Take-Two Interactive's chairman Strauss Zelnick, has told investors that Grand Theft Auto IV
won't be released until the 'April quarter' of 2008'.
The game is being developed by Edinburgh-based Rockstar North.
Zelnick puts the delay of one of the most anticipated games of this or any year down to the fact that it's being developed for both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Says Strauss:
"The size and scope of this game are virtually unprecedented in the industry, and the development on two highly sophisticated, new, 'next-gen' platforms has definitely been challenging."
This has been backed up with an official statement from the desk of Rockstar's main man, Sam Hauser:
"Every aspect of the game and its design has been completely transformed. The game is huge and is pushing the hardware platforms to their absolute limits. The top engineers from Sony and Microsoft are working closely with the team in Edinburgh right now, helping us to fully leverage the power of both platforms."
"Leveraging power" is all well and good from a marketing and PR wall of fog point of view - but frankly, it's not good enough. It's also interesting to note Hauser's 'leveraging' of the fact that it's not just Rockstar's fault, even the 'top engineers' at Sony and Microsoft can't make the damned thing come in on time.
Quite what this does for the recent deal between Take-Two and Microsoft in which the latter forked over $50-million (£24m) for exclusive downloadable content, which was due to appear in March '08, is unclear as Take-Two officers refused to comment.
The news came during the same meeting in which Zelnick stated that Manhunt 2
is being 'delayed' until the next financial year - in the U.S.A. The game is, of course, currently banned in the the U.K. - although this is currently be appealed, as we reported earlier this week.
None of this is good news for Take-Two which, even after appointing a new board
based around Zelnick's proven ability to get troubled companies back on track, is already under investigation by the SEC
The delay to GTA IV
is also unlikely to make the company appeal to any potential suitors. It also leaves GTA
developer, Rockstar, with two major games delayed for two very different reasons looking for some way to keep the public interested. Let's hope that the recently announced Bully: Scholarship Edition
and Table Tennis for Wii
can be released on time.