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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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  • Trublu

    Rockstar should have NEVER announced this game two years before it was to be released. Such a disappointment from every angle. Holding carrot in front of donkey continues!

    • Zdougy

      Agreed I’m getting hype fatigue

  • Saurabh

    That’s the best article related to gta 5 delay I have seen so far..!! The only thing i can’t understand is why can’t rockstar confirm that gta 5 for pc is in the works..Nobody can presume it as we all know what happened with read dead redemption..

  • mikey

    it signifies that rockstar is one of the last major companies that actually cares if there game is good or not at launch….obviously the delay is because they dont feel its up to par,something which almost every other company doesnt give a damn about…if they released gta5 only to have it full of glitches and having to patch it up 10 times in the first month people would be killing them for that as well….just relax and appreciate that while they could ship it out and make a “heaping amount” of money,they have decided to push it back a few months and give you a high quality product

  • littlewarriordingle

    Saintss rowwwwwww all dayyyyyy suckersssssss

  • yolo

    Yeah saints row all day!

  • joe

    people need to stop moaning about the delay there making the game better its going to be on Xbox 360 and PS3 not next gen Rockstar have confirmed that, the delay is due to be to fix glitches and improve the look of the game

    • Cee

      “Better” i question what game companys think is “better”….they take out the great features in the game exp san andreas…ride bikes/lifting weights/car customization…theres no reason to leave out dope features they already established…no game will ever be perfect…they could spend another 2 years and there would be people that HATE IT. why not drop it april and start on the next one for next gen consoles?

  • JohnKnows

    I think this may very well have something to do with the next gen consoles. I mean lets look at the facts.
    Next gen consoles are very likely to be announced this E3 in June. And rest assured, when someone announces next gen consoles are coming, people lose interest in current gen stuff very quickly.
    With this in mind, it would make sense for them to take a little while to make the game for next gen AND current gen. Yeah, they’ve confirmed GTA 5 for current gen consoles, but that doesn’t mean they can’t also come out for next gen, or PC for that matter

    • Hey John … NextGen consoles, well at least the PlayStation 4, might be announced Feb 20. I think that definitely brings about the idea that GTA5 will be available on the nextgen consoles. This delay *might* be a part of that. Ideally, I can play it via Steam/PC, because that’s how I prefer it.

  • Chinaman


  • federalproblem

    When you hear GTA, you hear potential. A game that comes out every 2-5 years. A masterpeice, created by nonetheless rockstargames. An industry well known an who has been around since the 90’s. Most people do not understand the concept of creating a game so large and intense as this upcoming title. If a game like this were done with cursory. It would be a fail

    • Jason

      I was about to bitch and moan like everyone else, but you have a great point. I would rather wait a few more months for an absolutely flawless game like every previous GTA has been to me then possibly end up buying an epic fail of a game like Diablo 3. Thanks for giving me a better perspective.

  • B Stats

    Ubisoft said this with FC3 and that still released in a sorry state…

    • Jizzle

      yeah but ubi is a bunch of losers sooooooo…..

  • sam

    have you thought that thay are releaseing colser to cristmas to maximise profit and if it relesed at the end of the year it will stay newer for longer well into 2014/2015 thay oboiusly want to make a game to remember and keep value lol….think about that one

  • Please Me

    Have lovemaking with yourself Rockstar.

  • Meek

    ‘Diety’, do any of you prepubescent Tweens know anything about video game development? Games are postponed all the time because game developers realize they won’t finish on time. This is especially true for huge games like GTA, which requires a lot of attention to code.

    I’m sure conspiracy theories are fun, and I’m sure they are easier to entertain then any logical thought, but come on, this is just stupid.

    You guys make up ‘alternative lifestyle’ little theories and when they are proven false, you shut up and hope no one notices how wrong and idiotic you were. Just pretending like no theory was ever made up, and you’ll come up with more the next time a game is delayed.

    • Jizzle

      HA lol sounds like you know game programing to. yeah only the big games need attention paid to the code. you know smaller games they say screw it code doesnt matter, it isnt the instruction for the game to run or anything.

  • How about some lesson learning for Rockstar’s development and PR teams:

    Don’t publish a release date if there’s a chance you’ll go over — better to overestimate time to production than underestimate it; the former will elate your fans with an early release, whereas the latter leaves them feeling kind of betrayed and frustrated.

    Why not make people love you simply by setting expectations that you can exceed?

    You’ll also lay the smack-down on your competitors while you’re at it by beating them to the punch if they’re planning to release competing titles around the same time.

    I’m really looking forward to playing this one.

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