The success of GTA V is what you call proof.† It proves the GTA concept not only works, but is desired by the consumer.†
It also proves that the GTA formula†has not peaked yet.
GTA V also sold for a billion dollars at launch.†
That number will of course be scrutinized, analyzed and taken apart later, but none of it matters for the already born myth of the billion dollar game.
Inevitably other publishers will look upon GTA V as their new benchmark to reach and tune their strategies and future games accordingly.
Here are 3 interesting things, I think will catch their attention.
#1 You don't need women to win
It turns out you don't need deep female characters to win big, it turns you don't even need female characters at all, unless they are strippers or prostitutes.†
Whether or not GTA V excludes female gamers can't be said for sure. Still my hunch is that in percentages female gamers are less present in GTA V numbers, than in say Skyrim.
I'm not saying "GTA isn't for girls" or that women couldn't and wouldn't play it. What I am saying is that it takes all the recent arguments about diversifying audiences and taking gaming to new territories, and lights them on fire with a flamethrower.
#2 Hardcore is not the only game in town, but it is the best
So called "hardcore gaming" has been in at least, what is a perceptional decline since the advent of mobile gaming for the masses.†
There has been valid concern for the longevity of big-budget, massive epics for the hardcore crowd, as growth in gaming seems to be happening mostly in the casual mobile gaming end of things.
However if you pit GTA V's success against (arguably) the worlds best known mobile game franchise Angry Birds, you will find that Rovio's entire year revenue (~150m Ä) against Take-Two's effort makes the birds' galaxy seem far away indeed.
#3 Gaming's Titanic/Avatar/Avengers is carnage in a moral vacuum!
Even at this point, I feel confident in stating that GTA V has caught some unprecented mainstream media coverage, equivalent to big hollywood film openings.
Want it or not, GTA V represents gaming culture in 2013.†
And what we find in the limelight is bitter and sweet.
I think many (myself included) see the situation as a validation of hardcore gaming. Gaming, where you shoot people, things explode and blood splatters..splatter.
Because it is not an MMO that we find smashing records at the end of 2013, nor is it a game about building or crafting, nor is it new and revolutionary game mechanics.†
Instead we have single player videogaming, the fifth installment of a series, that from its inception has dwelled in the moral uproar brought on by its visceral sandboxes of mayhem.
And so, with GTA V, gaming, the industry and us, find themselves with a rather clear message on the state of gaming and what we as a collective want for our gaming money.
Gaming might be art, but it is definitely business, and no voice talks louders in it than a billion dollars.
notes:† *Didn't play any GTA V so far as the PC version isn't around yet.† *Did try not make claims about the content I have not seen on videos/read about in reviews *First time I try this blogging thing, so it probably blows to an extent.