“Rockstar Announcement & GTA 5” Marketing Hoaxes

Website: http://www.rockstarannouncement.com ; http://www.foxweekly.com

Launch Date: September 13th, 2013 @ 2:33 pm

Type: Countdown Clock

Amount of Press: 221 articles

RockstarAnnouncement (along with other GTA 5 hoaxes) were a viral marketing hoax created by Rantic. The first viral hoax was orchestrated in a form of a countdown clock on September 13th, 2013 at around 2 pm. The site was first covered by Softpedia and received several news media articles from gaming outlets.

When the countdown ended, a music video was redirected from the countdown domain.

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 sequel to the GTA series. The images quickly went viral among gaming news outlets were covered by almost the same gaming news outlets as the prior hoax. Softonic was the first to report on the fake images.

In August of 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, according to an interview sourced on FoxWeekly. He expressed in the interview that the game was to be cancelled for the PC because of corporate issues. The hoax caught itself into numerous tech and gaming news outlets including Kotaku, PC Gamer, GameSpot, IGN and Huffington Post. It was later unofficially confirmed as a hoax by Rockstar themselves, as they coincidently announced new details of the PC version of GTA 5.