12 Years After The GTA V Trailer, So Much Has Changed

An image shows a group of theater goers watching the GTA V trailer.
An image shows a group of theater goers watching the GTA V trailer.

Grand Theft Auto V is one of the bestselling video games of all time. It’s been released on multiple console generations and its online multiplayer component, GTA Online, is still one of the biggest games in the world. But before all that, 12 years ago today, Rockstar Games blew people’s minds and got folks hyped with a single trailer that was less than 90 seconds long.

On November 2, 2011, Rockstar Games dropped the first trailer for its then-upcoming Grand Theft Auto sequel (see on Amazon). It had been three years since the debut of the series’ prior main entry, Grand Theft Auto IV (see on Amazon). People were excited, and once the trailer for GTA V hit, fans spent months digging through every frame of it, scrounging for any details they could.

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Let’s remember 2011

What was going on in 2011? Batman: Arkham City, Uncharted 3, Skyrim, Portal 2, and Mass Effect 2 launched that year to critical acclaim. Nintendo’s 3DS also landed on store shelves and Twitch, a website for streaming gameplay in front of an audience, was officially launched. Oh, and a certain article about the Joker dying was posted in 2011 on Kotaku.com. Remember that?

At the end of the year, Rockstar dropped a trailer for what would go on to become one of the most successful games ever created. Well…once it eventually came out.

See, while GTA V’s first trailer landed in late 2011, the game didn’t get released until after some delay in 2013. That’s quite a gap! At the time, I remember people being flabbergasted that it was going to be five years between mainline GTA installments. Before that, the longest gap was between GTA San Andreas and GTA IV, which was four years. Little did we know back then that a five-year gap between entries would be nothing compared to the decade-long wait for the next game in the series. While we wait for GTA VI’s first trailer, it’s fun to go back and see what so many of us were excited for 12 years ago today.


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