red Dead however seems like the perfect – and logical – choice. It’s a popular and established franchise. Fans have been hoping for a continuation for years and years. PC players have been asking for a chance to play it with mouse and keyboard. While the first game, Red Dead Revolver wasn’t exactly a genre-defining hit, Red Dead Redemption was massively popular on the Xbox 360 and PS3 systems.

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The game would most definitely bring in a profit, especially with an added Online component. GTA Online would continue making money and the two together would provide the studio with more than enough revenue to allocate a budget big enough for GTA VI to make it outshine V. Either way, we’ll soon find out definitively what the next project on Rockstar’s plate is – E3 is less than two weeks away!

How long do you think GTA Online will remain popular? What do you hope Rockstar’s next major project will be?

GTA V Sells Over 65 Million Copies

By the looks of things, there are no brakes on the GTA V sales train. Not so long ago we reported on the game breaking the 60 million mark for shipped physical copies, yet that has been once again been topped by another 5 million – some AAA games don’t sell that many at all in their entire lifespan.

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Exactly one year ago, the sales figure for the game’s retail editions was 54 million. That figure hit the previously mentioned 60 million mark in February, meaning not only is the number of sales significantly higher than any other game currently commercially available, but so is the selling rate. Add to that the fact that these numbers do not include digital sales (which as of the previous fiscal year outnumber physical sales – let that sink in) and you’ve got the best selling game of all time on your hands.

This is made even more impressive when we take into account the fact that GTA V is a three year old game. Granted, the staggered release schedule for the various platform ports spread out the launch windows for different customer groups, but initial launch took place way back in 2013 on the PS3 and the Xbox 360.

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The current-gen ports on the PS4 and the Xbox One released about a year later, with the definitive PC edition another year after that. The current-gen versions added first-person mode to the game alongside improved visuals, while the PC port also included the Rockstar Editor, which has since been retroactively made available on the PS4 and Xbox One.

The age of the first version of GTA V does show, however. Due to the hardware limitations of the PS3 and Xbox 360, every DLC update since Ill-Gotten Gains Part 2 skipped those platforms, only being available on the new consoles and PC. Rockstar has offered players upgrading from the previous generation various bonuses and rewards for staying loyal to the game, as well as the opportunity to transfer their GTA Online characters to the new platform, keeping their progression and items.

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Rockstar plans on keeping GTA Online active and profitable up to 2020 at least, preferably beyond. These sales trends, seeing as quite a few players are buying the game just for the multiplayer, suggest that this plan is more than achievable.

In the early months of 2016, DLC releases for Online took a turn for the smaller and less significant. Some players assumed this meant that Rockstar has begun working on a new project, devoting more resources to it. While the recent Take-Two statement confirming Rockstar has actually begun the development of multiple new projects supports this, the fact that a set of major DLC to be released in the coming weeks and months show that the devs still plan on supporting Online with content.

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Seeing how profitable Shark Cards turned out to be, this is a smart move. Regardless of how well the new project will perform once it launches, if Rockstar wants to top the magnificent reception of GTA V, they will need to funnel quite a bit of funds into the new project. Any investment it a risk, even if you have over $3 billion in profits to back it up.

Keeping up a steady stream of income in the form of GTA Online gives the developer a solid foundation as well as a life-vest of sorts should things fall through. The obvious benefits of this is that the team will be able to take some bigger risks, resulting in a more interesting and unique game experience, instead of getting a re-hash of things guaranteed to work.

How many copies of GTA V have you bought since release? Do you have one of each version?

You Won’t Believe The Latest GTA VI Rumor

For some inexplicable reason, the gaming community is absolutely fascinated with wild rumors and baseless speculation. Absolutely nothing – nothing – that can even vaguely resemble official, confirmed info regarding GTA 6 has been stated or released by Rockstar Games or Take Two. Certainly nothing that could be called “fact”. The only thing we know more or less for sure is that GTA VI is “a thing”.

Maybe.

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Yeah, so basically we know nothing, and yet “GTA 6” is among the most used tags in gaming journalism. The mass of pure conjecture that is reported regarding the game is overwhelming. We have had “reports” that the game may feature an even larger open world map than ever before, encompassing the entire USA (at least, the GTA stand-in for the USA), or that it would update all the cities which appeared in previous GTA games (save for London), port them to the new engine and combine them into one massive map with connecting “countryside”. Speculation regarding the lead character has also been a hot topic in the gaming press recently. Some sources claim that there will be two playable characters, one of whom will be played by renowned actor Ryan Gosling, and the other will be female. Opposing sources claim that players will be able to customize their own character’s appearance in story mode, and that the game will move in a more RPG direction.

The other main topic of GTA 6 discussion is the setting, which has a new rumor to add to the list of possible settings: 1970s Mafia setting. This particular rumor comes courtesy of the Latino Post.

The reason we are skeptical of this newest rumor is that 2K Games’ Mafia series, which is getting a new installment soon, fills this very setting, and 2K is a Take Two property, just like Rockstar… and the Mafia and GTA series are similar enough as it is.

What do you guys think? Would you enjoy a retro ’70s mafia GTA game?

Take-Two Killing It with GTA V Sales, Won’t Share Tech With Mafia III

Sales of GTA V have now passed the 54 million units mark, making it the best selling non-bundled AAA full-priced multi-platform game ever. The game’s recent sales spike is thanks to the release of the PC version of the game, which was the version released most recently.

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Rockstar attended Gamescom earlier this month, but only operated a booth in the business area of the game show, so we do not yet know what was showcased in Köln. However, it is safe to assume that alongside any new game reveals, upcoming GTA V content was also on display. This would be logical, as this longer period of time after release, despite hitting this new milestone, GTA V sales would have been on the decline… And announcing new content which is more significant than a simple influx of clothes and vehicles to GTA Online is sure to boost the game’s sales. For example, the announcement of the long awaited story DLC for GTA V’s single-player mode would definitely bring in some new customers. GTA 5 Cheats has received many comments from gamers waiting (im)patiently for this content!

It was also revealed that in the past 12 months, 30 percent of Take-Two interactive’s revenue came from GTA V related sales, and in the past 3 months, it was a whopping 60%. This means that GTA has retained its position as the company’s flagship franchise.

Despite all this, Take-Two has brought in losses this fiscal year, and we’re not talking about pocket change either. This year, the company has accumulated a net loss of $67 million, which can most likely be attributed to the hefty investments required for the development of a new AAA game (we hope!).

Some of that budgeting might have gone to the recently announced Mafia III, which will be developed and published under the 2K label, also owned by Take-Two. Mafia III will also be an open-world crime game with a focus on vehicles and violence, and is the other big GTA rival alongside Saints Row. But how much of a rival is it really, if both properties are ultimately owned by the same company? Recently Take-Two’s Strauss Zelnick has stated that despite this, Mafia III’s development will go entirely un-influenced by GTA V.

Are you guys looking forward to Mafia III, or will you be sticking to GTA V (and hopefully some new story mode DLC)?

Take-Two CEO: Potential of Consoles Remains Untapped

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Grand Theft Auto V was a massive hit on all the platforms it launched on, and while the PC version is by far the most advanced graphically and in functionality, many players were impressed with the Xbox One and Playstation 4 versions as well.

While there were some dissenting opinions (because of course there are), the idea that Grand Theft Auto V was the first “true” next-gen game. With remakes, remasters, rereleases and HD editions making up more than three quarters of the PS4’s and XB One’s library, games that players readily call current-gen are few and far between, though in recent months, a steady stream of releases and announcements seems to be patching things up. Despite this, the current generation of consoles has been getting quite a bit of flack. Gamers say that the technological leap was far below expectation, libraries are thin, certain business practices involved are underhanded and a few of the obligatory “features” are invasive.

While this year’s E3 saw both Microsoft and Sony take steps in the right direction, some people are not yet convinced. Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Take-Two Interactive, parent company of Rockstar Games, developer of Grand Theft Auto V, says that the consoles aren’t to blame. While they tried to make full use of the hardware at hand, Zelnick is convinced that not even GTA V could show off what these machines are truly capable of.

We’ve had a couple releases for new-gen, but I don’t think we remotely have seen what can be done, and that’s super exciting. And that speaks to many of our titles; hopefully all of our titles, ultimately.

Man has a point. Take a look at some of the Xbox 360’s launch titles, and compare those to Assassin’s Creed Black Flag, or the prev-gen GTA V release.

“We have yet to see entirely what the technology can allow,” Zelnick said.

Personally, I’ve always been a PC gamer, but also always wanted to jump in to the console scene, mostly due to the exclusives. While on the long run, console do end up being more expensive simply due to console games being significantly more expensive (at least where I live) and lacking sales in the same caliber as what Steam or GoG offers, but for some dropping a larger amount on a powerful PC in one go isn’t viable. While the two main draws for consoles (exclusives and couch co-op) both being weaknesses in this generation, I’m still tempted to jump in.

Either way, nothing beats the PC’s raw power, modding support and massive  library of games that never saw the light of day on consoles.

What do you guys think? Were you impressed by GTA V’s current-gen release? Do you think the Xbox One and Playstation 4 can outgrow their current limitations?

GTA 6 Rumors Begin Circulating

Welcome to the internet, the land of trolls, nontroversies, pointless political movements, and baseless rumors. Take-Two interactive recently released some sales data for Grand Theft Auto V, confirming what we all already knew – it was a massive success. The game brought in over $1 billion in profits a mere three days after launch, and has sold way over 52 million copies worldwide, as the released data only took physical sales into account, but Rockstar has stated that slightly more than half of GTA V’s sales were made digitally. These are insane numbers.

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So what is Rockstar going to be doing once they get bored of drinking cocktails on a gold-plated yacht? While saying “they’d switch to beers” would be a valid answer, a much more likely scenario is that they never indulged in the yacht adventure, as most of the income generated by GTA V will be spent developing the sequel that’s obviously coming.

While we haven’t gotten anything vaguely resembling an official announcement, various Take-Two and Rockstar employees (or the boss, in one case) of varying importance have stated that, yes, GTA IV is coming. Considering the popularity of the franchise, this is hardly surprising.

“We’ve got about 45 years worth of ideas we want to do. We don’t know what GTA 6 will be, but we’ve got some ideas.” said Rockstar North Leslie Benzies.

While the fact that everyone loves GTA V as much as they do certainly cannot be called a bad thing, Rockstar did undermine themselves a tad, since this way they will need to work extra hard to make sure GTA VI tops their return to Los Santos. Benzies said that Rockstar learned a tough lesson with San Andreas back in the day, and spend a ton of time with the concept phase of their games. GTA: SA was to feature three protagonists, much like GTA V does now, however the hardware limitations of the time were only realized painfully deep in development.

…it didn’t work from a tech point of view because the three characters need three times as much memory, three types of animation, and so on.

Considering that most of the promised major content updates for GTA V already released (Ill-Gotten Gains is minor at best, and it seems to be causing quite a bit of trouble.), players looking to the future of the franchise turn their heads towards Grand Theft Auto VI. We can be expecting more official news and info on it with more frequency in the coming months.

What do you guys want for GTA VI?

Mad Max Meets GTA V

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We’ve reported on the community’s masterpieces made with the Rockstar Editor before, but this is a gift that keeps on giving. It seems like players of Grand Theft Auto V aren’t content without topping the latest, greatest recreation of pop-culture filmography with a video even more authentic, detailed, and over-the-top.

We’ve seen the intro of Full House recreated with the video editor released alongside the PC version of Grand Theft Auto V, as well as a plethora of other notable scenes recognizable from widely liked films and series such as Breaking Bad.

The latest film to get the GTA V treatment was the wildly popular and extremely violent action flick Mad Max: Fury Road. Widely loved by critics and movie-goers alike, Fury Road is the most popular action film of this year, featuring Tom Hardy as Mad Max himself, and Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa. The movie places heavy emphasis on melee vehicular combat, with extensively modified and upgraded cars and trucks getting most of the action.

There is an official Mad Max game coming up that was originally slated to release in tandem with the movie, however it was delayed to September. Learning from CD Projekt Red’s example of the Witcher 3, it’s never a bad idea to delay a game for more polishing, but it does leave that fans of the movie without a game to play once they get home from the cinema.

As impatient as gamers are, the players of Grand Theft Auto V on PC decided to take the lemons and make some angry, explosion-filled lemonade. A few Mad Max fans hopped on GTA Online, whipped out the extremely versatile Rockstar Editor, and put together an authentic recreation of the chase scene from Fury Road.

Pretty sweet, right? Did you guys see Mad Max: Fury Road? If so, how’d you like it? Looking forward to the game coming out in September?

GTA V’s Fabled Sixth Wanted Star

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The elusive sixth wanted star. All Grand Theft Auto games have had six stars in the past, however, regardless of how much mayhem they caused, players of Grand Theft Auto V have only ever achieved five. Naturally, the fans were not satisfied by this. The sixth star has to be in the game, and the players have to find it.

The mystery of the sixth star is much like that of the ninth chevron in StarGate. While GTA can be crazy enough with easter eggs to send players to another universe, that outcome is doubtful. However, the discovery of the sixth star, much like the study of the ninth chevron, required unorthodox means. In the end, it wasn’t an impressive show of criminal genius that angered the authorities enough to send six stars worth of law enforcement after a player. Rather, it was more tech-savvy players digging around in the game’s code.

This following piece of code is what triggers the five star wanted level, is activated in 261 instances.

“PLAYER::SET_MAX_WANTED_LEVEL(5);”

However, there are also instances of the same line with a 6 in place of a 5.

“PLAYER::SET_MAX_WANTED_LEVEL(6);”

This occurs 58 time in the code, meaning that there are indeed ways to trigger this wanted level. But how? In previous games, the sixth wanted level usually brought with it the involvement of the military, sending tanks and other heavy weaponry against the player. With the fifth wanted level in GTA V only sending a posse of FIB after the player, it can be assumed that there is indeed a military-laden sixth level.

To find out what the sixth star summons against the mischievous player, Reddit user ClicheUsername, made use of the cheat engine to buff up their wanted level to six, and recorded the results, which are… underwhelming to say the least.

Did the use of the cheat engine alter the results? Were there originally six wanted levels, but reduced to five by time of release with a stray bit of code left in? What do you guys think?

GTA V Dev Prepares for What’s Next

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Take-Two made a massive killing off Grand Theft Auto V. Throughout three releases over five platforms, GTA V has sold nearly 52 million copies since its initial launch back in September 2013, making it up there among the most successful games ever created. The past fiscal year saw Take-Two take in earnings which beat Wall Street estimated over their heads, partially thanks to microtransactions.

Grand Theft Auto Online allows players to purchase Shark Cash Cards, giving them in-game currency in exchange for real-world money. The digital sales of GTA V, combined with the sold DLC added up to 66% of Take-Two’s quarterly revenue, as opposed to last year’s 47%.

GTA V was also the fastest selling game in the history of the industry, netting Take-Two over $1 Billion in its first three days. However, despite still being popular among gamers, the number of GTA V copies sold is dwindling, so Rockstar has to find a way to complement the sales of additional content to secure their future.

Take-Two has begun its conversion towards a digital-focused publisher, much like Electronic Arts and Activision-Blizzard, however, their switch is less graceful. Digital sales only made up 37% of last year’s revenue (most of which can be attributed to GTA V), while EA came in with 51% and A-B with 76%.

Take-Two does not have massively popular franchises with yearly releases like the other two publishers mentioned, so what do they have planned?

While it does have two sports titles with annual releases, they are hardly as popular as most EA Sports franchises. Despite this, NBA 2K and WWE do sell well, and we’re surely getting new iterations of those. Take-Two, however, is focusing more on the upcoming online shooter Battleborn, and they have a new as-of-yet unannounced IP they will be showing off at E3.

We’ll see what the future holds for Take-Two and Rockstar.

PS4/X1 Sales Bring GTA V to 45 Million Copies Shipped

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Take-Two Interactive, the parent company of Rockstar, just reported its financial results, including more strong numbers for Grand Theft Auto V. While the PS4 and Xbox One versions haven’t seen the explosive sales of the original release, they’ve now shipped 10 million copies to retailers. This brings the total number of shipped GTA V copies to 45 million overall.

With March 24 and the PC release of GTA V on the horizon, it will be interesting to see just how high that number will climb.