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Analyst: Grand Theft Auto 5 To Be Download Only?

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Posted November 1, 2011 - By Stephen Johnson


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Rockstar Confirms Grand Theft Auto 5; Trailer Coming November 2

A report from industry analyst and Newzoo CEO Peter Warman imagines that the release of Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto 5 will be download only. According to Warman, download only releases would allow publishers to "launch games faster, create continuous revenues on a title and simply to make more money."

In Warman's vision of the future, you'll still be able to buy GTA 5 in stores, but you won't be buying anything but a number. "Retail will always remain an important channel to promote and distribute games. Retail has a strong hand to play when it comes to eyeballs and… boxes make a nice gift. Boxed games will not disappear, but what is in the box will. That is why the boxed GTA V version will contain a collectible piece of merchandise and a download code. No disc," Warman said.

With all due respect the NewZoo and Peter Warman, I doubt Grand Theft Auto 5 will be download only. The speculation here at G4-central is that Grand Theft Auto 5 could be released at the end of 2012 -- no inside knowledge; that's just our best-guess, judging by the timing of the announcement and Rockstar's previous release schedule. That means Warman is predicting (or envisioning) a total industry re-alignment in the next year.

While it makes a certain sense in terms of ease-of-use, on the other hand, many, many consumers buy boxed discs and like it that way. I seriously doubt Rockstar/Take 2 will offer up their flagship title on the altar of an experiment in changing consumer patterns. Not to mention the logistical nightmare the download times and network stability would create on launch day, the extra money spent on "re-educating" more casual consumers on downloads, and a thousand other hurdles that I don't think anyone wants to jump in the next year or so.

What do you think? Are AAA games destined for download only status at some point in the near future? How long will it be?

Oh, and make sure you tune in to G4 tomorrow, where will be featuring the first Grand Theft Auto 5 video/trailer for ya!

Source: Industry Gamers

Analyst: Grand Theft Auto 5 To Be Download Only?
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