The ballyhoo for "Grand Theft Auto IV" has been considerably more restrained than last year's over-the-top "Halo 3" debut. Yet when "GTA IV" hits store shelves today, the latest entry in the
controversial franchise could be the most lucrative launch in entertainment history -- and one that many people may not even know about.
Analysts predict Take-Two Interactive Software and
Rockstar Games' open-world, action-driving game will easily top last year's record-breaking $300 million, first-week sales of Microsoft and Bungee Studios' "Halo 3" -- and without a similar marketing
bonanza. With the launch of "GTA IV" on both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Rockstar is seemingly steering in one direction: secrecy.
Thus far, Rockstar's advertising campaign has consisted
of several outdoor elements -- billboards, bus wraps, building murals, phony wanted posters -- spread across North America and Europe as well as a few viral videos featuring satirical commercials for
fictitious "GTA" businesses posted online. GameStop and Microsoft have also aired their own TV commercials featuring the game.
Read the whole story at The Miami Herald/AP »