GTA 5 release date set for March 2013?


Mayday! Mayday! Max Payne 3 delayed! That, and we’re about to crash land on a tropical island with a smoke beastie. Actually, we mean May day, as it’s becoming increasingly clear this is when GTA publisher Take Two likes to release it’s big hitters. See Red Dead in 2010, La Noire last year or, of course, Mr. Payne’s new May 15th launch date.

In line with the monologue-loving cop’s tardiness, several game analysts are predicting Max Payne 3′s delay will have an knock-on effect on GTA 5′s release date. Ahead lie maths-related predictions, so be warned for those faint-hearted folk who despise talk of fiscal years. Mike Hickey, who’s an analyst at National Alliance Capital Markets, originally expected Rockstar North’s upcoming Los Santos criminal caper to release as early as this May with Payne. However, he’s since had a change of heart. “It seems unlikely that Rockstar Games would launch both Max Payne 3 and GTA 5 in the month of May,” Hickey said. “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.”

If true, it means Take Two is expected to post a loss for 2012, if it fails to push the good ship Grand Theft Auto out of the docks. Though it would technically count as its 2013 fiscal year, Hickey still expects GTA to be released in 2o12. “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.”

Not one to be left out of any Rockstar-related guessing games, Michael Pachter has also chipped in with his two cents on the Max Payne 3 delay having a trickle down effect on G to the T to the A to the V. “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,” he said.

Our prediction? We genuinely think GTA 5 could be out for Christmas 2012. If you compare its debut trailer with that of GTA 4,  it’s clearly in a much more advanced state. The first footage of Niko’s Liberty City adventure was essentially just a glorified day/night cycle of Rockstar’s Rotten Apple, with very few actual gameplay mechanics shown. In contrast, the GTA 5 trailer shows off bank heist and crop-dusting missions, car chases and even what aircraft you’ll be piloting. To us, it already looks in a largely finished state.

Even with so little real gameplay shown of GTA 4 initially, it was still originally meant to launch in late 2007 (a mere six or so months after its first reveal) before delays pushed it back to April 2008. The fact so much more has already been shown of GTA 5 could strongly hint it may well be released this year. Anyhoo, keep all your digits crossed. We’re gagging for a fresh slice of murdery Los Santos shenanigans.

Thanks: GameInformer

Above, our men of video break the hell down out of GTA 5′s debut trailer.