2K Games, the studio that has produced massive hits such as the Civilization series, Borderlands and Bioshock to name but a few, has broken its sales record with its latest title, Mafia III. The game has sold and shipped more than 4.5 million copies in its first week alone.

Take Two Interactive stated the numbers in a recent earnings report (via The Washington Post). Hangar 13, the new 2K studio behind the crime action shooter, decided to change the direction of the Mafia series, positioning the main character, Lincoln Clay, against the traditional mold of Italian-American gangsters, as opposed to part of it. This change of direction has clearly paid dividends for the parent company. And despite luke warm reception from critics, it has not deterred people from spending their hard earned cash on Lincoln Clay’s tale of revenge.

It was debated by executives at the company whether a bi-racial character would be the correct move, for fear of narrowing the games target audience. Eventually a decision was made that for the story to be a success, it would have to be wholly authentic. Hangar 13 did extensive research, reading first hand accounts of life in the southern USA during the 1960s. Strauss Zelnick, chief executive of parent company Take Two Interactive remarked to The Washington Post, “It’s tough to take on a subject material like this and treat it realistically and sensitively.”

Clearly customers have been sufficiently impressed, and 2K Games can sit back and happily see their already strong back-catalog of games grow stronger with this record breaker.

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