Grand Theft Auto left fans of the video game franchise salivating today as it promised a trailer of the new version of the joyriding favourite.
The homepage of makers Rockstar Games featured simply the game logo Grand Theft Auto V with the promise: “TRAILER 11.02.11”. The title bar of the page simply had the hashtag #GTAV.
It was GTA V which became a top trend on Twitter as fans shared their excitement at the promise of a new game.
With that one simple splash page, next month’s hugely anticipated no-holds-barred deathmatch between shooters Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 has been downgraded to the status of a minor playground squabble.
The brevity of this morning’s website announcement was only matched by it’s sheer out-of-the-blue unexpectedness: not only does the much-rumoured Grand Theft Auto V exist, but there will be a trailer released on November 2.
No other information was forthcoming, but that in itself was enough to set the internet ablaze with excitement and speculation.
Which fictional city will it be set in? Will it make use of LA Noire’s much heralded facial animation technology? And why does the ‘V’ in the logo look like a dollar bill?
For the uninitiated, Grand Theft Auto V is very big news indeed. To date, the series has sold copies by the truckload (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas remains one of the PlayStation 2’s most successful titles with some 17.5million units shifted on that platform alone), while the breathtaking GTA IV was heralded as one of the first truly next gen games.
The series has not been without controversy, though. The overtly violent gameplay possible within its vast open worlds – users are able to steal cars, indulge in random and graphic acts of physical violence and even interact with prostitutes – has seen GTA become the whipping boy of choice for moral campaigners concerned about the affect of video games on the young.
Not that its legion of fans care one jot. If anything, they’ll be hoping for even more of the same next time round. And in the absence of concrete details ahead of next week’s big reveal, experts and fans alike are already drawing up wish-lists for what GTA V will contain.