What happened

Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ:TTWO) stock climbed 122.7% in 2017, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence . The explosive share-price gains stemmed from very strong performance for its game Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V), growth for digitally delivered sales, and increasing confidence in the future of the video game industry.

TTWO Chart

TTWO data by YCharts.

So what

The unexpected resilience of Grand Theft Auto V was the single biggest catalyst for Take-Two's explosive 2017 stock gains. Video game sales typically tend to be front-loaded, but GTA V accomplished an almost unprecedented feat of generating increasing sales in each year that has followed its initial 2013 release. The core game continued to post great unit sales last year, reaching more than 85 million units shipped and ranking as the seventh best-selling game at U.S. retail. Its online mode also once again generated increased year-over-year revenue.

Police cars chasing another car in Grand Theft Auto V.

Image source: Getty Images.

Great sales for GTA V, strong performance for other titles like NBA 2K18, and growth for digitally delivered full-game sales and in-game purchases helped the company deliver four quarterly earnings reports that topped the market's expectations.

Now what

After explosive stock gains in recent years, Take-Two will be under pressure to deliver great fiscal performance going forward, but it's also true that it has never been stronger. GTA V looks like it will continue to defy gravity, with Take-Two management indicating that the game is on track to keep recording year-over-year sales increases. The company is also ramping up its production pipeline and aims to release at least one blockbuster, nonsports release per year in addition to expanding its presence on the mobile platform.    

Keith Noonan owns shares of Take-Two Interactive. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Take-Two Interactive. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.