Amid all the kerfuffle over Max Payne 3's delay until May of 2012, much has been postulated as what the news means for publisher Take Two's other mega-release Grand Theft Auto V. After all, May has been a staple month for Take-Two in recent history, with the company releasing Red Dead Redemption there in 2010 and following up in 2011 with L.A. Noire.
Surely that slot would have been considered for Grand Theft Auto V?
But now that Max Payne 3 dove its way into the month, the news has left many clueless as to when we'll be returning to San Andreas. To help paint a better picture of the scenario for us, a triumvirate of respected video game analysts recently spoke to Game Informer and took their best guess. Here's what they had to say.
National Alliance Capital Markets analyst Mike Hickey:
It seems unlikely that Rockstar Games would launch both Max Payne 3 and GTA 5 in the month on May. Therefore, we have shifted our original expectation for GTA V to launch in May 2012, into the Company’s 2013 fiscal second-half operating period (release window: Sept. ’12 — March ‘13).
We remain confident GTA V will ship in calendar year ’12, based on an assumption that Rockstar is using a sub 12 month marketing window for GTA V and the Company’s fiscal 2013 performance guidance, which would suggest the game’s release.
EEDAR analyst Jesse Divnich:
[Take-Two] are still saying they will achieve $2.00 earnings per share in fiscal 2013, so Grand Theft Auto V has to come out by March 2013.
Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter:
I don't know if [the delay] means a full year gap, but very likely six months. Too bad, as I think Grand Theft Auto V would benefit from giving Call of Duty some breathing room.
Essentially (if analyst consensus was to be taken as gospel) we're looking at the holiday season of 2012 or before March of next year. But what about that month of May Take-Two seems to love so much? Could we be looking at a full one-year delay of Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto V? Time for some exhilarating market analysis!
The most important insight into when GTA V might release is Take-Two's earnings per share estimate. You can view all of Take-Two's stock information here, but know that for their estimate of $2 in earnings per share (fiscal year March 2012 to March 2013), the company would have to hit a grand slam. At the risk of not disappointing potential investors then, it would make sense to drop Grand Theft Auto V somewhere in that window to guarantee an avalanche of earnings.
The one reason we might not see GTA V until May of 2013 is because a company's earnings per share estimate is also, to some extent, a marketing ploy.
You see, publishers like Take Two know that Game Rant readers are some of the most intelligent and astute individuals that society has to offer, and when sites like GR post on their financial reports, the information they put out is likely to reach someone with a stock portfolio or two. It's entirely possible that Take Two is hoping for stellar earnings on all of its games expect Grand Theft Auto V and is putting out that $2 mark to entice potential investors. Only then will they slip GTA V out the door in May to beef up the ensuing fiscal year after that.
Whatever ends up happening, it will likely be out of Take Two's comfort zone. Grand Theft Auto V was a jump-starter for its stock price right when the game was announced last October. Going by GTA V's announcement trailer from November, the game's production looks well underway and could be harmed if it ends up gathering too much dust. But then again, a delay into the middle of 2013 might provide a great opportunity for Rockstar to cross develop the game on a next-gen console.
Ranters, where do you think Grand Theft Auto V will fall on the gaming release calender? Can you wait almost a year and a half or do you want to see it in 2012?
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Source: Game Informer