Interactive have issued their third quarter fiscal 2006 financial results,
I imagine you are most likely interested in the upcoming schedule more than
anything else, so we will go right to that. So what can we expect from Rockstar
in the months leading up to the year end:
Fiscal 2006 fourth quarter releases from Rockstar Games include Grand Theft
Auto: Vice City Stories for PSP and Bully for PlayStation 2, both scheduled
for release in late October.
No mention of an un-announced title. Looks like a Manhunt free year for sure,
at this point I wouldn’t bet on even as much as an announcement of the
title in 2006. Moving on to 2007/08 looks a little more promising:
For 2007 and 2008, the Company anticipates a strong next generation lineup
from Rockstar Games including the simultaneous launch of Grand Theft Auto
IV on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in October 2007, along with sequels to several
of Rockstar's other successful franchises.
We have gone through this one before. You can check out our previous thoughts
on the situation here.
...and will introduce a new PSP title based on a premier Rockstar brand.
Looking at everything we have been told about Manhunt 2, it is fair to assume
it is based on current-gen technology which would lend it much more to the PSP
than the PS3. If we look at the release schedule for PS2 Rockstar North titles
it looks a little something like this:
- 2001 – Grand Theft Auto 3
- 2002 – Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
- 2003 – Manhunt
- 2004 – Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Then the PSP was introduced, and we where given Grand Theft Auto: (city) Stories.
The release schedule thus far looks like this:
- 2005 – Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
- 2006 – Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories
- 2007 – Unannounced, possibly Manhunt?
- 2008 – Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Stories? Highly unlikely not
With GTA: IV targeted at 2007, I believe we can safely assume that a PSP version
isn’t a requirement as they would be competing with themselves, so boosting
San Andreas Stories into 2008 seems like a far more feasible proposition. If
you look at the GTA: (city) Stories so far you will notice they where developed
at Rockstar Leeds with supervision provided by Rockstar North. The Manhunt sequel
was rumoured to have been in development at Rockstar Vienna (now closed) with
supervision by Rockstar North.
All of this doesn’t necessarily say that the next Manhunt title will
be a PSP title; many games have made the upgrade over the past 12 months from
current-gen to next-gen development and there is still the possibility of a
PS2 release, although it is no spring chicken the console is likely to hold
a large portion of the market share for a few years to come and there is still
plenty of life left in the console yet, a quick look at the upcoming schedule
proves that. Then there is the option that none of us want to hear, that the
game is cancelled. From what we have been told this is not the case and development
is still on going.
What all this confirms is that there is still unannounced titles in the work
for both next-gen console and hand held gaming platforms and that Manhunt 2
won’t be released this year, although we pretty much knew that already
just by looking at Rockstars release schedule.
Source: Take-Two Interactive