this morning's announcement that BioShock Infinite will now launch in February 2013, publisher Take-Two Interactive altered more than a game's launch date. Take-Two is a publicly traded company, and one fewer gigantic product launch during the holiday season – arguably Take-Two's only holiday product launch, unless you count fall launches of Borderlands 2 and XCOM: Enemy Unknown as "holiday" – means that shareholders will want to know what's up. That worry is reflected in Take-Two's stock price, which took a five percent hit since the market opened this morning.
But when Infinite got pushed out of the holiday season, it opened the slot up for another high-profile Take-Two-published title: Grand Theft Auto 5. "In our view, the delay opens the window for Grand Theft Auto V to be released in October 2012," Michael Pachter of Webush Securities wrote in an email this morning, echoing a release window leak from earlier this year.
In his eyes, Infinite wasn't just delayed to make it "something even more extraordinary," as Ken Levine put it, but because the folks at Rockstar, "notified Take-Two that GTA V would be ready for October." He believes this resulted in Take-Two offering Irrational Games an extra few months to prepare BioShock Infinite. His logic? "The studio [Rockstar Games] has scheduled every prior GTA release during that month (with GTA IV delayed to April 2008, due to bugs in the PS3 version)."
Furthermore, Pachter and co. speculate we could hear more about GTA 5's launch date "as early as May 22" during a scheduled quarterly investor call, or perhaps in a few more weeks at E3 2012. We've yet to hear back from Irrational, Rockstar, or Take-Two on the subject.