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GTA 5 Release Date

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GTA 5 Release Date 17.09.2013!!! Xbox,PS3
When is the GTA 5 Release Date?
We do not have an official release date for GTA 5 yet. All GTA 5 Release Dates which you may have seen are guesses and speculation. Of course there's a chance someone may get it right, however many online stores are putting up dates as a way to encourage people to pre-order GTA 5 - they are not official. Rockstar Games have NOT announced a release date for GTA 5 yet.

Based on past games from Rockstar we can speculate on when the game may be released, or even when the release date may be announced...
GTA IV Development and Release Schedule
Development on Grand theft Auto IV began at Rockstar North within weeks of San Andreas’ release in October 2004. While Rockstar North oversaw some of the development in other Rockstar Games titles from other studios after 2004, its main focus was on GTA IV. With an official announcement in May 2006, GTA IV was originally planned for release in October 2007, however many early previews at the time said while the game content had been all but completed, the game was riddled with bugs and suffered issues with performance. This was likely because GTA IV was the first open world game Rockstar had made using their proprietary RAGE engine (Rockstar Advanced Game Engine). Before this, the only other game that had used RAGE was Rockstar Games Presents: Table Tennis, which acted as a tech demo for the new engine, and featured enclosed environments.

Part of the reason for the long development time was that the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game were developed side by side. Most developers tend to create the game on one console and then port it over to the other, which usually results in a poor quality game on one side. This led to another problem: as the PS3 was a newer console and its architecture meant that development was more complicated, there were reports of the PS3 version falling behind. Indeed, all of the early previews were based on the Xbox 360 version of the game. It wasn't until much later that anyone outside of Rockstar was allowed to see the PS3 version running.

In August 2007, we found out that the game had been delayed until April 2008. It took three and a half years to create GTA IV, including breaking in the new game engine and implementing the Euphoria physics/animation technology. Eventually, the game was released as promised in April 2008 - 2 years after the official announcement.
After GTA IV
After April 2008, some of the team at Rockstar North continued development to work on the episodic content for GTA IV. Others were split off to work on Red Dead Redemption, which was released in May 2010. Another title, AGENT, is currently being developed by Rockstar North but we know very little about this title and have no idea when it is planned for release. 

Regardless, we know Rockstar North has not been free to work on GTA 5 as much as it had been for GTA IV. Rockstar may have split development up into other studios, but historically the development of GTA games has been kept within Rockstar North (formerly DMA Design), with some outsourcing to other studios for porting over to other platforms (e.g. to Xbox with GTA III, Vice City and San Andreas, and to PC for GTA IV).
So what does this mean for the GTA 5 release date?
It means there are fewer developers to work on it. However, Rockstar has now had experience working with RAGE in open environments, with Midnight Club: Los Angeles, Red Dead Redemption, and most likely Rockstar's AGENT is using it. The RAGE team has also assisted Team Bondi with L.A. Noire. GTA 5 should need less tweaking to get the game running smoothly, so they can focus on content and should therefore need less manpower. That's the theory, anyway.
Enough talk! When can we expect the GTA 5 release date?
If we gave them another three and a half years (i.e. the time it took for GTA IV to be made, including using a new engine), we would have expected to see it in October 2011. However with other projects going on, while they may have been developed at other studios, Rockstar Games is unlikely to promote more than one game at any one time. If they begin to hype up GTA 5 before Max Payne 3 (released in May 2012) and AGENT (TBA), much of the attention will be drawn away from these games. Grand Theft Auto is a big name and Rockstar Games would need to be careful not to let it overshadow their other titles.

A few major gaming websites reported their sources had said a 2012 GTA 5 release date is coming. Of course these sources are unnamed. In addition to that, Max Payne 3 released in May 2012 (delayed two months from the previous date) which means if GTA V does release in 2012, it will be much later in the year. Unfortunately with that two month delay putting Payne right in the middle of the year there is also the very "good" possibility that GTA V could be pushed back into 2013. Downloadable content also extends the life of games so depending on how much Payne DLC is released, GTA V could definitely be pushed into 2013.

Update May 2012: On May 1st, 2012, Rockstar announced Max Payne DLC plans that extend all the way into Fall 2012. We do not believe Rockstar would like to step on themselves and would like to sell as much DLC as possible so that would point to a 2013 release of Grand Theft Auto V.

Update August 2012: Max Payne DLC was confirmed into October. In addition to that the 10 Year Anniversary of Grand Theft Auto Vice City is also coming this October and likely to extend into 2013 with various things for fans - including an HD remake like GTA III this past year. These points add to the possibility of a 2013 release of Grand Theft Auto 5. 

Another point to bring up is Rockstar's marketing strategies. When Rockstar is ready to release a game everyone knows it. For months leading up to release the information starts flowing. So far Rockstar Games has remained very quiet about GTA 5. What little confirmed information we have learned since the announcement has come from general Rockstar gaming news such as the Crew system beginning with Max Payne 3. If an October or 2012 release was coming we would probably know it by now.

Take-Two's Q1 fiscal 2013 financial statement also shows Grand Theft Auto V in between BioShock Infinite in February 2013 and XCOM in fiscal 2014:

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