Grand Theft Auto is a landmark series. Although often criticised by the mainstream media as being "too violent", the GTA titles are full of clever subtleties and groundbreaking firsts. With GTA IV seeing a release in 2008, and its most recent expansion, The Ballad of Gay Tony, being released in late 2009, it has been a while since we've seen what the folks at Rockstar North are up to.
It seems that the wait may be nearing an end, however. Take-Two Interactive, the company that owns Rockstar Games, has quietly registered a number of website domains, all of which sound like something straight out of a Grand Theft Auto title. Some of you will remember the fake websites seen in GTA IV, including the Wanted 5*-inducing littlelacysurprisepageant.com, a site set up by the LCPD in order to catch Liberty City's unscrupulous gentlemen.
The guys over at Grandtheft5 have found these new domain names, all of which seem to point directly at Grand Theft Auto V...
Speculation over on the GTA Forums suggests that 'LifeInvader' is a parody of social network Facebook, and 'HammersteinFaust' is a laugh at investment banking firm Goldman Sach's expense. As for 'CashForDeadDreams', 'StopPayingYourMortgage' and 'SixFigureTemps'? Well, while it's not entirely clear what they're parodying, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the connection between the three. Could it be that there'll be a theme of money in GTA V? Well, that would be a surprise.
But anybody could have guessed that money would play a part in Grand Theft Auto V -- that doesn't end the GTA-related news for today. As well as the newly-registered domains, we have yet more evidence for the next title in the series:
Notice anything in particular? That's right. Just below Max Payne 3, stunt actor Declan Mulvey is credited as having worked on the as-yet-unannounced Grand Theft Auto V. While we all knew it was coming, it's nice to see it in black and white.
Perhaps the most interesting piece of information to come out of the above image, is the notion that the sequel to GTA IV will actually be known as GTA V. Seemingly skipping a return to Vice City or San Andreas, the Housers are moving onto the next number immediately. Do they consider The Ballad of Gay Tony and The Lost and Damned to be on the same level as San Andreas and Vice City, or is the above title a red herring? I guess we won't know until the official announcement.
When will that be? My money is on E3 2011. With LA Noire seeing a release on May 17th, the public has just over two weeks to become enamoured with the title, and begin yearning for more from Rockstar. While I definitely don't believe that GTA V will see a release in 2011 -- Mike Hickey's prediction of 2012 sounds far more likely -- I'd be extremely surprised if we didn't hear something concerning Grand Theft Auto by the end of 2011.
But enough from me; what do you think the newly-registered domains are for? Are they even related to Grand Theft Auto V? What do you want to see from the next entry in the hugely-popular series? When will Take-Two announce GTA V? Let us know in the comments below.