"Grand Theft Auto V" delivered an adrenaline shot to the heart of the video game industry.
The hotly anticipated title fueled a 27% boost in overall industry sales in September, across hardware, software and accessories, as compared to the same time a year ago, according to researcher the NPD Group.
The Take Two Interactive game became the bestseller of any title introduced in September, during the period since the firm began tracking the industry in 1995. And it was a major factor in the 52% surge in video game sales for the month.
"Grand Theft Auto represented over 50% of the dollar sales in September," wrote NPD analyst Liam Callahan.
Total video game sales — for hardware, software and game accessories — reached $1.1 billion in September, up from $848 million a year ago. When accounting for other industry revenue, including rentals and digital transactions such as subscriptions, mobile apps and content downloads, total consumer spending on games rose to nearly $1.9 billion, NPD reported.
Nintendo's handheld 3DS was the top-selling hardware for the fifth consecutive month, NPD reported. Nintendo is expected to maintain that distinction in October, as Nintendo introduces the less expensive handheld device, 2DS, and a hotly anticipated title, "Pokemon X&Y."
Sony's PlayStation 3 was the top-selling video game console, breaking the 32-month streak of Microsoft's Xbox 360. NPD credits the sales surge to a special packaging of the game system with "Grand Theft Auto V."
Sales of console and portable games rose to $754 million in September, up from $497 million a year ago.
Game accessory sales rose in September, thanks to "astonishing" growth popularity of interactive gaming toys. Sales rose 180% from a year ago, thanks to Disney's "Infinity" title, which marries game play with a toy box of Disney and Pixar figures, and to "Skylanders" items.
The top 10 games for Sept. 13:
- Grand Theft Auto, Take Two Interactive
- Madden NFL 25, Electronic Arts
- NBA 2K14, Take Two Interactive
- Diablo III, Activision Blizzard
- FIFA 14, Electronic Arts
- Kindom Hearts HD, Square Enix
- Disney Infinity, Disney Interactive Studios
- NHL 14, Electronic Arts
- Minecraft, Microsoft
- Saints Row IV, Deep Silver