Grand Theft Auto 5 – a game that came out four-and-a-half years ago – sold over 1m copies in the UK alone in 2017.
Data from the Entertainment Retailers Association, which combines physical game sales data from Chart-Track with a download sales estimate from the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE), reveals GTA5 sold 1,080,022 in the UK last year. That’s enough sales to make the top 10 selling entertainment products overall.
It seems difficult to imagine who in the UK is left to buy GTA5, which launched first on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in September 2013 before coming out on PS4 and Xbox One a year later, then again on PC in 2015.
As of February 2018, Rockstar had shipped an incredible 90m units to shops around the world. Given the game is still selling like hot cakes, that figure will probably hit an eye-watering 100m at some point in 2018.
GTA5’s sales staying power is no doubt buoyed by the ongoing success of GTA Online (you need a copy of GTA5 to play GTA Online). GTA Online continues to bring in huge amounts of money for Rockstar via microtransactions, and the mode remains hugely popular across all platforms (GTA5 is currently the fifth most-played game on Steam with, at the time of publication, 66,242 concurrent players).
Elsewhere, the ERA published the top 40 best-selling entertainment products of 2017 in the UK, and on the list are nine games. Of note, FIFA 18 and Call of Duty: WW2 were the UK’s best-selling video games of 2017. This isn’t much of a surprise, as FIFA and Call of Duty have been the UK’s best-selling games for some time now. However, the Call of Duty: WW2 sales figure of 2.4m crystallised the series’ turnaround after 2016’s disappointing Infinite Warfare. For context, Black Ops 3 sold 1.9m in 2015, and Advanced Warfare sold 1.8m in 2014, according to the ERA, so WW2 really has done the business for Activision. FIFA sales over the last three years, on the other hand, remain flat.
You can also see a significant decline for Destiny sales in the UK, when you compare Destiny 2 to the launch of Destiny 1. Destiny 2 sold 673,551 copies in the UK in 2017 following its September launch. Destiny sold 937,235 copies in the UK in 2014, the year it came out.
And it’s a similar decline for Star Wars: Battlefront 2, which sold 658,814 copies in the UK in 2017. Star Wars: Battlefront sold just over 1m copies in the UK in 2015. Did the furore over Battlefront 2’s gameplay-affecting loot boxes play a part?
It’s also worth noting the incredible sales success of Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy on the PS4. No wonder Activision is planning to port the game to other platforms as well as release a brand new Crash Bandicoot, and, reportedly, a Spyro remaster.
Here’s the ERA top 40 list in full. Yes, that’s right. Ed Sheeran is top.