The UK is buzzing about a Grand Theft Auto trailer – that hasn’t even debuted
November 24th, 2023, Stephan Shakespeare

The UK is buzzing about a Grand Theft Auto trailer – that hasn’t even debuted

A new entry in the Grand Theft Auto franchise is coming – sometime. The trailer for it will arrive in December, though developer Rockstar Games haven’t yet said exactly when. Outside of a highly publicised leak last year, details about the game remain scarce (we can assume, based on series history, that gameplay will involve firearms, cars, and the shooting and stealing thereof).

And yet, a brief statement announcing a trailer for the next title has been enough to drive an improvement in the UK public’s perceptions of the Grand Theft Auto franchise. YouGov BrandIndex shows that, between 7 November (the day before the announcement that a trailer would be on the way in December) and 19 November, Word of Mouth scores (which measure whether consumers have talked about a video game franchise with friends or family) rose from 3.9 to 11.0 (+7.1); the corresponding increase in Buzz scores – which measure whether consumers have heard anything positive or negative about said franchise in the past two weeks – from 1.8 to 7.6 indicates that most of this conversation was positive.

Grand Theft Auto’s Ad Awareness scores, a measure of whether consumers have seen an advertisement for a franchise in the past two weeks, jumped from 1.5 to 6.3 (+4.8); not bad for what is, essentially, an advertisement for an advertisement. With fans clamouring for more from the series, Satisfaction scores rose from 12.6 to 20.0 (+7.4), while Impression scores, a measure of general sentiment towards a brand, jumped even higher from -1.1 to 9.2 (+10.3).

A Grand Theft Auto game is a rare event in the gaming calendar; the latest entry came out over a decade ago, and has reportedly sold around 190 million copies worldwide. Our most recent data suggests that 28% of the public have, at some point, played an entry in the franchise, which puts it behind only Super Mario Bros (32%) in terms of public familiarity. So it’s reasonable to assume that Rockstar knew that a paragraph of text about the new Grand Theft Auto would spark headlines, speculation, and feverish anticipation. The question is: how will the public react once marketing for the game begins in earnest?

This article originally appeared in City A.M.