Amazon's Early Shipments of Grand Theft Auto V in the U.K. is Another Kick in Rockstar's Gonads

For better or worse, the Internet has made it nearly impossible to keep a secret these days. Just ask Rockstar Games, the developer of the Grand Theft Auto franchise. Despite a brilliant marketing strategy consisting of frequent but limited updates on the progress of Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V), arguably the most anticipated game of 2013, spoilers have come to light, though Rockstar Games isn't the one to blame.

Back in August, hackers were able to decrypt certain elements of the game after downloading digital pre-order copies from Sony in Europe. Sony may have meant well -- serve up encrypted copies of the game beforehand and then dole out unlock codes the moment the game launches -- but on hindsight, it was a poor decision that led to certain assets of the game leaking online.

GTA V Screenshot

Adding insult to injury, it's being reported that Amazon's U.K. portal delivered pre-ordered copies of GTA V to certain customers as early as Saturday, effectively breaching the game's embargo by a full three days. As you might expect, several of those who received an early copy took to social media to announce their good fortune. Unfortunately, that also means more spoilers are out there, which partially negates all the time, money, and effort Rockstar Games spent on executing a hyped up launch.

It's unfortunate, but given the many points of contact and places where things can go wrong, it's almost unavoidable.

"This kind of thing has always happened in the games industry, but with the rise of social media a lot more people know about it," Will Guyatt, spokesman for, told BBC News. "I can't see what Rockstar can do about it."

Rockstar is said to be investigating how and why this happened, though the damage has already been done.