Grand Theft Auto IV golden, already in transit

Rockstar Games' heavily anticipated open-world action adventure for Xbox 360, PS3 has entered mass production and is "en route to retailers" for April 29 release.

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Say so long to those delay rumors. While word has yet to come on whether Take-Two will accede to Electronic Arts' $2 billion acquisition offer, one scenario that will not occur is analysts' speculated delay of Grand Theft Auto IV.

During Take-Two's shareholders' meeting today, the publisher said that GTAIV has gone gold. The game is "in production and in trucks en route to retailers," proclaimed Take-Two CEO Ben Feder. Rated M for Mature, GTAIV will be released on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on April 29.

Though it won't be released for another 12 days, industry watchers have already projected a massive debut from the next installment in Rockstar North's prized franchise. Last October, Janco Partner's Mike Hickey projected global opening-week sales of more than 9.5 million, with 5.8 million units turning up in US consumers' hands alone. Earlier this week, Variety reported that sources within Take-Two fully expect the game to sell some 6 million units in its opening week, generating revenue in excess of $400 million.

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