Rockstar Games' best-selling title, Grand Theft Auto V, is nearing its decade milestone. Yet, despite its age, it remains a fixture on the sales charts, crowned atop last July's sales figures in Europe.
Despite the burgeoning gaming catalog, including recent delights like Hogwarts Legacy and Diablo 4, GTA V's allure is undiminished. GSD data, a compendium of sales spanning Europe, reveals 11.6 million console and PC games were sold in July, a whopping 34% leap from yesteryear. With GTA V firmly reigning supreme, it has amassed an unprecedented 185 million units globally.
Furthermore, two Rockstar creations - GTA V and Red Dead Redemption 2 - clinched two out of the top three ranks, with FIFA 23 nestled in between. Heavily discounted for the month of July, plenty of players enjoyed a trip back to Los Santos and the Wild West.
This, however, makes you wonder, were the periodic and marked discounts enough to explain? While possible, brushing it off as the sole reason would be an oversight. It's a confluence of narrative genius, immersive gameplay, and timely economic strategy.
Interestingly, while GTA V's throne remains uncontested, the mode of acquisition has morphed. Of the games procured in July, a staggering 7.9 million were digital. Physical sales, however, witnessed a meager 0.2% rise. This digital surge, a part of an ongoing shift, is partly attributed to summer promotions across platforms - from PlayStation to Xbox.
Yet, beneath these layers, GTA V's continual charm is a paragon of Rockstar's genius. No other game, even those made by Rockstar, has sustained this decade-long allure, continuously toppling fresh entrants, including Diablo 4.
Amidst GTA V's accolades, the anticipation for Rockstar's next magnum opus, GTA VI, grows stronger. With whispers of a potential reveal between April 2024 and March 2025, the industry is waiting for a long overdue update. As a matter of fact, one fan took it upon himself to tell the whole world just how much everyone wants to know when GTA 6 is coming out at Gamescom 2023 - much to the shock of everyone in attendance.
GTA VI, considered by many, will dwarf any launch the entertainment sector has seen. Some predict pre-orders alone of anywhere between 10-20 million units. If GTA V's sales trajectory offers any insight, GTA VI might not only dominate charts but redefine them.
If Rockstar releases GTA 6 on all platforms at the same time, multiple-billions within days of hitting the store shelves is not outside the realm of possibility.
Apart from video games, the hardware domain was also on the up-and-up in Europe. The trend of increased hardware sales continues following a year-long stock shortage. The PlayStation 5, in particular, experienced a 62.5% surge when you compare it to the same month last year, reigning supreme among all consoles. Their sales, bolstered by strategic price promotions, showcased a year-on-year growth of 244%. Nintendo Switch and Xbox Series S/X trailed, signifying the gaming community's evolving preferences.
With Baldur's Gate 3, Marvel's Spider-Man 2, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, the last of which is a franchise that's commonly associated with the PlayStation brand even if it will be owned by Microsoft soon, all coming out within the next few months, expect the PS5 to continue selling well to close the year.
As GTA V's 10th anniversary dawns, it's not merely a celebration of a game but of an era that redefined entertainment. From its pirated versions that eventually converted into actual sales to double and triple-dip purchases across multiple generations, GTA V's footprint is immeasurable.
Given this monumental momentum, GTA VI's release isn't just anticipated; it's yearned for.