Grand Theft Auto IV, the latest version of Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.'s gangland video game, raked in more than $500 million in sales during its first week in stores, selling more than 6 million units.
On its opening day, April 29, the title sold around 3.6 million units with a total tag price of $310 million, the video game's publisher said. Sales beat the $300 million benchmark set by Microsoft Corp.'s Halo 3 in September last year.
Grand Theft Auto IV's first week performance represents the largest launch in the history of interactive entertainment, and we believe these retail sales levels surpass any movie or music launch to date, said Strauss Zelnick, the company's chairman.
Grand Theft Auto IV has received outstanding ratings along with criticism for its violent content. The title carries a Mature rating in the U.S. from an industry council, which says it's suitable only for players ages 17 and older because of graphic violence and partial nudity. The game follows an Eastern European immigrant-turned gangster as he performs various criminal acts around a fictional Liberty City.
New York-based Take-Two is facing a $2 billion hostile takeover offer from larger rival Electronic Arts Inc., which Take-Two has repeatedly claimed the offer is too low.
Take-Two's shares were recently trading at $26.39, above EA's tender offer of $25.74 per share, which expires May 16 though most analysts believe the company will extend its deadline.
Retail chains such as GameStop Corp and Best Buy Co Inc made advance orders for weeks of the game, following the success from its previous titles.
EA will report its fourth-quarter results Tuesday. Its largest rival Activision, which is in the process of merging with Vivendi Games, will report results Thursday.