Everything GTA:V Since 2009

Before GTA:V was a game, it was a project, and before it was a project it was an idea. Sadly, there is no information regarding the latter, but from 2009 and onwards, details were drip-fed to salivating fans regarding the game's content, progress and release date. Such ideas were leaked ever since the game was in its early stages in 2009, and since then, GTA:V enthusiasts have been on an epic 4-year pursuit of happiness with one goal in mind: playing GTA:V. So, sit back, grab yourself a refreshment and prepare to recite 4 years of GTA:V's development history. If you're ready, the let's get started...

GTA:V Statement
Rockstar Games' statement on the GTA:V announcement was released claiming: "so we're not going to announce it, we're not going to announce when we're going to announce it, and we're not going to announce the strategy about announcing it or when we're going to announce it either or about the announcement strategy surrounding the announcement of the strategy" - at the time this was a huge tease to fans, if only they knew the wait they were yet to endure, post-GTA:V announcement. The video can fortunately be found here.

Rockstar Games Spotted In Hollywood
Sadly enough, no archival evidence of this can be found due to the articles on the topic being deleted; however, it was either 2009 or 2010 when Rockstar Games were spotted with a team of photographers snapping shots of Hollywood. Judging from the city in GTA:V will take place, this was for GTA:V as Los Santos is a re-imagining of Los Angeles from Rockstar Games' perspective.

March 2011: "PROJECT RUSH" Casting Call Sent Out
A juicy casting-call sent out by Take-Two requesting Southern Californian characters to be voiced. Ranging from nature-loving hippies to undercover FBI agents the variation seen within this casting call had GTA written all over it.

April 2011: German Gamestop Lists GTA:V 
Although this was probably an attempt at attracting customers early, the German Gamestop website claimed GTA:V was to release on the 15th January 2012. Although this is now clearly wrong, the listing was promptly removed and the listing gave hope to fans seeking new GTA:V information. Regardless of the "false" nature of this listing, it occurs to one whether or not Gamestop actually knew of the game this early, after all, the game was officially confirmed November 2011, so if they wee aware of GTA:V 8 months in advance then it's possible that GTA:V underwent a huge delay somewhere along the lines (hence the game taking 2 years after the announcement to release).

July 2011: Motion Actor Casting Call
In the first week of July 2011 a firm associated with Rockstar Games in the business of motion-capture sent out a casting-call requesting even more actors to fill the shoes of Rockstar's colorful characters! Like last time, this casting call demanded actors to fill the shoes of Southern-Californian characters, and in a GTA fan's mind this meant one thing: San Andreas.

August: Leigh Donoghue Lists GTA:V On CV
Former Rockstar employee, Leigh Donoghue's CV emerged with a very interesting find indeed stating GTA:V was due for a 2011 release. In addition to this find, screens of Rockstar Games' "Agent" were recovered which offered the first - and only - glimpse into the missing title. By this point fans knew GTA:V was inevitable, but this time they lived with the assurance of knowing something big was on the horizon...

September: GTA:V Files Discovered On Rockstar's "Social Club"
Further adding fuel to the GTA:V fire, sniffing sleuths discovered a 'GTA:V' line in the website's XML file, and by this point information was coming on a more frequent basis than ever, something was about to happen and whatever it was, it was big...

October: Rockstar Games Officially Announce GTA: V/ Trailer Released
Alongside a flashy logo, Rockstar Games officially announced GTA:V on their Newswire, the floodgates were open and all eyes were on Rockstar. In addition to the unexpected announcement and logo, Rockstar announced a release date for the trailed which was scheduled to go live on Tuesday the 2nd November 2011. By this point there was a crossfire of predictions based around the vibrant logo. With ideas rightfully ranging from the expansive San Andreas to a separate version of each of the state's cities, fans were really scraping the barrel for new theories.

Come the trailer's launch the internet was alive. Both gaming and non-gaming websites had to take a slice of the GTA:V cake by reporting on the premiered first trailer. In addition to the increased publicity towards the game, GTA fan site, GTAForums, also underwent a surge in users enlisted. If you feel like experiencing the same trailer as 36,000,000 users then head over here,

December: Dan Houser's "Very Big" Claim With Regard To The Map
In a response to a question asked by GameInformer, Dan Houser, one of GTA:V's lead developers, responded with: "I've got to be real careful here, or they will drag me through the office and whip me with barbwire. I will stick to exactly what's in the press release, it's Los Santos and the surrounding countryside, and a very big map." Of course this doesn't do the map justice because if the word is true, the map will equate to the size of GTA:San Andreas' map, Red Dead Redemption's map and GTA:IV's map combined together. What a spectacular thought.

February: GTA:V Appears In Rockstar's "Asked & Answered"
In a turn of luck Rockstar showed a turn of mood following a 4-month hiatus and spoke of GTA:V in their Max Payne 3 edition of their much-loved "Asked & Answered" Newswire series in which they confirmed the game's setting ("Los Santos and its surrounding hills, countryside and beaches"), it would be "the largest and most ambitious open world we've ever created" and that more information would be shared in "a few months' time".

March: GTA:V Strategy Guide Publisher Officially Confirmed As BradyGames
As expected, Rockstar Games came out with more news, however, this time it wasn't information of the game itself, but was a confirmation of the strategy guide's publisher who was confirmed to be BradyGames. The picture to the right is the latest iteration of the strategy guide, when first announced the strategy guide was given a placeholder cover with the game's logo on the front cover which has since been replaced by this sassy art-work of the front cover.

April: Rockstar North's Animator's CV Lists 2012 Release
Yet another CV belonging to a Rockstar employee was picked up by Joystiq from which they discovered Alex O'Dwyer's CV listed an October 2012 release date for GTA:V. Although we now know this is false (oh, hindsight, how we love thou) it certainly fuels the idea of GTA:V undergoing huge delay somewhere along the line of development. Following the discovery of the animator's profile on LinkedIn (on which the CV was also found) the CV was removed.

July: Two Screenshots Officially Released By Rockstar
During the first couple of weeks in July 2012 Rockstar Games broke the silence and released two brand new GTA:V screenshots consisting of a helicopter and a man fishing on the end of a pier via their Newswire. Within minutes of their publication sleuths were there to sniff out any clues as to what unknown features may lie in GTA:V. Prior to the release of these images Rockstar had been quiet for a very long time so the news of new images to fans was both relieving and rewarding.  These screenshots were the first of many to follow sourcing from previews which would come a few months later, however, for the time being, fans had to settle with the resources they had which were the trailer, the word of Rockstar officials (ie: the Newswire post & Houser's statement) and these screenshots.

August/October: More Screenshots Revealed + GI Preview Announced + Preorder Leak + Spring 2013 Release
Following the trend set in July, Rockstar released even more screenshots during these months. The bundle of screenshots released ranged from the HD artwork renders to images showcasing the "leisure" activities which involved skydiving images, tennis images and yoga images. In addition to the extra helping of screenshots, GameInformer announced early October that they would be publishing the world's first preview on GTA:V inside their magazine. As stated by the title, GTA:V's preorder poster was leaked onto the unlimited space of the world-wide-web. Although no date was present, the poster featured some new artwork showcasing Franklin and his trusty compadre, Chop. Hours after this leak populated Rockstar took to their Newswire to confirm the release date of GTA:V - Spring 2013 - as detailed in a screenshot featuring a woman in a bathing suit with the release date caption below. Fans were all over this for it sparked some hope, igniting minds to believe Rockstar had something on the horizon. Oh boy, how right they were...

November: New Trailer, Previews, Artwork, Screenshots & Details + Photo Viewer Leak
To this day November 2012 remains the greatest month for GTA fans as there was a mega-blowout with regard to the game's content that was released to the public. Firstly, there was the GameInformer preview which confirmed multiple characters and fleshed out many of the in-game activities one can partake in during gameplay. Next up, there were dozens of screenshots released from GameInformer, IGN and Rockstar themselves; mixed in with these images were various pieces of official artwork. Finally, there was an announcement - and release - of the game's second trailer that detailed the characters and added more detail to the game's storyline. Within this trailer gamers saw a replication of a heist scene from "Heat" and various snazzy action scenes between. The level of hype was tremendous at this point. December saw the release of more screenshots, too. Also, during November's first few days a pre-order campaign memo from Rockstar games aimed towards shop managers was leaked, alongside this memo came images of the photo viewer featuring never-before seen in-game screenshots of the game such as Vinewood Hills at night and an unnamed skydiver alongside the behemoth-like Zancudo River.

January - March: More Screenshots & Release Date Confirmed + Delay
Both January and March saw the release of more screenshots such as the one to your right. This was the first image of a character free-falling which show highly-detailed falling animations: a fitting upgrade from the wooden animations of GTA:IV. Various screenshots were released during the course of the year, too. January also marked the month of the game's release announcement as Rockstar revealed the date during the back end of January 2013 to be September the 17th 2013; thus, this meant that Rockstar had delayed the game, moving its release date from the previously-promised Spring 2013 date. This sparked fan-outrage as they took on Rockstar's Newswire with hate-filled, rage-filled messages.

April: Release Of 3rd Trailer: "Michael. Trevor. Franklin"
April marked the release of the official 3rd trailer, the character trailer that focused on each of the 3 characters by exposing their life. The trailer can be found here.

July: 2013: Gameplay Trailer Released
During this month Rockstar Games were delighted to officially reveal the very first glimpse into the world of GTA:V by showing a trailer of the gameplay. Although it took a while to release, the funny thing is that GTA:V is currently the most anticipated game (as proven by online polls), yet the gameplay was only revealed two months prior to the game's release. Oh Rockstar, you really know how to build up hype... You can find the fourth trailer here.

And there we have it. The game is due to launch on September the 17th so be sure to grab yourself a copy! If you've been waiting since the very beginning (the '09 statement) then you'd have been waiting for 4 years to get this game! Hopefully it wasn't all for nothing, but why would Rockstar disappoint? Roll on September the 17th.

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By Barry T.

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