If you told Rockstar, back in the day, that their cute little top down scrolling shooter, for lack of a better explanation, will grow into the most profitable entertainment product ever, you'd probably get a laugh. Nobody's laughing now.
This makes it the single most profitable piece of commercial entertainment property ever, ahead of every album, movie or whatever cashable artistic expression you may think of. Six billion.
Such large figures are a bit difficult to put into perspective but we'll help - GTA V has financially outperformed the likes of Star Wars and even the 1939 classic Gone With the Wind. Moreover, including DVD and streaming sales improves the result marginally, at best, because GTA V just wipes the floor with its artistic competition.
Apparently, both of the aforementioned movies stand around the $3 billion mark, up to about $4 billion when including DVD and streaming. Furthermore, Rockstar's GTA V did it in less than 5 years - these movies had decades. Heck, in Gone With the Wind's case, we're almost hitting a millennia.
As for GTA V's gaming competition, if you can call it that, its Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, which sold 26.5 million copies. GTA V, on the other hand has sold 90 million copies and it keeps selling like hot cakes.
In fact, GTA V's chart performance has displayed amazing longevity, sticking around the top 10 for five years now. It occasionally drops to lower spots but the amount of competition it has outperformed and outlasted is just ridiculous.
Analysts are hopeful that Red Dead Redemption 2 repeats GTA's success but even though they're confident it will be a success, hey think it's still highly unlikely. As analyst Doug Creutz nicely put it, "Michael Jackson had a lot of hit albums but he only had one 'Thriller'." Amen.