LucasArts’ ‘Force’ trails ‘Grand Theft’

New Star Wars videogame flies off shelves

The force was with LucasArts last week, as its new “Star Wars” vidgame “The Force Unleashed” sold a boffo 1.5 million units worldwide in its first five days.

Strong debut makes it the fastest-selling game ever from Lucasfilm’s 26-year-old videogame division.

While the launch is impressive, returns are still far behind those of this year’s biggest game, “Grand Theft Auto IV,” which sold more than 6 million units in its first week. But it puts “The Force Unleashed” on track to be one of the year’s biggest vidgames and most likely the No. 1 seller based on a movie license.

LucasArts has given “The Force Unleashed,” which launched Sept. 16, a huge marketing push, including tie-in comicbooks, toys and books.

Reviews have been mixed, however, and it remains to be seen whether buzz will propel the game past the previous “Star Wars” videogame record holder, “Battlefront II,” which sold more than 7 million units since 2005.

LucasArts already has shipped 4.3 million units of “The Force Unleashed” in anticipation of continued strong sales through the holidays.