Analyst Michael Pachter believes Rockstar has delayed the release of Grand Theft Auto IV because it is struggling with development on the PlayStation 3, GamesIndustry.biz is reporting.
And the Xbox 360 version of the game has suffered at least a six month delay as a result, due to contractual obligations that will have prevented the publisher from releasing the game first on Microsoft's machine, says the analyst.
"We think it is likely that the Rockstar team had difficulty in building an exceptionally complicated game for the PS3, and failed to recognise how far away from completion the game truly was until recently," said Pachter.
"We think it is also likely that Take-Two had a contractual commitment to Sony that it would not favour competitor Microsoft by launching the Xbox 360 version of GTA IV prior to launching the PS3 version, and believe that any delay of the PS3 version necessitated a delay of the Xbox 360 version," he added.
This failure to recognise development problems could dent investor confidence in the publisher, even after it has taken steps to improve the green light process for software development.
"Take-Two management stumbled badly for the first time during their tenure," commented Pachter.
"While the delay of GTA IV was clearly not the fault of new management, we believe that it should have been better understood several months ago, and should have been communicated to investors much earlier than today.
"The company has begun an initiative to improve the green light process for new projects, but given the delays of Manhunt and GTA, its process for monitoring projects under development appears to be a failure," he said.
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