As GTA 6 draws closer, GTA 5 is still making bank

GTA 5 characters
(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

More than a decade after its debut on antiquated consoles, Grand Theft Auto 5 is still a cash cow for Rockstar and its parent company Take-Two. Speaking today during Take-Two's Q4 quarterly earnings call with investors, CEO Strauss Zelnick confirmed that the game has now sold "approximately" 200 million copies, up from the "over 185 million" copies it had sold as of August last year.

Meanwhile, the audience for both GTA 5 and GTA Online grew by 35% and 23% respectively during the last fiscal year. That period has seen GTA 5 appear on subscription services like Xbox Game Pass, which hosted GTA 5 for six months in 2023, and Sony's PS Plus service. Leaving that aside, to sell around 15 million units of an 11-year-old game is still significant. Just for the fun of it, compare those 15 million units with the best selling game of 2023, Hogwarts Legacy, which sold 22 million as of January 2024 (it released in February 2023).

That obviously bodes well for GTA 6, which now has a release window of "fall 2025", though that's for consoles: a PC release will come later, as is Rockstar's wont. 

Zelnick even acknowledged GTA Online's thriving roleplaying community, which is a big reason why the game still ranks highly on Twitch. "Grand Theft Auto V also reclaimed its top spot as the most watched video game across all platforms according to Streamhatchet, thanks largely to the tremendous viewership from the series’ thriving role play community," Zelnick said.

Take-Two isn't relying on GTA 5 to put food on the table. NBA 2K24 was a big success, despite generally mediocre reviews from critics and players alike. Complaints generally point to the game's distracting microtransactions, but they're clearly doing their job: the game "surpassed our expectations, as players responded to our promotions, in-game content strategy, and updates within Seasons." It's sold 9 million copies to date.

Finally, Red Dead Redemption 2 has now sold 64 million copies since its release in October 2018. Not bad, for a game that has only shipped on one console generation (GTA 5 has shipped on three). Presumably those are the kinds of numbers you need to avoid abrupt (and ambiguous) studio closures in this year of our lord 2024.

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.