GRAND Theft Auto V, one of the most highly anticipated games of the year, will be delayed until September, its developers have said.
GTA V was due to be released in March this year but developers Rockstar have said it will now be delayed until September 17.
"We know this is about four months later than originally planned and we know that this short delay will come as a disappointment to many of you, but, trust us, it will be worth the extra time," the company said in a statement posted on its website.
Rockstar added: "GTA V is a massively ambitious and complex game and it simply needs a little more polish to be of the standard we and, more importantly, you require."
The new title is set in a fictional version of Los Angeles, called Los Santos, and follows three characters on their adventures through the underworld. The Los Santos setting first appeared in 2004's Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
Developed at Rockstar's Edinburgh studio, with the help of the publisher's other developers around the globe, GTA V will be similar in structure to previous titles, with gameplay featuring a combination of mission completion and city exploration. It also features a detailed, fully modelled ocean floor that can be explored.
The game has been rebuilt from the ground up and is expected to feature three characters: retired bank robber Michael, career criminal Trevor and car salesman Franklin.
It will feature several big set-pieces, and heists in particular are expected to be far more complicated and involved than in any previous version of the game.
Players will be given the opportunity to switch between the three characters at any time during the game.
This marks a departure from the previous games, where players would control the same character all the way through.
Previous GTA titles have been set in Miami and "Liberty City", a fictionalised version of New York.
The GTA franchise is massively successful. GTA IV, released in 2008, sold 3.6 million copies on its first day, and generated $500m in sales in its first week.
Shane Richmond Telegraph.co.uk