We can’t say we’re entirely surprised that the game is getting delayed, but we were really hoping this time would be different. Nonetheless, it isn’t, and Grand Theft Auto V has been pushed back to September of this year, missing its Spring target launch by anywhere from three to six months.
Rockstar has had issues with development before, and is very cautious not to announce release dates until they are absolutely certain they can ship, but that hasn’t stopped them from delaying a game’s release to make sure it is ready for primetime. Much like Blizzard with their StarCraft and WarCraft series, Rockstar says that their games will be ready simply when they’re ready. The company released a statement which said, in part:
We know this is about four months later than originally planned and we know that this short delay will come as a disappointment to many of you, but, trust us, it will be worth the extra time. GTAV is a massively ambitious and complex game and it simply needs a little more polish to be of the standard we and, more importantly, you require.
While we’re disappointed that we won’t be able to get our grubby mitts on GTA V before another E3 rolls around, we do know that Rockstar only really delays stuff when they have to. They won’t ship an unfinished or even unpolished game. Chances are, the development team saw the opportunity to create something bigger or to branch off the storyline in a new way, and they decided it was worth taking the time to do it right.
There is a theory floating around that the game has been delayed to accompany next-generation consoles that are rumoured to be landing this holiday season. We would love for that to be true, but we sincerely doubt that for two reasons.
First, the game would likely sell better if it launched as far earlier than the next-generation as possible, because it gives people a rest between grabbing the game again in six to eight months. Second, the game is so massive and has been in development for so long, we really doubt that Rockstar would have the time to work on pre-final development hardware for a game that is as grand as it is.
Take-Two Interactive is publishing Grand Theft Auto V, set to launch September 17th for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. No PC version has been announced, though Rockstar hasn’t missed a major GTA release on a Windows platform, well, ever.