The GTA V release date is still up in the air. Silence out of Rockstar Games and Take Two Interactive has many wondering when the next iteration of the franchise will arrive. There have been many missed opportunities that analysts and journalists have pointed out that could have housed an announcement for the game. Instead, over the past nine months we’ve gotten one piece of significant news since the reveal trailer was released back in November of 2011.
Despite Take Two’s lack of GTA V intel in its recently completed conference call, one analyst believes that we’ll be hearing more on the game very soon. Michael Pachter has released his latest notes to investors after analyzing Take Two’s information, and believes that all signs point to a release date of GTA V prior to March 2013. Company guidance suggests that Take Two’s business will get significantly better by then, but the company is attributing this boost to games that were mentioned in the call: Borderlands 2, X-Com, NBA 2K13, and Bioshock Infinite.
There’s a number of things at play in Pachter’s analysis. First off, Take Two Interactive traditionally issues conservative guidance to its investors. At its current level, it would be over-selling the potential of the games that were mentioned in the latest conference call. Pachter is assuming that there is a hidden variable in this mix, and that variable is a release of GTA V. Outside of the numbers, Pachter sees a risk in delaying Grand Theft Auto 5 too far into the 2013 calendar year. The analyst believes that with this generation winding down, there is a significant risk that GTA V will face declining software sales across the industry as console makers begin to introduce new hardware to the market.
All this said, Pachter has been wrong about the Grand Theft Auto franchise in the past. Calling for releases for the next game at numerous points over the years, Pachter still sees it as a possibility that GTA V arrives in 2012, albeit a small one. “We expect a GTA V release date announcement by as late as November,” said Pachter. “There was no such announcement at E3, making a pre-holiday release less likely (but still possible).”