Grand Theft Marketing

Game CoverIn 1997 Dave Jones and Rockstar North (formerly DMA Design) released a video game that was the first of it’s kind. From the beginning, it was ahead of any game due to its story line and graphics. This game is Grand Theft Auto.

Grand Theft Auto consists of adventure, action, fantasy, racing and role-playing. Currently the series has sold over 70 million copies worldwide.

At 12:01 this morning gamers rushed to get their hands on the latest copy, Grand Theft Auto IV, I couldn’t help but think about the evolution of it’s success. Beyond just mere hype this game has created a network that operates as evangelists for Rockstar North.

Grand Theft Auto has erupted because it has:

1. Created an experience – The story line, role-playing and adventure to a world not open to everyone has created an experience where the gamer can do whatever they want. Consumers are always looking for an experience. GTA provides that opportunity to enter a different world, even if it’s just for a moment.

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2. Built on its originality – From the beginning it was a trendsetter in its complete experience. Rockstar North has continued to build on that success by better graphics, as well as more involved layers to the story line.

3. Created controversy – Whether it was part of the marketing plan from the beginning, the mature themes of the game has created controversy. This controversy has created a buzz, which has lead to a gaming empire.

4. Created a community – The popularity of this series has created a community that interacts and share tips with fellow gamers.

The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter if you like the game or not. The Grand Theft Auto Series will to continue grow, evolve, and draw new gamers. It will also continue to make millions.

The question is, ‘how can you take the concepts of experience, originality, controversy, and community and build them in to your product and business?” Would it work or is this just a rare occasion to a specific market?

Written by Jeff Springer

Jeff Springer

Jeff Spring is the Finance & Markets Editor at He's currently spending his days backpacking across Europe. While he may be living outside of the United States, he stays connected to American financial markets and M&A's more than is probably healthy for any single person. His love of a good book and a Bloomberg terminal can't be understated.