Retailers play a winning game with Grand Theft Auto V


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The Independent Online

The runaway success of Grand Theft Auto V helped the UK’s computer games market see an overall rise in sales for the first time in five years.

Tesco and Asda benefited most from the release, which has sold 3m copies since it launched last month. However, Amazon remains the largest entertainment seller with one in five of all UK sales, according to Kantar Worldpanel.

Fiona Keenan, insight director at Kantar, said: “The release of Grand Theft Auto V has given the entertainment sector a much-needed boost, helping the games market grow by an impressive 29 per cent [in the 12 weeks ending September 29] compared with the same period last year.

“Tesco is the big winner, collecting over a third of all money spent on the title during the two weeks after its release.”

The game sold 1.57m units on its first day of release, generating sales of £65m. Worldwide it pulled in $1bn (£618m) in just three days, making it the fastest-selling game of all time.

Retailers are hoping for a further boost in entertainment sales with the release of new consoles this Christmas, including the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with Game and Amazon both reporting that pre-orders are flooding in.

HMV has suffered most in the 12 weeks to end of September, compared with the same period a year ago, its market share falling from 18 per cent to 10.6 per cent after the company collapsed in January. It has since been saved by restructuring specialist Hilco and continues trading.