GTA V was free on the Epic Games Store in May 2020, which helped push total-year franchise revenues to their second highest point of all time.
Take-Two's Epic Games Store freebie paid off big time. Yesterday I put together a graph that charted total Grand Theft Auto franchise revenues from GTA V's launch to present on both a yearly and quarterly basis. There's a huge revenue spike in Q1'21 corresponding with GTA V's free release on the Epic Games Store during May 2020.
This isn't a coincidence. The free launch helped GTA hit $262 million in the quarter, which is the second highest quarterly earnings since the incredible $1.49 billion earned at launch in Q3'14.
FY21 was also the second-highest yearly earnings with $984 million as compared to the staggering $1.6 billion earned in FY14.
The data shows two things: One, that publishers can win big if they bet on limited freebies on digital distribution platforms with millions of users, and two, giving away a free copy of an 8-year old game is a great idea when there's a monetized online mode attached. Oddly enough, full game sales also spiked, with FY21 achieving 15 million unit sales. This pushed total Grand Theft Auto V sales figures to 145 million worldwide.
- > NEXT STORY: Grand Theft Auto V reaches 150 million shipments worldwide
- < PREVIOUS STORY: Halo Infinite's second beta test may include PVP by default