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Rockstar continues its downward spiral

Take-Two Interactive, parent company to Rockstar, announced yesterday that they will be pushing back the release of Grand Theft Auto IV by a whole six months. Originally slated for an October release, the game won't see daylight until Q2F 2008. Take-Two execs made the decision after spending time with the current build of the game. As reported by Gamasutra:

Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick pegged the delay on its multi-platform release, saying, "Certain elements of development proved to be more time-intensive than expected, especially given the commitment for a simultaneous release on two very different platforms.?

I honestly don't see how Rockstar can expect to stay afloat with two major failures in the last six months. First the Manhunt 2 debacle, and now they're pushing back the latest game in their most popular IP. The gaming community is loyal, but impatient. We understand that development takes time. The greater issue here is Rockstar's name and credibility as a developer.

Manhunt 2 is off the table, and I think that pushing GTA IV back could have a detrimental effect on its sales in the end. Not to mention that sandbox games as a whole are suffering from stagnation. Rockstar may have perfected the sandbox game with GTA 3, but what have they added that's truly innovative since then? Flying vehicles? Girlfriends? It's not enough. I had more fun playing Crackdown than I had playing any GTA game.

They've stood on the back of GTA and an anti-establishment ideology for a long time. But now that the ESRB has made clear that there is a line that shouldn't be crossed, even for Rockstar, where will they go from here? If Rockstar doesn't do something astounding with GTA IV, especially after pushing it back, I think they're in a lot of trouble.

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