The launch of Grand Theft Auto V is a big deal for the industry. You could probably argue that the game’s launch caused as much hype and excitement as the upcoming launches of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will cause. Even Sky News was reporting on the “thousands” of employees who had taken a day off or called in sick because of GTA V’s UK launch.
For other publishers, the launch of a game that is as deeply entrenched in the zeitgeist of contemporary gaming as GTA must be a little intimidating or enviable. To that end, three publishers used the hype for a spot of guerrilla marketing.
Rovio, the incredibly wealthy team behind Angry Birds, tweeted the image you see above to remind folks that Angry Birds Star Wars II is out this Thursday. It’s the version of Angry Birds which adds Skylander-like toys of the birds to “teleport” into the game.
Not to be left out, Ubisoft tweeted the picture you see below. They’re about to launch Watch_Dogs, which shares copious gameplay similarities with the GTA series. The caption is meant to remind folks that the game is out in just over two months, and by then you should be bored with the fictional GTA V city of Los Santos. This one seems a little desperate to me.
Finally, Deep Silver and Volition went all out to promote Saints Row IV, yet another open-world mayhem simulator inspired heavily by the groundwork laid out by Rockstar with the GTA series. Deep Silver’s results were pretty amusing: they launched some silly DLC for Saints Row IV entitled the “GAT V DLC Pack”. It’ll add the recurring character of Johnny Gat to the game with costumes and weapons.
Of course, the fact that they paid to promote the “GATV” hashtag on Twitter caused all sorts of confusion among people; Kotaku has collated some of the more entertaining Twitter responses to #GATV.