All our marketing related articles

Credible GTA Online “Leaks” Aren’t Guarantees

A recent discovery based on code snippets found in the game files of GTA Online has lead to the assumption that the game will be receiving Biker themed DLC. Such an update has been hotly requested ever since the launch of the Online component of Rockstar Games’ open world action-adventure hit. Heck, this unconfirmed leak might even have contributed to the unexpected sales boom that propelled the game to the top of the UK charts (but probably not).

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The history of GTA Online is filled with fake leaks. Due to the insatiable and ever present hunger for more content, or information on more content in lieu of the former, made potential leaks extremely popular. People with no actual information crafted fakes with varying levels of believability, hungry for the clicks and video views such stories are guaranteed to catch.

We’ll be the first to admit that we covered many of these. In some cases we too believed the more credible-looking leaks, but we usually caught the fake ones (and warned you guys about them). We’ll continue to run these stories since we think it’s important for you guys to see some objective reporting on them. The possibility of a Biker DLC alone has set the GTA community on fire, mainly because the leak came from people who proved to be legit in the past.

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But we can’t stress one thing enough: take everything with a grain of salt.

You might think that any publicity, even news of leaks, is helping Rockstar in the long run. However, there is a reason leaks are generally shunned by developers. Marketing departments with plenty of learned and experienced people set specific announcement dates for specific reasons. Plenty of research goes into it. Days on which trailers are released or written posts published are not trivial. Third party leaks completely toss up the marketing schedule of a developer, which is why companies usually try their best to prevent them, even in spite of the additional free publicity.

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But you know what is even more damaging? Fake leaks. They happen all the time and sometimes even those whose info proved to be good in the past might sow the seeds of fabricated rumors for attention until the next actual leak comes around. The Biker update for GTA Online has been requested for so long by so many that it almost seems too good to be true.

So what if it isn’t? Stories of such a leak would produce insane amounts of traffic and views for those perpetrating them. Such amounts, that it might be worth risking one’s reputation for. There might very well be a Biker DLC on the way for GTA Online, but even if there is, these words still ring true. Image editing, hacking and modding are all ways to fake a leak that seems so real that you’d never doubt it.

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But you always have to doubt. If it isn’t official news from official sources, never take it as 100%, never take it as guarantee.

How much faith are you putting in news of a Biker DLC coming to GTA Online?

GTA V Screenshot Used On Hotel Website

GTA V has always been praised to be one of the most graphically impressive games of its time. Even before the launch of the Xbox One and PS4, the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game were lauded as the first “truly next-gen” game experiences in the industry.

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The game got a visual boost with the next-gen enhanced editions and again with the PC version, which when maxed out still stands among the most visually impressive games on the market today. This comes at a cost though, as it also happens to be one of the most hardware intensive games too – the newest 1080 nVidia cards can’t run it on maximum settings at 4K with steady 60 FPS.

Using certain graphical mods, it is even possible to achieve near photo-realistic visuals. However, without mods, even at ultra, while GTA V is impressive, the differences between it and photos can be easily noticed.

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Which makes it pretty embarrassing when a stock screenshot of Los Santos makes it up on a hotel’s website attempting to represent downtown Los Angeles. We get it, Los Santos is based on LA, but seriously, it isn’t a carbon copy and that image isn’t exactly easy to mistake for a photo.

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However, things become more clear when it is noted that the hotel in question is the Hotel Figueroa, which advertised the game with massive billboards on its sides back before GTA V was initially launched.

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This is probably just a little prank or joke that the site admin pulled for fun. If anything, it might be a publicity stunt, in which case it’s working. Several GTA V related online communities have shared this finding, probably causing a spike in the traffic of that website.

Props for inventive marketing. Do you ever plan to stay at the Figueroa, if only because you’re a GTA fan?

Here’s Why GTA Isn’t An Annual Franchise

Recently, Take-Two’s CEO Strauss Zelnick appeared at the MKM Partners Investor Day Conference, where he was extensively interviewed by Gamespot. Then a week ago, Zelnick spoke about how the massive success of GTA Online will not be changing the business strategy of Take-Two or Rockstar, and once again he revealed some of the tactical considerations of the company. Rockstar, and therefore Take-Two, have a lot riding on the GTA franchise. Being one of the most recognizable, and not to mention most lucrative name in the video game industry, Zelnick needs to make sure that the reputation of GTA is upheld.

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Thing is, quality sells. Luckily for the brand name, Rockstar knows this, and didn’t run their franchise into the ground like Activision did. Sure, Call of Duty was the big dog on the block a few years back, but the past four-ish games failed to make any sort of impression on the industry, nor did they sell particularly well. Rockstar, however, is playing the long-game. They know that no amount of marketing can beat word-of-mouth in the social media age, and no amount of publicity will trump the basic phenomenon of people simply liking the game.

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We think with the non-sports titles, we are better served to create anticipation and demand. On the one hand to rest the title, and on the other hand to have the highest quality in the market, which takes time. You can’t do that annually.

For a non-gamer, Zelnick really knows what goes into making a good game. Instead of pumping out a half-assed attempt every year, he has Rockstar sit on their games for a long, long time in order to release the most polished, content rich and professional product they can.

Are you guys satisfied with they way Take-Two Interactive is handling the GTA franchise?

Will GTA Ever Expand Into A Multimedia Empire?

GTA has achieved what few other video game properties have – it has become a household name. Pretty much everyone, no matter how disinterested in video games and video game culture they are, will know what GTA is. Non-gamers will exclaim “did you learn how to drive in GTA?” when they’re almost run over by a driver at a crossing. When you’ve got that level of brand recognition outside your target audience, you know you’ve hit peak.

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Game franchises with significantly smaller cultural influence and following have grown into large multimedia franchises, with novels, comics, films, series, spin-off games, collectible figures, tabletop games and other merchandise. GTA, however, stuck with multi-platform games and some limited merchandise. The only two instances of motion picture entertainment in the franchise were the GTA 2 short-film, which was little more than an over-long advertisement, and the GTA documentary “The Gamechangers“. Gamechangers was an unofficial, poorly made, biased and inaccurate film which gravitates more to fictitious drama than to real documentary.

GTA has the kind of massive following, as attested by the sales figures, the active player base, the modding community and its fandom, which would make expansion into other forms of media extremely profitable for Rockstar. This could also be an opportunity to flesh out the world, characters and story more for hardcore fans. While GTA hardly has a rigidly established lore or continuity, there is plenty of story content and world building to to add to.

Fleshing out the backstories of certain core characters through a series of comics would be a great start, for example. There have been rumors of a GTA theatrical film being in the works, however those have never had any veritable evidence to back them up, and if you think about it, it will quickly be apparent that a series would fit the franchise more. GTA has massive potential to explode into an entertainment juggernaut, but for some inexplicable reason, Take Two interactive does not seem too keen.

Would you guys like to see an expanded multimedia GTA project?

Amazing GTA 5 Map Size Comparison, New LA and Oz Marketing Pics

This post is a bit of a mish-mash of sorts, but with all the Grand Theft Auto V hype, news and opinion currently taking over the internet, with though it was time to start cutting down on the extra noise…

GTA 5 Map Size Comparison

First off we have this new GTA V map size comparison video made by the same guy that created the animated GIF we posted about (and is in turn based on the leak of the game map).

Using the new “character switching” feature/ability in GTA 5, the creator gives us an amazing insight into just how big the gaming world in GTA V is, how easy it is going to be to get lost, and also how hard/impossible it might be to find someone (the city is big, but the desert is bigger).

Anyway it’s a great piece of work so kudos to ‘Leobc’ for creating it.

GTA V Marketing Images

We’ve made multiple posts on Rockstar’s marketing efforts for Grand Theft Auto 5 and just how impressive/substantial they are, and these next two shots only prove that point further.

First up we have this photo taken of the Los Angeles downtown skyline. Notice that one thing that sticks out like a sore thumb!? Thanks Armgerm for the shot.

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Secondly there’s this photo taken of an entire tram emblazened with GTA V graphics – most notably “Beach Girl”. And yes, trams are a big part of the public transport system in Melbourne, Australia. Thanks JCXtreme.

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PS: We’re at the five day mark – not long now!

Real-Life Footage GTA V Trailer & NYC Marketing Pics

We’ve got a “two-in-one” news post for you today.

First up is this very funny and extremely well done fan-made trailer for GTA 5. What’s the big deal though? Well it’s done entirely with real-life footage (Mel Gibson, Cuba Gooding Jr and others are all included). We laughed our asses off. Take a look at the embedded video below to see what we mean.

Next up is a bit more GTA V marketing imagery, this time taken from the sides of some buses in New York City. Thanks to reddit user bikr for the pics. And if you’d like to see previous examples of GTA 5 marketing, click here (everything from the sides of hotels being painted, to GTA 5 trucks in Taiwan and subway stations in Berlin!).

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More GTA V Advertising in Hong Kong and Berlin

Rockstar’s worldwide marketing campaign for Grand Theft Auto 5 continues with these latest images being spotted in a subway entrance in Berlin (that’s some pretty extensive artwork!) and also in a country perhaps better known for another sandbox game – Hong Kong (Sleeping Dogs, by the way).

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Not sure if I can recall more advertising in more countries for any other game. Can you?

Thanks to bolingbrokeIV and rebeldrunker

GTA 5 Hummer/Patriot Spotted

So far we’ve had GTA 5 themed buses, trucks and even buildings, but this is the first GTA V themed Hummer we’ve seen!

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If you’re really into your Grand Theft Auto (and aren’t we all…) then you probably actually refer to this type of vehicle as Patriot.

The GTA 5 Hummer/Patriot can be found at the intu Metrocentre in the UK if you wanna check it out for yourself and maybe grab some snaps.