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What Does the GTA 5 Delay Signify?

/ Feb 8th, 2013 20 Comments



At the end of January, fans of GTA 5 were looking forward to an announcement about the game’s official cover art. After all, Rockstar said that it would be revealed by the end of that month. Instead of good news, however, the company revealed that GTA 5 was going to miss its planned spring 2013 launch window and instead release on Sep. 17.

While Rockstar said that the delay was to ensure GTA 5 was everything they and the fans expected and apologized for any disappointment, it didn’t take long for disappointment to be replaced with countless other emotions. Eventually disappointment turned nasty and the company had to address the comments made on the story. Comments turned abusive and Rockstar said those who continued with the abuse would have their commenting privileges suspended.

Though anger towards such announcements isn’t uncommon in the industry, it felt even bigger considering the widespread popularity of the Grand Theft Auto series. Despite Rockstar giving a valid reason for the delay, it didn’t stop a flood of other theories to circulate. Many of these theories circulated around the idea that GTA 5 was being delayed so it could release closer to the next generation PlayStation or Xbox consoles. Some suggested Microsoft paid a large sum for a type of Xbox 720 exclusivity.

[adsense250itp]To quell these suspicions, Rockstar decided to speak up. “Literally the only reason we’ve delayed the release is because we want the game to be as good as it needs to be,” the company commented. Still, is that all to the story or is there more behind the delay? In no way should the “conspiracy theories” be given too much thought but there is some reason to question the delay. In late October, Rockstar gave the spring release window for GTA 5. In the month that followed, an enormous amount of footage and information was revealed about the game. Many would say the game looked close to being finished. What changed in those few months for Rockstar to realize that the game wouldn’t be ready for release? It’s possible they jumped the gun but it would have also been wise to not say anything about showing off an official cover and then dropping that to delay the game (maybe they should have shown off the cover to mix the bad news with a little good). And what about that leaked promo art? It was seen not long before the delay was announced and shows the game still coming in the spring. It just feels like something is missing.

Could the delay be a result of porting GTA 5 over to PCs and the Wii U? Honestly, it’s hard to believe that at least a PC version isn’t in the works already. A shift in focus to next gen consoles seems more likely. Recently, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said that they were more than ready for the next gen consoles. He especially made sure not to outright deny the possibility of GTA 5 coming out on the “PS4” and “Xbox 720”. If anything, there is a very good chance that Sony could announce something about GTA 5 at their meeting in a few weeks.

The most believable reason behind the game’s delay is the one that was originally given. Without a doubt the Grand Theft Auto franchise is one of the most well known in the video game industry. Each new installment raises the bar for the series and for the medium. Why wouldn’t Rockstar do whatever they can to make sure the game blows everyone away for years to come? Even if GTA 5 does show up on next gen consoles, it is probably going to be the final Rockstar game on the current gen; no doubt they want to go out with a bang.

What this delay also signifies is how “big” GTA 5 actually is. This a game that can be delayed for a few months for a very plausible reason and the news makes waves. Days after the announcement, everyone was wondering what it could possibly mean. If this happened with most other games today, no one would think twice. But GTA 5? Conspiracies start to fly.

By the time September arrives, many will have forgotten the drama surrounding GTA 5’s delay. Instead, they will be spending too much time causing mayhem in Los Santos to think about anything else. And that’s just what Rockstar wants.

Ben Sheene

Ben Sheene

Senior Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Ben is from Kentucky where he originally began playing games (an activity he still continues to this day). With a love for writing he graduated from Centre College with a BA in English. He recently moved to California to pursue whatever future endeavors were there. A passion for music, gaming, blogging, and existing keeps him up at night and crafts him into the person he is today.
Ben Sheene

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