Why Grand Theft Auto V is Kicking Ass and Taking Names

When the upcoming crime-driven game dropped its first trailer two months ago, people freaked out on social media. Now with the recent announcement that open world game Saints Row IV sold more than one million copies in its first week, I had to see how GTA V compared.

While Saints Row IV saw 33,000 tweets one week pre-release (and 99,000 one week post-release), GTA V sees an average of 83,700 mentions per day. Every. Day. The Aug. 15 online game play reveal saw 125,450 tweets, and 81% of them were positive. Last week’s trailer harnessed 144,930 social mentions in just 24 hours.

What is it about this game that has social media going crazy? Here’s the gist of it:

1. An epic trailer.

GTA V Trailer Screenshot

The first trailer drove more than 94,000 Twitter mentions in just 24 hours, and 91% of tweets were positive. 8% of these mentions (that’s approximately 7,520 tweets) came from gamers saying they would give up girlfriends, schoolwork, jobs and even sunlight when Rockstar’s latest installment drops (see our full data on GameZone).

2. Multiple protagonists.

GTA V Protagonists Screenshot

The game’s introduction of multiple storylines has spurred several fake Twitter accounts for new protagonists Michael, Franklin and Trevor. Franklin is by far the most popular online, with 109,620 people following one of his many handles (@FranklinFrmGta5).

3. Incredible artwork.

GTA V Mural Screenshot

There’s no denying that GTA V is a highly visual product. #GTA5 has accumulated more than 58,100 Instagram mentions, while #GTAV was used to tag 56,200 photos. 60% of these Instagram posts came from users sharing official GTA V artwork, and 4% came from photos of the game’s large murals on downtown buildings in multiple cities.

GTA V Mural Instagram

4. The introduction of crews.

GTA V Crews Screenshot

The fifth GTA will introduce team heists. Rockstar offers its own online social hub (the Rockstar Games Social Club) where thousands of crews ranging from a handful to 150,000 members each have formed in anticipation of the game’s release. Each can choose their own logo, crew name and colors, and crews are already setting up alliances and rivalries.

If Saints Row can sell a million copies in a week, what will Grand Theft Auto V rake in? My guess? A lot.