12:20 PM

Grand Theft Auto Reaps Record Sales

About 6 million copies of the game have been sold worldwide, which marks a retail value of more than $500 million, in its first week of release.

"Grand Theft Auto IV" has broken records for first-day and first-week sales, according to game-maker Take-Two Interactive Software.

Take-Two announced Wednesday that it sold about 6 million copies of the game worldwide, which marks a retail value of more than $500 million, in the first week since its April 29th release. Consumers generated more than half of that business on the first day, buying 3.6 million units with a retail value of about $310 million.

"We knew 'Grand Theft Auto IV' would break new ground in terms of the player's experience, with its compelling story line, extraordinary game play and action that ranges over a broad urban canvas," Strauss Zelnick, chairman of Take-Two, said in a news announcement. "Now, it has broken sales and rating records as well. 'Grand Theft Auto IV''s first week performance represents the largest launch in the history of interactive entertainment, and we believe these retail sales levels surpass any movie or music launch to date."

"Grand Theft Auto IV" for Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3 takes place in Liberty City, which looks a lot like New York City. It was created by Rockstar North and is rated "M" for mature.

"Rockstar's goal is to make each new title in the "Grand Theft Auto" franchise even better than those that preceded it, and Grand Theft Auto IV is a smashing success on that score," Ben Feder, Take-Two CEO, said in a news announcement. "Grand Theft Auto IV makes full use of the power of next generation technology, and offers players an experience unique in the interactive entertainment medium. This game sets a new standard in the industry, with critics hailing it as both an artistic and technological masterpiece."

Critics have also said it is full of violence and crime. The Chicago Transit Authority canned a $300,000 ad campaign for the game after a local Fox News station questioned why the city would promote a violent game while struggling to stop violent crime in real life.

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