The Grand Theft Auto series has shipped over 125 million units worldwide since it launched in 1997, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said during a presentation at the Credit Suisse Annual Technology Conference in Arizona yesterday.
Grand Theft Auto IV, specifically, which launched in April 2008, sold over 25 million units. Zelnick did not provide specifics for the rest of the series.
According to the Take-Two boss, part of the reason Grand Theft Auto is able to sell so well is because it is not a yearly product.
“It’s our view that if you want intellectual properties to be permanent, then you run the risk in that circumstance of having consumers fall out of love with that franchise. [Activision] obviously views the world differently,” he said (via GameSpot), referring to Call of Duty‘s yearly release schedule.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II, for example, sold less than last year’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, he pointed out.
“That’s never been the case with one of ours. Ours do better each time. Our view is it’s hard to make permanent intellectual properties if you annualize it, with the exception of sports titles. So far that’s proven to be the case. IP that is annualized eventually seems to hit the wall and we don’t want our IP to hit the wall.”
The latest entry in the Grand Theft Auto series, Grand Theft Auto V, is scheduled for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in spring 2013.