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Official launch date is September 17

If you've been counting down the days until Grand Theft Auto V arrives, Rockstar has offered up some bad news. The game was originally expected to launch in the spring of 2013, which meant sometime in the next couple months. Rockstar has now changed that official launch date and added a significant delay.

“Grand Theft Auto V continues to push the series forward in new ways; Rockstar North are creating our deepest, most beautiful and most immersive world yet,” said Sam Houser, Founder of Rockstar Games. “We are very excited for people to learn more about the game in the coming months.”

Rockstar announced today that the official launch date for GTA V is September 17, 2013. The company admits that that is about four months later than originally planned. However, Rockstar promises that the delay will be worth it. As for the official reason the game has been delayed, Rockstar only says that the delay is to allow more development time.

Rockstar wrote, "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."

When the game launches on September 17, it will be available for the Xbox 360 and the Sony PS3. Reuters reports that some analysts believe GTA V could make as much as $1 billion in retail sales. The last game the franchise, Grand Theft Auto IV, has sold over 25 million copies since it launched in 2008.

Sources: Rockstar Games, Reuters

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RE: Take all the time you need...
By Ammohunt on 2/1/2013 3:08:08 PM , Rating: 2
I have some idea since i work for one of the top 3 software companies on the planet ;-). Most of the cost is marketing but word of mouth is better than most marketing schemes if the game is good. Steam i have come to realize is the best distribution mechanism for games. I have befriended 2 younger gamers in steam that i play with regularly something have never done in the past they have introduced me to even more games.

RE: Take all the time you need...
By augiem on 2/1/2013 4:21:54 PM , Rating: 1
Relying on word of mouth to sell your product is not sound business. That's like relying on the rain. No modern business reached the heights they have on word of mouth except maybe for the fad du jour such as Facebook.

Saying most of the cost of developing games is marketing is also a blanket statement and certainly not true for every game. Cost of development is very high these days as is evidenced by the trend for developers to outsource more and more content creation and programming to overseas developers to reduce costs. Regardless, marketing is required for any business to succeed and is not unique to the game industry, so it can't be blown off as an unnecessary cost.

The economics have to make sense. If the market were there to support AAA game development costs at $20/game, that would be the base price already. There's always someone out there who tries to get a leg up on the competition by out-cheaping them, which would drive the prices lower, provided they made up for it in volume. And in a sense that actually HAS happened already. How much were we paying for games in the 80's? $50 was common on NES and Sega systems. The 90's? $60-$80. How much are we paying now? $40-$60. Take a look at present day value of those figures. We pay a LOT less for games than we did back then. The number of gamers out there is much bigger than it was in the 80's, but still nowhere near as big as the number of people who watch movies. You want that volume, you gotta get more people playing games. How do you do that? Make them accessible to non gamers. How do you do that? Farmville.

Lowering the base price for a PS3 game to $20 wouldn't suddenly generate a market of buyers 3 times as big, which would be required to recoup the costs. You would either need to have an installed user base 3x the size of present, which would mean more PS3's would need to be sold, or you'd have to get your product in the hands of a much higher percentage of the existing user base to make up the difference. Both are monumental tasks with many factors out of the control of the developer.

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