Reports continue to state that Grand Theft Auto V is slated for a Fall 2012 release date. While frequent rumors also suggest a Spring 2013 release, employee resumes and more continue to point to a 2012 release window for the title. Resulting in an even split, we have to defer to other reasoning to determine the likely launch date, but there's a key piece of information people tend to overlook...
Rockstar Games simply does not give a f*** about Call of Duty, or Halo, or any other title out there. It is unquestionably, the biggest, highest-profile, loudest franchise out there. GTA continually pushes the market and the medium forward. Following GTA III, full-3D games were a must. Following GTA: San Andreas, sandbox titles were in vogue. Following GTA IV, developers began focusing more and more on story.
Grand Theft Auto is simply too big a deal to possibly be missed thanks to some Mayan calendar bullshit. Of course, if history has taught us anything....
1) Grand Theft Auto Games Typically Release In The Fall
The original Grand Theft Auto first released in Europe in October '97. Grand Theft Auto 2 released on Windows and PlayStation in September and October of '99. Grand Theft Auto III launched on the PlayStation 2 on October 22nd, 2001. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City followed suit a year later, releasing on October 27th, 2002. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas furthered this trend by releasing October 26th, 2004. Even Grand Theft Auto Advance for the GBA released October 25th, 2004. PSP off-shoot Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories released on October 24th, 2005. The following year, Rockstar Games released Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories for the PSP on October 31st, 2006.
Grand Theft Auto IV is the only main-series entry in an outlier release date of April 29th, 2008. In fact, GTA IV was long slated for an October release in 2007, with Rockstar even stating that the game was still on track for a "Late October release" after analysts questioned the title's strength against other holiday releases that year. In fact, it wasn't until August 2007 that Rockstar finally pushed Grand Theft Auto IV's release date back to the Spring window.
It's true that Rockstar has grown quite fond of releasing their big title for the year in May, with Red Dead Redemption and Max Payne 3 enjoying that window all to themselves, but history seems to tread heavily in the company's hearts and minds. Still, let's not forget that the teaser trailer for GTA V debuted way back in November of 2011.
Releasing the game a full 19 months later seems a little excessive right? We're ready for GTA V now!