With two new consoles looming and tiles like Bungie's 'Destiny' and a new 'Modern Warfare' already penciled in, Rockstar's latest delay means trouble.
Even as Sony is stepping up to bat with by teasing a February 20th announcement, Rockstar announced a September 17 release date for 'Grand Theft Auto V,' some four months later than had been promised.
While delays are part and parcel for the game industry, this September currently represents the launch window for the next PlayStation and the next Xbox, e. g. the beginning of the latest generation of console gaming.
With groups of people either agonizing over a want of a new tech in consoles or a supposed sales absence resulting from the length of the current console generation, the holiday period is already stacked with AAA releases from Activision and EA. Even hardcore gamers have finite time and finite money, suggesting that sales will suffer somewhere. Assuming that the new 'GTA' does not become engulfed in a sales-ban level controversy, Gamasutra analysis concludes that it won't be Take-Two suffering, as 'Grand Theft Auto V' is expected sell well and to continue selling well into 2014.
That leaves the rest of the holiday sales slate and the new consoles in prime position to be squeezed out, this at a time when there is a concern over the new consoles' hype cannibalizing sales for titles released in the intervening months.
That begs the question then, what if 'GTA V' is a dud? If it is a sales dud (unlikely), the game could sink parent Take-Two. Ultimately though, the AAA game climate of 2013, already less than sunny, is now faced with another challenge.