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GTA 5 still likely to launch before April 2013 - analysts

Rockstar's game could now face off against the next Call of Duty title

Analysts expect Grand Theft Auto 5 to launch in Take-Two's upcoming financial year (ending March 31, 2013), despite an increasingly crowded release schedule for the publisher.

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Yesterday Take-Two delayed Max Payne 3's release date by two months to May 2012, pushing it from the last quarter of the current financial year to the first quarter of the next, which is already packed with big releases.

In the 12 months beginning April 1, 2012, Take-Two currently plans to launch Max Payne 3, BioShock Infinite, Borderlands 2, Spec Ops: The Line, XCOM and XCOM: Enemy Unknown.

National Alliance Capital Markets analyst Mike Hickey told Game Informer: "It seems unlikely that Rockstar Games would launch both Max Payne 3 and GTA 5 in the month on May. Therefore, we have shifted our original expectation for GTA V to launch in May 2012, into the Company's 2013 fiscal second-half operating period.

"We remain confident GTA V will ship in calendar year '12, based on an assumption that Rockstar is using a sub 12 month marketing window for GTA V and the company's fiscal 2013 performance guidance, which would suggest the game's release."

EEDAR's Jesse Divnich said: "[Take-Two] are still saying they will achieve $2.00 earnings per share in fiscal 2013, so Grand Theft Auto V has to come out by March 2013."

Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter commented: "Although GTA V may still launch in FY:13, predicting the actual release date is difficult due to a crowded pipeline.

"I don't know if [Max Payne's delay] means a full year gap, but very likely six months. Too bad, as I think Grand Theft Auto V would benefit from giving Call of Duty some breathing room."

Analysts including Pachter and Hickey previously predicted a summer 2012 release for GTA 5.

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[ SOURCE: Game Informer ]

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