Here We Go Again
We're about a month away from Grand Theft Auto 4 being released. Arguably the biggest and most anticipated game of all time. The pinnacle of the GTA franchise and quite possibly Rockstar Games greatest game so far. We've been starved for information for the last few years, and each month a few more snippets of information are released through magazine and online previews. The only problem with this approach by Rockstar means that people are so desperate for information, they will go to any means necessary to get it. That's where the problems start, and I can only see them getting worse.
Earlier this week, an Xbox website posted Multiplayer screenshots from GTA4 which were promptly removed, leading me and many others to believe they weren't supposed to release those images yet. Once one person views those images though, Rockstar's secrecy is completely trashed. Sure, they can make that website remove those images, but that's not gonna stop everyone who has them downloaded from putting them on every single gaming forum under the sun.
Then just today, we've seen that the GTA4 map which comes inside the box of the game has been leaked. The game and map will be in the printing process at the moment, and somehow (most likely by an employee of the printing company looking for 15 seconds of internet fame before he is deservedly sued by Rockstar), there are now photos all over the internet showing the map, with all of the street names, island names, locations and game controls all over it.
There are two points of view that I can think of over this. Firstly, the extreme view is that it's "Rockstar's Fault". By keeping the information so secretive, people are so desperate for information that they were always bound to take extreme measures to find out new stuff. The second view is that by viewing this information you're not only going to ruin the surprise of the game for yourself, but you've effectively made all of Rockstar's hard work with their advertising campaigns such as painting HUGE logo's on the side of buildings in New York, and releasing tiny updates every now and then, completely worthless.
This will only get worse too. Like we saw with San Andreas, I'm willing to guess that someone, somewhere, will get the game a week or two before it's supposed to go on sale and will proceed to spoil as much as they can about the game with videos, information and screenshots released on the web. And the worst part is, most of you will jump at the chance to see the information.
We're one month away from physically owning the game, and if you're like me, you've been waiting for this for years. Why go and ruin all of the hype and surprise by giving in and viewing the leaked information this close to release? Don't be stupid, and please, don't post any of this leaked material on our website. Any well run GTA website will fully support Rockstar Games during this time and the websites posting this information in their news are the ones who only care about themselves getting some quick traffic rather than showing respect to Rockstar Games who have put so much work into this game. I won't name any names, however let's just say the websites posting this type of content aren't exactly a surprise.
If you want to spoil the game for yourself, feel free, but don't do it here.