At this point nobody needs to know anything about a Grand Theft Auto title to be convinced it’s worth a look, the only thing that matters is when it will be released. After several rumors have circulated of a variety of possible release windows, one analyst is predicting that Grand Theft Auto 5 won’t be on store shelves until sometime in early 2013. That’s disappointing for those hoping to see the game this calendar year, but it could mean good things for those hoping the Wii U will show up around the same time.
Ever since GTA V went from dream to reality with its intriguing but inconclusive announcement trailer, expectations and speculation on when the game would be released has run rampant. In what might now seem as overly optimistic, the most recent leaked reports claimed that GTA V would be arriving this Fall.
Regardless of how many delays have or have not affected Take-Two Interactive or Rockstar Games, yet another industry analyst is claiming that the first months of 2013 are seeming more and more likely as a release window. That timing would still place the game within the company’s 2012 fiscal year (and good thing, since we know how fickle investors can be) and position it against fewer competitors. At least, that’s the theory of Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia, as explained to GamesIndustry.biz:
“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.”
The Wii U has been linked to any potential release of the next GTA title since word of it first arrived, so it’s strange to think that connection may prove accurate. Whether a Wii U launch title or not, there’s no arguing the fact that a March release would guarantee the game wasn’t lost in the holiday shuffle. Bhatia isn’t the only one claiming that releasing GTA V before April is the best course of action, and with Mass Effect 3 proving that a Spring release can be a winning formula it isn’t strange to think the same timing would work for Rockstar.
More time to make sure that the GTA franchise can still lead the pack of massive open-world games is more than welcome, especially is the development team is already working with members of the Mafia 2 team. Regardless of the release date, we’d be happy to find out exactly who or what GTA V will be focused on.
Hopefully more details on Grand Theft Auto V will be arriving soon.
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