Rockstar North, has set new sales records, both in units sold and revenues. Its first-day sales of £496m surpassed the previous record, held by Call of Duty: Black Ops.
With nearly 1.5 million Facebook likes, and widespread media attention in recent weeks, GTAV was eagerly anticipated by gamers in many markets. Online retailers such as Amazon accepted advance orders and tried to time delivery to the release date.
Many UK stores opened at midnight for gamers who wanted to buy this latest version at the earliest possible moment. "Our customers really want to get their hands on this game," explains a manager at GAME.
"People are just really excited in terms of the things that they can do
on GTA that they could never do before."
The original GTA was released 16 years ago. Then, as now, the game generated controversy, with critics complaining about adult content, drug references and extreme violence, among other issues.
Add up the development and marketing costs, and GTAV is among the most expensive games ever sold. How will the expected release of next-generation game consoles affect its sales in the coming months? And will GTAV inspire a new movie franchise based on its characters and plot?