Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter believes BioShock: Infinite’s delay has afforded Rockstar Games an ideal opportunity to launch the hotly-anticipated Grand Theft Auto V in October 2012.
BioShock: Infinite was originally scheduled to ship in October this year, though 2K announced yesterday that the shooter had been pushed back until February 2013.
While GTA V has yet to attract an official release date, Pachter feels that October 2012 would be the “preferred” window in which to release the open-world crime sequel.
"Before the market open on Wednesday, Take-Two announced that BioShock Infinite’s release date had been delayed by roughly four months to February 26, 2013 (Q4:13) from October 16, 2012 (Q3:13),” he said.
"Ken Levine, creative director of Irrational Games, the studio developing BioShock Infinite, attributed the delay to maximizing game quality.”
"In our view, the delay opens the window for Grand Theft Auto V to be released in October 2012 (Q3:13). We believe that October is the preferred release month for GTA V’s developer, Rockstar Games, as the studio has scheduled every prior GTA releases during that month (with GTA IV delayed to April 2008, due to bugs in the PS3 version).”
The analyst added that while he feels both games would have sold by the bucket load had they released in the same month, the fact BioShock has been delayed means retail support for each game will be optimised.
Said Pachter: "We speculate that once Rockstar Games notified Take-Two that GTA V would be ready by October, Take-Two gave Irrational Games the option to spend more time fine-tuning BioShock Infinite."
"Although we were confident that both games would sell millions of units when it appeared that they would be released in close proximity, we think that the delay will alleviate any wallet-share concerns and ensure that both games receive the undivided attention of Take-Two’s management and marketing teams, and will ensure that retail support is optimised.”
He did, however, note that unless a release date for GTA V is pinned down by E3 at the very latest, the game won’t make it out this calendar year.
GTA V was unveiled via a brief teaser trailer last November, though we’ve seen nothing on the game since.