One of the most eagerly-anticipated video game releases has exceeded worldwide sales of $800m, its publisher has announced.

Grand Theft Auto V delivered the highest first day retail sales of any title sold by Take-Two Interactive Software, the parent company of the game's developer Rockstar.

Stores across Europe, including Ireland, opened their doors at midnight on Tuesday for the special launch of the widely acclaimed game, which reportedly cost around £170m to make and market - more than films such as Avatar.

Online retailer Amazon sold out of the game on pre-orders alone.

Experts estimate it could generate £1 billion during its first year on sale, with gamers predicted to snap up some 25 million copies - breaking current records.

The Grand Theft Auto series has accumulated sales of 135 million copies since its 1997 debut. GTA IV has reportedly sold more than 25 million copies since its 2008 release.

The new game has received rave reviews from critics across the board who have labelled it "one of the very best video games ever made".