Take-Two boss squashes GTAIV delay rumors

Chairman Strauss Zelnick directly addresses reports stemming from his address to a business summit earlier this week, says industry sales shouldn't be so holiday-centric.

For this week, no news is good news for gamers eagerly anticipating Grand Theft Auto IV. On Tuesday, Take-Two Interactive chairman Strauss Zelnick spoke at the 2007 BMO Capital Markets Interactive Entertainment Summit in New York City. When asked about the release date of Grand Theft Auto IV, Zelnick offered a status quo answer that was reported and rereported on industry trade sites until the executive was inaccurately characterized as backing down from the previously announced release window for the game.

Zelnick today spoke with GameSpot to set the record straight and squash the rumor once and for all.

"I wasn't intending to be newsworthy," Zelnick said of his response at the summit. "When asked about the release date, I confirmed the previous release date we'd given, which is our second fiscal quarter. That's to say sometime between the beginning of February and the end of April."

Some analysts have speculated that the reason for Grand Theft Auto IV's delay from its original October 16 release date was that Take-Two wanted to hold on to the game until the PlayStation 3's installed user base had overcome the system's slow start and had time to grow significantly.

Zelnick nixed that idea, but did concede that the larger installed base, by the time the game does ship, will help eliminate what negative impact on sales the delay out of the holiday season could have had. He addressed the current industry focus on the end of the year, and what it means for the industry to have so many high-profile games slipping into early next year.

"I think the intense focus on the Christmas selling season for the video game business is a holdover from its origins as an adjunct to the toy business," Zelnick said. "While other entertainment businesses also have strong selling seasons around Christmas, it's also true that you can sell music and encourage people to watch movies through the rest of the year. And I think the same ought to hold true of the interactive entertainment business as it matures. That said, I don't necessarily believe the change in these release dates affects that, but if the side effect of these release dates is that consumers say, 'This is great. I can buy terrific games year-round,' then obviously that would be a good thing for the industry and not just Take-Two."

As for when gamers can expect Take-Two to nail down a firm date for Grand Theft Auto IV, Zelnick is taking a cue from his Rockstar Games employees with a simple answer amounting to "when it's ready."

"Obviously we want to make sure not to disappoint anyone, and we're going to give that date as soon as we feel very comfortable that we know the exact date within that three-month period that we outlined," Zelnick said.

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Discussion

335 comments
Deloreanman
Deloreanman

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wickedrihno
wickedrihno

more time on the game the better it will be... no point playing a half-arse game sooner

mberkholz
mberkholz

I agree. I'd rather wait 6 more months and then have an awesome game than playing a half-finished version that's a pain in the ass.

for_the_games
for_the_games

heroface: take-two makes the game, not sony. even if sony wanted to hold the game back they couldnt because they dont have the rights. you are seriously retarded when it comes to understanding the way the world works

heroface
heroface

I don't care any more... It just makes me think that I could have been playing this game for nearly a month already! It's those stupid sony lawyers making sure the xbox version (even though we KNOW it's finished) will not come out exclusively at first like was intended... even though we xbox types have always had to wait a year in the past for our versions... and by then it had just become a 'buy cos i haven't bought it yet' title as we'd all finished it or played it on playstation... How many Sony lawyers does it take to complete a GTA game? NONE they're all busy changing lightbulbs to care!

bigc072005
bigc072005

everybody knows the ps3 takes a little more hard work for the discs but id rather have a 1 game disc edition of gta 4 then a 30 disc gta....face it if they wanted to they cood have sold it to 360 owners on the 16....who cares cuz ppl r gonna be buying ps3's for mgs4 which is going to smash any 360 game and will set and break records lol....so its w/e id rather wait 3 more months or so then rush it and have it come out ****

bigc072005
bigc072005

everybody knows the ps3 takes a little more hard work for the discs but id rather have a 1 game disc edition of gta 4 then a 30 disc gta....face it if they wanted to they cood have sold it to 360 owners on the 16....who cares cuz ppl r gonna be buying ps3's for mgs4 which is going to smash any 360 game and will set and break records lol....so its w/e id rather wait 3 more months or so then rush it and have it come out ****

doomdpanic
doomdpanic

the graphics still look kinda like a cartoon .... when are they gonna bring a game that doesnt look like a cartoon ..... and the main character looks like he escaped from the stoneage :S hopefully they fix it before the release though

BenQ90
BenQ90

cant you guys just wait? it is really not that hard to wait for a game like GTA if there are coming out plenty of other great games before GTA releases! calm down and enjoy the other games :)

xgalacticax
xgalacticax

dude, if ure waiting for the ps3 installed base to increase then u'll be releasing this game in 2010. bring it out now, doesnt this guy know that some people are waiting for a game like this to get a ps3.

FlauM
FlauM

For all of you who're blaming the playstation3, stop being biased prats. No reason has been cited for the reasons as to why it's been delayed, except that "certain elements of development proved to be more time-intensive than expected.". For all you lot know, they could've found some bugs in development on the 360...

quincy0191
quincy0191

Anyone else think this is funny? Take-Two can't release GTAIV until next year, so all of a sudden they want to challenge the holiday shopping season. Bull. The only reason this exec is saying anything like that is because they're not going to release the game until after the holidays; they would sell so many more units if they pushed the release date up a couple months, but then the game wouldn't be ready. It's all about money people, this "change the establishment" attitude is crap.

BewilderedRonin
BewilderedRonin

BlackEmbryo: i heard the cops are freakishly smart, and will act like real life ones. Oh. So you mean they'll go around busting kids for pot instead of capturing real criminals?

BewilderedRonin
BewilderedRonin

WTF is with you people? "It better be ready... blah blah blah." I've always hated release dates. Primarily because release dates aren't chosen by Dev teams, they're chosen by marketing and executives. "When it's ready" is th exact kind of date I want to see. Would you rather have a buggy game that is pushed out too fast to just to meet some inane deadline to try and sell more titles, or would you rather have it out once it is fully playable and properly optimized and debugged as best as reasonably can be? The GTA games are complicated to code (which is why so many clones don't do it very well), and I can only imagine GTA:IV is even more complicated. "I think the intense focus on the Christmas selling season for the video game business is a holdover from its origins as an adjunct to the toy business," Zelnick said. "While other entertainment businesses also have strong selling seasons around Christmas, it's also true that you can sell music and encourage people to watch movies through the rest of the year. And I think the same ought to hold true of the interactive entertainment business as it matures. Hear, hear! I don't give 2¢ about X-Mas games, and the idea of creating marketing hype just for the season is stupid. Just give me good games "whenever they're done" and I'll be happy. Video games need to move away from this "X-Mas toy rush" mentality. It's gimmicky. Video games are strong enough to stand on their own two feet now and are no longer just for little children. It's been over TWO DECADES since the release of the NES. We've come a long way, baby.

damned1
damned1

cant wait to pick it up in like 2 years.

BlackEmbryo
BlackEmbryo

This has probably been said a million times before...i just don't have time to read all the comments, but I believe they're doing a good thing by delaying it.....with all these great games coming out before christmas...im getting broke...plus all the peripherals and all that crap you gotta buy to enjoy your sytem to its fullest (im not even going to say what system I have cuz this isnt even about the system) so if theyre keeping it and tweaking it to make sure there aren't any kinks..GOOD. Cuz if im gonna fork over some money...just cuz i know the franchise is awesome IT BETTER BE FAN-****in-TASTIK!! One thing that is scaring me though....is it seems this new GTA will have a HUGE limit on your freedom....sure it looks hellishly great....but i heard that, you just cant run around with a rocket launcher anymore and blowstuff up and hide on top of buildings so cops won't get to you....i heard the cops are freakishly smart, and will act like real life ones....wait....then again...these AI cops are probably smarter than the real ones.......just to say that......it seems its going to be real tough having some psychotic fun in this game.....have a good one guys!

commando611
commando611

@dannymalt..so wheres the pc version Dammit!

vahid_xbox_360
vahid_xbox_360

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

king_bobo
king_bobo

IMO it's a good idea to wait until the PS3 has really taken off to release the game, because then more people will own the PS3 and so they'll make more sales in the Ps3 department than theyt would have otherwise...

eric1320
eric1320

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Unreal_007
Unreal_007

"I think the intense focus on the Christmas selling season for the video game business is a holdover from its origins as an adjunct to the toy business" he is only saying that because they wont have GTA ready in time.

ou661
ou661

It will come out when its ready, when that is no one knows but apparently sometime between the beginning of February and the end of April, not October jstrawn, but i say the longer you wait the better the game should be besides plenty of game until then so stop complaining and just wait you will make it I promise

jstrawn6336
jstrawn6336

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

jstrawn6336
jstrawn6336

My prediction: Release date will be October 2008 for both 360 and PS3. I'm Out.

Homerj
Homerj

When all three versions of UT3 are released, we shall see how much of Epic's hyberbole is true and how much is distortion to fulfill the PR part of their timed exclusive contract with Sony. When the PC version is benchmarked on a machine with identical spec to the 360 and compared to the final 360 release version, we shall see how far Epic will go to back up their cheerleading.

Dreamerdude26
Dreamerdude26

There are no developmental issues with the ps3, just developers who don't know what they hell they are doing. Have any of you heard that UT3 is going to be the best on the ps3, that was even stated by the people that are making it who also said that they have had no problems with the hardware that it is an amazing piece of hardware. The dudes that make Call of Duty 4 also said they have had no problems either which leads me to say that develepers are just afraid to say that its "Them" that are having the problems and not the consoles fault. They try to use the same code on both consoles and that's what messes up the games because the ps3 and 360 are so different from one another.

Homerj
Homerj

"It better be out in April! This is all Microsoft's fault. The PS3 version is finished. losing stock money & holders based on the developmental shortcommings of the 360." I see what you mean out dev problems and hardware problems with the 360...just look at this about AC: IGN article from 9-12-06, quoting the devs: "While the PlayStation 3 and 360 versions of Assassin's Creed are virtually identical, Raymond did say that on the 360 the team is putting a special emphasis on achievements. The hardware also allows for improved threading, which will improve even further the crowd AI." OH WAIT....NEVERMIND.....its the PS3 that has the problematic hardware that limits developmental potential.

dannymalt
dannymalt

Hey for everyone blaming the PS3, remember that the last few GTA games came out on PS2 first and XBOX like a year later. This time around it's coming out on both systems at the same time. So for you 360 cry babies, your lucky GTA isn't making you wait like they did in the past, cause GTA is a SONY platformer, and you 360 people are just along for the ride.

dannymalt
dannymalt

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Homerj
Homerj

"Only a moron would believe the PS3 was the reason for the delay of this game. All press accounts from seeing the 360 version said it ran very choppy, and wasn't nearly done. So regardless of how the PS3 version was coming along, the 360 version sounded like a mess. Of course a fanboy would rather just see it as the PS3's fault." This is exactly why every showing of the game to the press has been the PS3 version. They have obviously been trying to hide the 360 version because of all the problems.......... OH WAIT....I got that backwards....ONLY THE 360 version has been publicly shown, no one outside Rockstar has ever seen it running on PS3.........Whooops....looks like you SFBs must have gotten it backwards as well.

Homerj
Homerj

"Only a moron would believe the PS3 was the reason for the delay of this game. All press accounts from seeing the 360 version said it ran very choppy, and wasn't nearly done. So regardless of how the PS3 version was coming along, the 360 version sounded like a mess. Of course a fanboy would rather just see it as the PS3's fault." This is exactly why every showing of the game to the press has been the PS3 version. They have obviously been trying to hide the 360 version because of all the problems.......... OH WAIT....I got that backwards....ONLY THE 360 version has been publicly shown, no one outside Rockstar has ever seen it running on PS3.........Whooops....looks like you SFBs must have gotten it backwards as well.

Homerj
Homerj

"Only a moron would believe the PS3 was the reason for the delay of this game. All press accounts from seeing the 360 version said it ran very choppy, and wasn't nearly done. So regardless of how the PS3 version was coming along, the 360 version sounded like a mess. Of course a fanboy would rather just see it as the PS3's fault." This is exactly why every showing of the game to the press has been the PS3 version. They have obviously been trying to hide the 360 version because of all the problems.......... OH WAIT....I got that backwards....ONLY THE 360 version has been publicly shown, no one outside Rockstar has ever seen it running on PS3.........Whooops....looks like you SFBs must have gotten it backwards as well.

jonwilles
jonwilles

If they missed their date again it means the game isn't built yet, or has some major showstoppers that don't look like they have a hope of getting fixed before the release. Talk PS/360 rivalry all you want, the sooner out to market the better your earning potential because the longer you take the older the game tech gets, so if its not out yet its cause its broke!

yanks1112
yanks1112

It better be out in April! This is all Microsoft's fault. The PS3 version is finished. losing stock money & holders based on the developmental shortcommings of the 360.

yanks1112
yanks1112

It better be out in April! This is all Microsoft's fault. The PS3 version is finished. losing stock money & holders based on the developmental shortcommings of the 360.

yanks1112
yanks1112

It better be out in April! This is all Microsoft's fault. The PS3 version is finished. losing stock money & holders based on the developmental shortcommings of the 360.

yanks1112
yanks1112

It better be out in April! This is all Microsoft's fault. The PS30 version is finished. losing stock money & holders based on the developmental shortcommings of the 360.

BATMAN2049
BATMAN2049

It better be out in April! This is all Sony's fault. The 360 version is finished. If it is not out by April Take 2 will be in the same boat as Konami with MGS4, losing stock money & holders based on the developmental shortcommings of the PS3.

BATMAN2049
BATMAN2049

It better be out in April! This is all Sony's fault. The 360 version is finished. If it is not out by April Take 2 will be in the same boat as Konami with MGS4, losing stock money & holders based on the developmental shortcommings of the PS3.

Beefycake
Beefycake

"Obviously we want to make sure not to disappoint anyone, and we're going to give that date as soon as we feel very comfortable that we know the exact date within that three-month period that we outlined," Zelnick said. Zelnick, that statement did not make me feel comfortable

Beefycake
Beefycake

"Obviously we want to make sure not to disappoint anyone, and we're going to give that date as soon as we feel very comfortable that we know the exact date within that three-month period that we outlined," Zelnick said. Zelnick, that statement did not make me feel comfortable

tigerriot
tigerriot

Only a moron would believe the PS3 was the reason for the delay of this game. All press accounts from seeing the 360 version said it ran very choppy, and wasn't nearly done. So regardless of how the PS3 version was coming along, the 360 version sounded like a mess. Of course a fanboy would rather just see it as the PS3's fault.

tigerriot
tigerriot

Only a moron would believe the PS3 was the reason for the delay of this game. All press accounts from seeing the 360 version said it ran very choppy, and wasn't nearly done. So regardless of how the PS3 version was coming along, the 360 version sounded like a mess. Of course a fanboy would rather just see it as the PS3's fault.

Salvo_78
Salvo_78

They should have never gave an October release date to begin with. The game should be good, but will it be worth a half year's wait. Let's hope so. Thanks again PS3, for ruining everything.

Salvo_78
Salvo_78

They should have never gave an October release date to begin with. The game should be good, but will it be worth a half year's wait. Let's hope so. Thanks again PS3, for ruining everything.

diablobasher
diablobasher

Moving away from the christmas season 'extravaganza' we seem to have each year will bring the gaming industry one step closer to being recognised by the general public as not just a section of the 'toy' industry, and will be a small step towards breaking the image that games are for children. This however is unlikely to happen as companies know that games will sell well at christmas.

Hyaku68
Hyaku68

This really doesnt relate to this topic but all this talk of delays and so on would go down a lot smoother with the gamers and big fans of the series if they maybe released another trailer, or release that gameplay footage. Just something to get gta IV back in the lime light I have no doubt nearer the release date hype will be in full swing. But at the moment it's starting to fall far behind will the great games already out or round the corner.

Hyaku68
Hyaku68

This really doesnt relate to this topic but all this talk of delays and so on would go down a lot smoother with the gamers and big fans of the series if they maybe released another trailer, or release that gameplay footage. Just something to get gta IV back in the lime light I have no doubt nearer the release date hype will be in full swing. But at the moment it's starting to fall far behind will the great games already out or round the corner.