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'Grand Theft Auto V' coming in spring

October 30, 2012|By Ben Fritz
  • "Grand Theft Auto V" will be released in the spring, publisher Take-Two Interactive announced Tuesday.
"Grand Theft Auto V" will be released in the spring, publisher… (Rockstar Games )

Gamers can finally start carjacking again.

"Grand Theft Auto V" will be released in the spring of 2013, publisher Take-Two Interactive announced Tuesday. The company's Rockstar Games subsidiary confirmed earlier this year that the sequel to 2008's hit "Grand Theft Auto IV" was in the works, but did not disclose a release date.

The spring timing is significant as Take-Two's fiscal year ends on March 31. With spring not officially starting until March 20, it is very likely that "Grand Theft Auto V" will be released in the company's fiscal 2014.

Many analysts and investors were uncertain whether the game would come out during the current fiscal year. While the lack of pre-release marketing so far made that appear unlikely, the company's financial guidance seemed to indicate that it would.

Take-Two had previously told investors to expect net income of between $1.75 and $2 per share for its fiscal 2013, which ends March 31.

"My guess is that they lower guidance to break even... and say that GTA [5] is a Q1 '14 launch," Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter wrote in an email. "I don’t think that the stock gets hit unreasonably, but management’s credibility suffers further. People had no confidence the game was coming this fiscal year and they met expectations."

Take-Two has a reputation in the video game industry for delaying planned release dates. However, it has been on a bit of a roll thanks to the recent hits "Borderlands 2" and "NBA 2K '13."

It was not immediately apparent what investors thought of the news as the stock markets in New York were closed Tuesday due to Hurricane Sandy.

The extreme weather also caused Take-Two to delay the planned release Tuesday of its financial results for the quarter ended Sept. 30.

"Grand Theft Auto V," which will be playable on Sony's PlayStation 3 and Microsoft's Xbox 360, is set in a fictional version of Los Angeles called "Los Santos." Previous versions of "GTA" have been set in fictional versions of Miami and New York.

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