GTA IV delayed

And call off Christmas.

Take-Two has confirmed that Grand Theft Auto IV has been pushed back from its original October 2007 release date into fiscal 2008, GamesIndustry.biz reports.

"Obviously, we are very disappointed to reduce guidance after having previously reaffirmed it," said Take-Two's CEO Ben Feder. "Other than a matter of timing, the movement of Grand Theft Auto IV does not compromise Take-Two in any way."

"We are in sound financial condition and have a great product line-up. Grand Theft Auto IV is going to be the defining next generation videogame action adventure."

The company revised its fiscal year guidance, ending October 31, 2007, anticipating revenue in the range of USD 950 million to USD 1 billion, with a net loss per share in the range of USD 1.25 to USD 1.35, excluding stock-based compensation expense of USD 0.25 per share and excluding approximately USD 0.61 per share of charges related to the Company's reorganisation expenses.

Other than announcing the game was now planned for release in Q2 of fiscal 2008, which begins on February 1, no specific revised release date for GTA IV was given.

UPDATE: In a conference call, Take-Two's Strauss Zelnick spoke of the challenge involved with working on two relatively new platforms simultaneously, stating that the "delay was essential to ensure the quality of GTA IV."

"We owe it to our millions of fans, to our dedicated development team, and to our shareholders to make sure that Grand Theft Auto IV is a groundbreaking gaming experience and is an experience that takes maximum advantage of next-generation technology."

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