By Hillary Busis
September 19, 2013 at 01:55 PM EDT
  • Video Games

Turns out there’s an enormous market for violent wish-fulfillment fantasies stuffed with fast cars, flamethrowers, and tennis. Who knew?

Take-Two Interactive Software announced yesterday that the Grand Theft Auto series’ long-awaited fifth chapter has taken off like a heistmaster in a speedboat. The company estimates that GTA V generated over $800 million in sales worldwide in just one day. (The game retails for $59.99 in the U.S.)

Very impressive, especially considering that V has yet to launch in two additional large markets: Japan and Brazil. As Games Radar points out, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 garnered a mere $500 million in 24-hour sales when it was released last November. That highly anticipated sequel hit the $1 billion mark in 15 days; GTA will almost certainly get there faster. And more furiously.

GTA V isn’t only a commercial hit: It’s also a critical favorite, drawing rave reviews from sources like IGN, the New York Times, and the Guardian. EW’s own Darren Franich gave the game an A, praising its immersive nature and balls-out craziness: “It feels a bit like the craziest James Ellroy novel ever adapted into a 70-hour South Park episode, and I mean that as a compliment,” he wrote in his review.

  • Video Games
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