GTA 5 Michael Money
The world of Grand Theft Auto revolves around money, and publisher Take-Two is rolling in it.Rockstar Games

Rockstar Games parent company Take Two Interactive has announced that Grand Theft Auto 5 topped 80 million sales worldwide as of 31 March 2017, meaning it is close to exceeding the sales of Nintendo's Wii Sports and entering the top 3 highest-selling games of all time.

Wii Sports, which was packed in with the majority of the 101 million Wii consoles Nintendo sold between 2006 and its discontinuation in 2013, has sold 82.81 million copies since its launch alongside the console.

First released on Xbox 360 and PS3 in September 2013, GTA 5 has since been released for PS4 and Xbox One in late 2014 and PC in early 2015. Two years on from its last iteration, the game continues to dominate sales charts around the world.

Just this week in the UK, the game ranked third in the boxed top 10.

Take-Two announced GTA 5 had crossed 70 million last November, and said today during an investor call (via ZhugeEX) that 5 of the 10 million copies sold since were sold during the first three months of 2017.

This also means the game enjoyed an exceptionally good Christmas period.

Of the 80 million total, Take Two said 25% were digital, meaning 60 million copies were sold at retail and 20 million digitally.

The success of Grand Theft Auto 5 is down in large part to GTA Online, the open world multiplayer portion of the game. While it suffered a troubled launch, through updates and a ton of new, free content Rockstar has turned GTA Online into one of the most incredible video game success stories of recent years.

In April 2016 a lawsuit filed against Rockstar by former Rockstar North president Leslie Benzies claimed with credibility that GTA Online had generated some $500 million in revenue through microtransactions.

Grand Theft Auto 5 may well be about to leapfrog Nintendo's motion-controlled multiplayer favourite, but it's got a long way to go before topping the sales of Mojang's Minecraft, which currently sits at 122 million.

The top selling game of all time is Tetris. Henk Rogers, who brought the famous Russian puzzle game to western audiences, claimed in an interview in 2014 that sales were around 495 million, including 425 million paid downloads on mobile and 35 million on Game Boy.

Nearly four years on from the original release of GTA 5, Rockstar isn't likely to show off a follow-up any time soon. It's current focus is Red Dead Redemption 2, which was announced last year and was yesterday (22 May) delayed until spring 2018.

For all the latest video game news follow us on Twitter @IBTGamesUK.