The highly-anticipated video game Grand Theft Auto 5 was released on Tuesday to glowing reviews, and it appears to be off to the races with sales. The game depicts three men engaging in all manner of bad behavior in order to make the most money possible. Maybe someone should have told them the real cash is in video game production. Video game distributor Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. ($TTWO) is raking in cash as the game appears poised to do $800 million in sales during its first full day on the market. It’s hard to say just how much auto theft one would have to perform to net $800 million, but suffices to say it would probably take more than a day.
Grand Theft Auto V big, but market shrugs
Despite news of the massive first-day sales, Take-Two’s stock was up a half percent by late afternoon. This coming a day after the company popped 2 percent in early trading only to decline and end up losing 2 percent on the day. On the whole, Take-Two has been having a fabulous year, with shares up over 55 percent year-to-date and over 63 percent since October 1st of last year. Shares are off almost 7 percent this month and down over 5.75 percent since a steep sell-off that commenced on Wednesday morning of last week (most likely due to a downgrade from Pacific Crest), so it appears as though the market has already priced in the big opening for Take-Two’s new title.
The news of the big sales day also failed to help out video game retailer GameStop Corp. ($GME). Its stock was off almost 2.5 percent by late afternoon. However, like Take-Two, the days’s returns may just show that the market has already priced in the big sales as the recent troubles are overshadowed by a strong year. GameStop has more than doubled its share price since January.
GTA V set to smash record for fastest to $1 billion in sales
The current record for a video game reaching $1 billion in sales is held by Activision Blizzard’s ($ATVI) Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, but given that it took those sneaky soldiers over two weeks to get there, it appears that the destructive criminals of the GTA world are set to smash that pace (along with a whole lot of cars). With a budget reported to be over $260 million, it appears as though Take-Two is set to at least quadruple its initial investment.