GTA IV producers clarify delay, explain hardships behind outlaw game development

The boys at Take-Two have had a rough few days. Between the recently reported delay of the latest iteration in their flagship Grand Theft Auto series, and the revelation that former chairman and CEO Ryan Brant was playing fast and loose with company stock, the stress is enough to drive a man to strangle a hooker or two.

Gamasutra brings us a bit of clarification from current Take-Two chairman Strauss “No, I was not in Die Hard” Zelnick regarding the GTAIV delay, in the hopes of explaining the company’s precarious position, and why exactly the delay was necessary.

Hit the jump for delicious quotes and succulent cuts of publisher remorse.

[Muchas gracias a Justin Villaseñor]

According to Zelnick, via Gamasutra:

“As many of you know, development of a video game, is a complex and time intensive process,” said Zelnick, adding that “given our commitment to set new stanrdard[sic] for 2 relatively new hardware platforms simultaneously,” an October release, given the most recent build, “wasn’t an acceptable path.”

Zenick reiterated that Take-Two’s relationship with Rockstar was “rock solid,” and said that the decision was made with the developer working “very closely” with a high amount of cooperation, and that it “wasn’t something that either took lightly.”

He said that there would be no penalty to Rockstar, “nor should there be one. We all work together as a team, and we support our colleagues at Rockstar.”

Those all seem like reasonable alibis, but shouldn’t they have known about this a few months ago? I like to believe that I represent the common man, and thus have very little knowledge of the inner-workings behind video games, cellular telephones and high fructose corn syrup, but it seems a bit suspect that issues would arise two months before the release of a title with as large a budget as this one that would set it back another six months or so. Did a bug spring up causing children to bleed internally, or is there more to this story than Mr. Zelnick is telling us?

In an effort to englighten and quell fears, Mr. Zelnick seems to have inadvertently created a massive black hole of speculation, one inhabited no doubt, by many of Take-Two’s own shareholders. On the upside, none of them seem like the type to throw him from a skyscraper followed by a string of dry, cool wit.

[Also, as a bit of a side note, though Gama spells his name as both “Zenick” and “Zelnick” in the quote, the man’s name is “Strauss Zelnick”.] 

Earnest Cavalli
I'm Nex. I used to work here but my love of cash led me to take a gig with Wired. I still keep an eye on the 'toid, but to see what I'm really up to, you should either hit up my Vox or go have a look at the Wired media empire.