Every gamer with a pulse is anticipating the GTA V release date in 12 days. The GTA V release date of Sept. 17 has been known for a while now, but todays GTA V release date news doesn't have anything to do with when the game is supposed to be released, it has to do with whether or not the game will be at your local retailer at all. According to a report from Videogamer, Rockstar has apparently set a shipping restriction on the game so that units don't ship until Sept. 16, the day before the GTA V release date.
UK retailer GAME sent an email to customers that said that "GTA V is released on 17th September and Rockstar, who publish it, have worked very hard to make it the biggest gaming launch ever. They have requested that no UK retailer despatch GTA V before the 16th September and GAME, along with all reputable retailers, will respect this request."
That's right. Your precious GTA V disc won't be en route to your local retailer until the GTA V release date itself. Yeah, I know it technically comes out on the 17th but I'm sure there are hundreds of thousands of fans who are going to be lining up on Monday to get a good spot in the midnight release line. And the GTA V release date midnight festivities are now in jeopardy.
Granted, this is a UK-based policy so it's possible that American retailers are under no such restriction, but that's unlikely. The goal of the GTA V release date shipping restrictions is to prevent copies of the game leaking early. And, if you've been following GTA V news recently, you know that leaks have been a problem after the PlayStation Network got hacked and some user managed to extract game files including the complete soundtrack.
Here's the nightmare scenario I envision on the GTA V release date. I'm waiting in a long line at my local GameStop (which has had trouble managing smaller midnight releases in the past) and, at around 11:30, some poor, greasy-haired mope has to shuffle outside and tell a large crowd of antsy gamers who have been fantasizing about an evening of bloodletting and chaos that GTA V isn't coming tonight because of a screw-up with a Fed Ex truck. Cut to the next day when the mainstream media (which is undoubtedly waiting for the first troubled teen to act out in an atypical way so they can denounce the game) start airing reports of "riots" at retailers where the shipment didn't arrive. Broken windows, kids in hoodies, you get the picture.
I know these will likely be isolated incidents, but the GTA V release date is going to be a MAJOR media event because it will likely be one of the best-selling games of all time. It will certainly put up Call of Duty style numbers, and those are annualized releases. We're talking about the most well-known franchise in the gaming world; a lightning rod for controversy from every uncool sector of society, a game that has been in round-the-clock development from some of the most brilliant minds in the industry since before Obama was President. It will be of unprecedented scope, size and scale and is likely to be counted among the pinnacle IPs for the current generation and fondly remembered as one of the greatest games of all-time.
Hope your Fed-Ex guy doesn't get lost.