Record Grand Theft Auto V Sales Override Critics
Recently, Rockstar Games released the highly-anticipated 5th edition of its Grand Theft Auto franchise. Within the first three days, sales surpassed $1 Billion, smashing analyst’s estimates that they would achieve this figure in a month. GTA has clearly established itself as a cultural phenomenon, but critics still voice concerns about gun violence and violence against women portrayed in the games.
With both high sales and serious criticisms, we wondered what are consumers saying on social media about GTA V?
We analyzed over 1.9 million relevant posts surrounding Grand Theft Auto V following the week long period after its launch on September 17th. Unsurprisingly, sentiment is overwhelmingly positive, with 87% of consumers expressing positive sentiment following the launch. About one-fifth of the conversation (21%) focused on praising the game play experience.
Taking a look at the word cluster visualization for this category we can see what consumers called out as their favorite aspects of the game. Consumers especially liked the character of Trevor, the ending of the game, and the radio element of the game. One thing to note is that Grand Theft Auto V has yet to release its online multiplayer mode (set to be live on October 1st), which will surely add more flavor to the game play conversation.
Trevor is the best character on any video game ever #GTAV
— andrew vanderlei (@andrewvanderlei) September 19, 2013
The addictive quality of the game attracted 17% of the conversation and was most prominent during the days initially following the release, reaching a peak of 31% the day after the release as consumers expressed their need to play the game. The visualization below shows how the conversation changed over the week long period after the launch. We see that the addictive quality conversation steadily drops in conversation after the first few days, while the gameplay conversation increases proportionally as players begin to dive deeper into the game and develop an opinion about the game mechanics.
Perhaps the most interesting category which is also tied to the addictive quality of the game is those who joked that they or others would have no life after buying GTA V, which garnered 16% of the conversation. When we dive deeper and look at some of the example posts we can see that tweets are not only coming from guys, but also from women realizing that they may lose time with their significant others due to the addictive nature of GTA V. This shows how GTA has spread from just a game to a cultural phenomenon, where those who do not even play the game are jumping into the conversation.
Not gonna hear from my boyfriend today. He's gonna be playing GTA V
— laurinn? (@laurinnn_) September 18, 2013
girls everywhere are slowly losing their boyfriends to gta 5
— Milk (@miilkkk) September 18, 2013
An additional 15% of the conversation came from those who wished they could play or obtain GTA V. Thus, it is clear that GTA is highly coveted and people are proud to share their experiences surrounding the game. From the view of opinions expressed and broadcast over social media, GTA V succeeds as a satisfying (even addictive!) gaming experience.
While traditional media has seemed the most prominent voice weighing in on Grand Theft Auto V, we used Crimson Hexagon’s ForSight platform to listen to the consumer voice about the launch and to see how a video game has entered into pop culture.
For more insights into how consumers respond to online gaming, download our Old Spice Advertainment Case Study on Dikembe Mutombo’s 4 1/2 Weeks to Save the World.