Grand Theft Auto IV

As some people may know, I am an avid gamer. While due to be busy working two jobs, being on the e-board of two student groups, and going to school full-time I don’t play video games as much as I use to, I still read up on them at places like The Escapist, Kotaku, and Joystiq, because I want to be up to date with everything happening in the industry. After all, it is my dream to get into the game industry.

Not all, but most sites created by game companies to promote a game suck. It’s goal should be to make me more excited about the games release, and too often game companies fail. So, when Rockstar first launched the site for Grand Theft Auto IV (GTAIV), I ignored it. “I’m already excited about the game,” I thought to myself. “I don’t need to go to the site.” But then, I read and listen to a Kotaku post that had clips of Lazlow Jones (the DJ for GTAIV) on a radio show talking about some aspects of the game, particularly the in-game branding.

Essentially, everything you see and here in the game has been built up to be an actual brand, making Liberty City (the fake New York that the game is set in) seem like a real city. You can, for example, go online IN THE GAME and use a dating service and actual meet up and date someone.

There are also advertisements for cars you can actually drive in the game, and places you can go see, and things you can do. And then their are radio stations that you can listen to within the game that are actually complete. Rockstar actually recorded hours of fake talk shows like WKTT, so that if someone like myself switched to that station I would have hours of entertainment. Or, I could never listen to that station at all and instead listen to a funk station like IF99 or a disco station like K109 The Studio.

All of the stations in GTAIV have been built up to the point that everyone will have a favorite station, just like in real life. The reason that I know all of this is because of the official GTAIV site. It goes over all of the different brands that were created for this game and also shows you where they are located in Liberty City. You can listen to snippets of radio stations and watch advertisements for companies and services, and much, much more.

The sites design is basic and to the point, but not boring. This is good because it’s easy to navigate and there isn’t too much visual noise to distract the viewer from the main content. It’s a white on black site, but still it’s easy to read. In short, it’s a great site every other game company should be taking notes.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, April 20th, 2008 at 1:41 pm and is filed under Video Games. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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