It's a heist neither Trevor, Franklin, nor Michael could possibly pull off: stealing $800 million, the first-day take of Take-Two's smash hit, Grand Theft Auto V. See also: Grand Theft Auto V review.
And it's not over yet. Take-Two said that while the sell-through totals set a new record for first-day sales both within the franchise and developer Rockstar Games' history, that did not take into account sales in Japan and Brazil, which haven't formally launched yet. It's also likely to be the largest first-day sales total in gaming history.
The game launched only on the Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360 game consoles. A petition to launch the game for the PC has reached over 440,000 signatures. Versions for the upcoming PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles are also expected, although neither the PC, PS4, nor Xbox One editions have been announced.
"All of us at Take-Two are thrilled with the initial response to Grand Theft Auto V," Strauss Zelnick, chairman and chief executive of Take-Two, said in a statement. "Once again, the team at Rockstar Games have outdone themselves, setting the entertainment industry's new standard for creativity, innovation and excellence."
More than 8,300 stores across the United States opened their doors at midnight to accomodate the launch, the company said.
It's likely that the $800 million figure will stand as the highest ever for a first-day sales total for a video game. Last year, Yahoo rounded up the largest first-day openings in video-game history: 2012's Call of Duty: Black Ops II made $500 million in its first 24 hours, 2011's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 recorded $400 milion in the first day, and 2010'sCall of Duty: Black Ops rang up $360 million in its first 24 hours as well. All went on to record more eye-popping sales totals throughout the days to follow.
While GTA5 achieved the highest score ever on Metacritic, some reviewers have criticized the way in which the main characters are portrayed, as essentially amoral thugs who embody rampant mosogny and violence. Others have argued that that is exactly the point of the GTA series itself.
"We are incredibly proud of Rockstar Games' creative achievement and could not be more pleased with the success of this launch," Zelnick said.