Controversial video game Grand Theft Auto IV has smashed the sales record set last year by the shoot-em-up game Halo, with first week sales of over 500 million dollars, its publisher said Wednesday, the dpa reported.
The interactive game, which casts players in the role of an Eastern European gangster trying to get ahead in a New York-like city, has been criticism over its graphic violence and adult themes. But game reviewers have praised it as the most immersive and photo-realistic video game ever and buyers have been snapping it up for their Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles. According to publisher Take-Two Interactive, the game sold 3.6 million copies on its first day of release and a total of 6 million copies for the first week. In contrast Microsoft's Halo earned 300 million dollars in its first week, which at the time was a record launch for the entire entertainment industry.
The game's "first week performance represents the largest launch in the history of interactive entertainment," said Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick. "We believe these retail sales levels surpass any movie or music launch to date."