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We haven't heard anything about Grand Theft Auto V since late last year. However, new information has surfaced that pinpoints current business trends from Rockstar and Take-Two Interactive point to a 2013 release for GTA V, across the Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii U.
According to Game Industry, Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia made a few key points about business practices by Take-Two that seems sound enough to be true...
"We believe releasing GTA V in F4Q instead of F3Q will provide four advantages to TTWO: 1) a less crowded window away from the big holiday releases such as Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed etc. Recall, the previous GTA title (GTA IV) was released on April 29, 2008, i.e., also away from the holiday period; 2) smoother earnings in FY14 especially if GTA V launches in the last month of FY13 (March 2013); in other words it will result in stronger GTA V catalog sales in FY14; 3) a larger installed base including the potential for launch on Nintendo Wii U; and 4) an extra couple of months to polish the game."
Accordingly, Bhatia believes that after checking with certain retail channels, a fourth-quarter release would benefit Rockstar and Take-Two significantly, mainly for the reasons listed above. As much as I would love to play GTA V this year, I tend to agree.
More importantly, this is one of those rare times where I'm all about polish, polish, polish and more polish. If Rockstar needs to take six extra months to "optimize", fine by me. If Rockstar needs a few extra months to iron out the "kinks", kudos to them. If they want to avoid the game being crushed by Activision and EA's fall season FPS war, then good on them.
A Q4 release is usually quite barren of stiff competition and it definitely gives Rockstar an opportunity to soak in the sales all to themselves. That's not to mention that spring releases are usually favored by Rockstar, with Max Payne due for release this May, and last year L.A. Noire was also released in May. Red Dead Redemption was a May release and GTA IV, before that, managed a land on retail shelves in April. Seeing a pattern here?
This could all be bullocks, though, and Rockstar has yet to make any official statements on the release date for Grand Theft Auto V. So until they do, everything every analyst and industry "insider" spews is just speculation.