The last 24 hours have been videogame carnage of the best sort. Rockstar had previously announced that the first trailer for GTA 6 would debut, ooh, about three hours from the time of writing. Instead a full trailer leak saw the studio decide to get out ahead of time and release the trailer early. Rockstar’s developers may not have been happy about it: but the crowd went wild.
And how: “Grand Theft Auto VI Trailer 1” rapidly went to #1 on YouTube trending and, in just over half a day, has racked up an astonishing 60,858,000 views, and every time I refresh that number gets higher. This puts it on-track to unseat BTS’s official music video for the song Dynamite, which in August 2020 managed an equally incredible 101 million views in 24 hours. Unfortunately the record-setting may end there though, thanks to the colossus that is Baby Shark at 13 billion lifetime views (my children feel responsible for about half-a-billion of those).
It certainly cements GTA 6’s status as the most-anticipated game around, though it’s also at least partly down to how well Rockstar has dealt with the leaks and rumours in the runup to the game’s announcement. We’ve known GTA was underway for years thanks to oblique references on earnings calls and the usual internet detail dumps of questionable veracity: but the doors really got blown off last year when a huge amount of in-development footage was leaked by a hacker. Rockstar acknowledged the intrusion, Take-Two’s lawyers set about issuing takedown notices, and said this was “early development footage” and the studio would “properly introduce you to this next game when it’s ready”.
The leaked footage was in all honesty what you’d expect: a GTA game that looked like a GTA game. It whet the collective appetite to such an extent however that ever since Rockstar’s been facing huge pressure to show something, anything, eventually leading to the announcement of the announcement that led to this trailer being leaked. Rockstar also dealt with that like champs, with an oddly personal tweet dropping the video early: “Our trailer has leaked so please watch the real thing on youtube.”
The trailer currently has seven million likes, just under 600,000 comments, and is on course to overtake total views for GTA 5’s reveal trailer (96 million views) in a single day. This of course doesn’t take into account views across other social media platforms.
It probably helps that this is a genuinely great trailer that oozes style and is packed with blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments (as well as twerking). The only bad news is that we have to wait till 2025 to play the thing, and on PC may be waiting even longer than that.