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Grand Theft Auto V coming by March, analyst says

May 23, 2012|By Ben Fritz
  • Grand Theft Auto V will come out by next March, an analyst predicts
Grand Theft Auto V will come out by next March, an analyst predicts (Rockstar Games )

It's one of the most buzzed about questions in the video game world: When will Grand Theft Auto V hit stores?

The hugely anticipated sequel to one of video gaming's best-selling franchises was first announced by developer Rockstar Games last November. Fans know that it will be another huge open-world game and that it will take place in a thinly veiled version of Los Angeles, much like 2008's Grand Theft Auto IV took place in a virtual replica of New York City.

Rockstar's parent company, Take-Two Interactive Software, has yet to announce a release date for the game, but one analyst believes that he has found evidence on that score.

Michael Pachter, who closely follows the video game business for Wedbush Securities, said Take-Two's financial projections indicate that Grand Theft Auto V will be released by next March, the end of the New York-based video game publisher's fiscal year.

His prediction was based on information the company released Tuesday along with its financial results.

"Although management did not provide a release date or window for GTA V, its [fiscal year 2013] revenue guidance is unattainable without a huge seller from Rockstar," he wrote in a research report. "Rockstar is expected to contribute approximately $1.1 billion, with approximately $300 million from [recent Rockstar release] Max Payne 3 and approximately $150 million from catalog. The remaining approx. $650 million is simply not possible without the release of GTA V well before [fiscal year] end."

Rockstar takes many years to complete its games and has shifted its release dates in the past, including delaying the launch of GTA IV by six months, so fans are used to uncertainty. But they're sure to get psyched over the hint that a new GTA could be theirs to play within the next year.

Pachter said Take-Two's revenue guidance suggests that Grand Theft Auto V will sell 14 million units by March 31, 2013, a huge number but certainly achievable: GTA IV sold more than 22 million copies.

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