Grand Theft Auto V : How Profits Soar when Piracy Is Managed.

Both the PS3 and the XBOX 360 have anti-piracy and digital rights management mechanisms in place that lock out users who are detected to have loaded cracked or unauthorized versions of the games.

It’s no wonder then that Grand Theft Auto 5 is the fastest selling entertainment product to reach one billion dollars in gross revenue. In just three days the game that took over $250 million dollars and years to produce had set a new record.

This is what we should all be looking at. This is the kind of wild imagination, innovation and investment that is possible when piracy is managed into acceptable levels. Of course we know there may be people who find functional work-a-rounds, but they are largely the exception, not the rule, and the numbers pretty much prove it.

What is interesting about the release of GTA V is that it looks more like the release of an iphone than a new album or movie. In other words, it is a digital entertainment release with the same potential of sales as a piece of hardware (or pre-internet piracy entertainment products).

This alone illustrates the possibilities for the size and scope of the digital entertainment market with adequate (not perfect) anti-piracy measures in place. You’ll also note that the #2 and #3 fastest selling products are also console video games which employ the same anti-piracy mechanisms.

With an estimated production/marketing budget of $265 million, GTA V is not only the most expensive video game of all time, but also more expensive than most of today’s Hollywood blockbusters. Considering this, it seems only fair to compare GTA’s commercial success to that of Hollywood movies.


6 thoughts on “Grand Theft Auto V : How Profits Soar when Piracy Is Managed.

      1. $60 may seem expensive as an upfront cost, but you can’t hit the reset button at the movie theatre. Most people that play a GTA game spend months of their lives experiencing the game and all it has to offer. With online gaming continuing to rise, its no surprise that gaming makes more money than the movie industry now.

  1. That’s right. Microsoft is virtually unique among big tech companies in that it profits from both technology and copyrighted materials. Therefore it’s no surprise that Microsoft has invested so much in content protection technologies. Their PlayReady DRM for video content, also a product of serious investment, has become a de facto standard for Hollywood-approved digital video protection outside of the Appleverse.

    This is what happens when a company has both the incentive and the wherewithal to protect content – in contrast to the big media companies, which demand that their content be protected but (in many ways) refuse to pay for it, and big tech, which doesn’t own the content, doesn’t really care about protecting it, and doesn’t like getting stuck with the bill for the technology.

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