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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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September 19th, 2013
05:32 PM ET

Why runaway sales of 'Grand Theft Auto V' could choke creativity

Opening day sales for the fifth installment of "Grand Theft Auto" surpassed $800 million, more than the top four biggest box office opening weekends of all time combined.

"They have really built up the fan base for this game over the years, all the different installments. That's how you get up to a fifth sequel for something like this," said senior editor of CNET.com Dan Ackerman.

The sky high sales are even more impressive given the bloody, violent nature of the game.

"It's what they call an 'M' or mature rated game, kind of like an R-rated movie. It does cut your audience down. That's why so many big action movies try to get down to PG so they can sell more tickets. So far in the video game industry, they haven't felt that same pressure," said Ackerman.

The "Grand Theft Auto" wild success right out of the gate will change the game for developers moving forward.

"You have to have a big opening day or opening weekend for anybody to take you seriously," said Ackerman. "When you have such a hit-driven business, people get sort of risk-averse and don't get as creative. That's why you have sequel, after sequel, after sequel."

In the movie industry, there has been a recent trend of big name actors moving to television because of Hollywood's increasing reliance on sequels. Ackerman said a similar trend is happening in the video game industry.

"A lot of the creative minds are actually moving into what they call indie games, small teams where you can make a game for an iPhone or iPad. You can do it with a small group of friends, and sell it for $0.99
or $2 or $5," said Ackerman.

"That's where a lot of interesting stuff is going on right now," said Ackerman.

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