Grand Theft Auto V isn’t even out yet, and Rockstar Games appears to already have a hit on it’s hands. How can I already speculate this? The first game trailer was recently released on the internet, and millions of people were watching it within hours of it being put up. News outlets, such as The Christian Science Monitor were even talking about it, writing articles about it and speculating on the content of the game.
Some were even talking about the potential for social commentary in the game due to the subject matter of a man moving to California to achieve the American dream, but he gets caught back up in his life of crime. The trailer also shows homeless people, leading people to write pieces about how this game might demonstrate issues related to the American economic crisis. Even The Guardian was using the word “milieu” in commenting on the game. How often do you hear mainstream publications using “milieu” when talking about a video game?
Of course, the main reason this trailer has gotten so much buzz is because of the millions of copies of the Grand Theft Auto series that have been sold in the past. It’s not a stretch to say that Rockstar games is going to sell millions of copies of this game, even if it stinks. This is an example of the new world we live in. This buzz was created without purchasing any TV time whatsoever. The TV networks have nothing to do with anyone seeing this trailer.
I know, in a sense, that is nothing new there are countless examples of a video going viral, and everybody saw it. But this is a little different. Rockstar Games is a large company with millions of dollars invested in this game. The fact that their first marketing push for this game is to put the video up on their website is saying something. I’m sure that eventually this will be on TV, on nearly every channel, but this video game has already gotten significant buzz by just releasing a video online.
Also it’s interesting that this is called a “Trailer” and not a commercial. The word “Trailer” implies a story, and there is a story. The game focuses on a guy moving to Los Angeles, but in Grand Theft Auto, that city is actually known as Vinewood. He wants to retire from his life of crime, to buy a house, raise some kids and whatnot. Luckily for us, that apparently doesn’t happen. As the narrator is telling us all of this, we are watching a robbery taking place.
If you’re wondering, the song in the commercial is called “Afterglow” by: Small Faces. If you’re wondering how I found this, there is a great Hubpages article about how to find the name songs in commercials.
It’s a quality trailer. And one thing to learn from it is that quality makes something much more likely to go viral. If this trailer would’ve been sub-par, nobody would be talking about it right now. But since it was high quality and engaging, the ad has gone truly viral. It’s safe to say, in the long run, quality truly wins. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a bank to rob.