Last month the highly anticipated video game L.A. Noire debuted by selling more than a million units in the first week alone. While the stunning realistic graphics and the complex narrative of the game virtually ensured that it would be a success, developer Rockstar Games took no chances by marketing the game with a big publicity push. The ads blanketed park benches, buses and billboards in Europe and America and saturated the radio and television airwaves, virtually no one could miss the game’s release.
But the marketing campaign goes a lot further than just advertisements. Rockstar Games has pulled out all the stops to help the game get into the hands of would-be players. This includes appealing to mystery readers who might be intrigued by the game's premise. Using the same world as the L.A. Noire game, eight big name authors were tapped to contribute to an anthology that has the same dark tone as the game. Titled L.A. Noire: The Collected Short Stories, the e-book releases today and includes short works by Megan Abbott, Lawrence Block, Joe Lansdale, Joyce Carol Oates, Francine Prose, Jonathan Santlofer, Duane Swierczynski and Andrew Vachss. These tales of suspense capture the dark underbelly of 1940s Hollywood — the corrupt cops, femme fatales (and their dupes) and the gumshoes that tried to make sense of it all. And the best part is that the collection is now available for free! So whether you have already in love with L.A. Noire the game or are just looking to read some great mystery short stories, you can enjoy these tales of noir without dropping a pretty penny.