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'Grand Theft Auto V' hauls in $800 mn in debut

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

"Grand Theft Auto V," the latest in the violently brash videogame franchise, raked in more than $800 million on its first day of sales, the publisher said Wednesday.

Take-Two Interactive Software said GTA V "delivered the highest first day retail sales of any title in the history of the company and the Grand Theft Auto series."

"All of us at Take-Two are thrilled with the initial response to Grand Theft Auto V. Once again, the team at (the unit) Rockstar Games have outdone themselves, setting the entertainment industry's new standard for creativity, innovation and excellence," said Strauss Zelnick, chairman and chief executive of Take-Two.

In North America alone, some 8,300 stores opened at midnight to meet the demand from gamers for opening-day sales, Zelnick said.

The first-day totals of $800 million worldwide exclude the upcoming launch in Japan and Brazil, according to the company.

Rockstar Games, the division of Take-Two, spent five years crafting the title with a rumored production budget of $270 million, dwarfing the outlay on some Hollywood films.

The game sparked a stampede in the Netherlands while store shelves emptied in other countries in Asia and Europe as soon as it went on sale.

In Britain, a man was stabbed and had his copy stolen minutes after he picked it up in a supermarket.

For hundreds of thousands of fans around the world of the high-speed chases in a city styled to look like Los Angeles, the time and money invested in the new version has paid off, according to a slew of reviews that give it top marks.

bur-rl/vlk

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130918/grand-theft-auto-v-hauls-800-mn-debut