Last week it was revealed that Grand Theft Auto V will officially become available to the general public on September 17, 2013. When this news surfaced, it caused a surprising amount of drama for GTA creator Rockstar Games. Not only did shares of publisher Take Two Interactive drop by nearly 10-percent, the masses of Grand Theft Auto fans immediately took to the ‘net to slam Rockstar for its decision.
As anyone who’s spent any amount of time online could guess, these attacks were equal parts aimless vitriol and the kind of wanton cruelty you only see when teenagers are given an anonymous platform through which to express their opinions. “Ok, I have NEVER gotten mad about the wait before now. Are you f*cking kidding me? I was looking forward to playing this over summer and now we have to wait till school starts again. My God. And still no cover art?????? WTF,” reads one of the more legible, polite comments, written by a Rockstar fan calling themselves “enjoithepain.”
Though traditional wisdom dictates that no one should ever be tempted to engage angry online commenters, Rockstar has decided to do just that. Instead of merely suffering the slings and arrows of what it describes as “conspiracy theories” about the new release date for Grand Theft Auto V, the firm has decided to combat misinformation with honesty. The real reason GTAV was delayed is that Rockstar wants to polish the game to a mirror sheen, and its developers simply need more time to do so.
“Hey all, we understand many of you guys are disappointed with this news – unfortunately sometimes such delays are necessary in all forms of entertainment, and especially in the case of a game experience as massive and complex as GTAV,” writes a Rockstar representative in a comment following the firm’s official announcement of the delay. “However this does not give you free reign to be abusive in comments.”
“To those of you saying or seeing various conspiracy theories about there being some other ulterior motive for this delay, rest assured that they’re all nonsense – literally the only reason we’ve delayed the release is because we want the game to be as good as it needs to be.”
Assuming Rockstar is to be believed (and at this point there’s no reason to distrust the company outside of rampant paranoia), fans are largely overreacting to what they would normally, hopefully view as a non-issue. Rockstar seems to understand that a lot of this anger results from the stereotypically opaque game development process and hopes that more transparency will move its fans to be a bit more compassionate in their attacks on the company in the future. Will this work? Common sense says that the Internet is nothing if not a self-motivating cynicism generator, so we doubt that GTA fans will suddenly read Rockstar’s words and transform into erudite ladies and gentlemen. That said, it was worth a shot, and at least now we have official word on why we must spend the summer months without an epic, open world crime simulator.