But the "GTA" franchise didn't need brand recognition -- it's one of the best-known brands in gaming.
"GTA IV" still needed marketing, however.
"The bar was high," says Alex Moulle-Berteaux, 36, head of marketing for Rockstar. "We started with a clean slate."
Hype began early with then-Microsoft Corp. executive Peter Moore showing off a "GTA IV" tattoo on his arm at the E3 gaming convention in 2006. Rockstar, with its own in-house marketing and design team, launched a series of trailers in 2007, followed by online videos leading up to its April release. A TV spot also ran in April, as well as print, radio, online and outdoor ads including several mural ads on buildings in New York.
More than 3.5 million copies sold the first day and more than 6 million the first week for an estimated one-week tally of $500 million. By August, more than 10 million copies of the game had been sold.