GTA V's marketing campaign has been kicked off, with its publisher Rockstar Games creating a site that overtly parodies Scientology.
A website for 'The Epsilon Program' and a corresponding twitter account have recently appeared. Long time fans of the GTA series will remember that the Epsilon Program first appeared as a teaser for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and was also mentioned in radio adverts and by NPCs in the game. The Epsilon Program offered salvation to consumers who were prepared to pay the cult vast sums of money and was clearly a satirical riff on Scientology.
The Epsilon Program's website lists its belief system as the 12 Tenets Of Kifflom, which include such 'FACTS' as 'the world is 157 years old', 'Dinosaurs are a lie that people believe because they are weak' and 'everyone is related to everyone else, except for people with red hair'. The cult's twitter account has declared it to be the fastest growing religion in America.
While the new viral marketing campaign may irk Scientologists, it will be music to the ears of Take Two's investors, as its the clearest indication thus far that Rockstar are ramping up towards a possible release date for GTA V. The game's impending release date was conspicuously absent from a recent address in a statement to investors by Take Two's CEO Strauss Zelnick.