On September 13th, the first viral marketing campaign called RockstarAnnouncement was launched. It featured a countdown and had a few social button counters on the site. The viral site found instant success and received a variety of reactions.
Within a few days, the site had been covered by numerous tech news outlets including Softpedia, Softonic and Examiner. People were so amused by the countdown that YouTube videos were being uploaded of the hype.
This wasn’t the first viral hoax campaign regarding the highly anticipated video game ‘Grand Theft Auto V’, GTA City of Paradise was another viral campaign hoax. This one was created using photo shopped images of a fictional sequel to the GTA series. The site went viral and was covered by the same gaming news outlets as the prior hoax.
In August 2014, the third viral campaign hoax regarding GTA 5 was launched in a form of a news interview. ‘John Hoffberger’ was the ‘former marketing director’ at Rockstar games. He expressed in the interview that the game was to be cancelled for the PC. The hoax caught numerous major tech and gaming news outlets including Kotaku, PC Gamer, GameSpot, IGN and Huffington Post. The hoax was later confirmed by Rockstar themselves as they announced new details of the PC version of GTA 5.