Kotaku Timeline: Grand Theft Auto V

All video games have a history... a history of rumours and official statements, of leaks, of screenshots, of trailers and other things that excite us, confuse us or do both. So how do we get from the smallest hint of a new game to the real thing? What's the journey?

Today, we're debuting something a little different: a Kotaku Timeline — a timeline that tells the tale of the public emergence of the biggest, most interesting video games. The first game we're giving this treatment to may well be the biggest game of 2013: Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto V. We'll be updating it in the months to come, through the release of the game and beyond.

More: Kotaku Gallery: Grand Theft Auto V In Pictures

You could say that people have been expecting a GTA V as far back as when GTA sequels first had numbers in their titles. But the first hints... the first rumours that seemed to have at least some possibility of truth behind them, hit in 2009. And so that's when our timeline begins...

October 28 — First GTA V-related clues found... (or so we thought.)

12:27pm — GTA IV add-on might be teasing GTA V's location

An ad featured in the GTA IV addon The Ballad of Gay Tony, which is a parody of the 2009 film New York, I Love You, seems to signal that GTA is leaving the New York-inspired Liberty City of GTA IV. There is much debate in the GTA community over whether this is a genuine hint or simply a joke. Read more @ GTAV.net »

12:30pm — Fans find possible hint of a character who might be in GTA V. Maybe. Kind of. Really? Another possible clue spotted: during the end credits of GTA IV's The Ballad of Gay Tony, the character Packie McReary takes a taxi to Francis International Airport. The theory is that he's en route to the sequel. Read more @ GTAV.net »

November 15 — GTA V hinted by Rockstar lead Dan Houser Newspaper: "The script he will end up co-writing will run to around 1,000 pages, nearly 10 times as much as a feature film." Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser, in a lengthy interview with The Times of London, mentions work on the next GTA so casually that it sounds rather inevitable. Read more »

March 5 — Industry expert predicts a pre-E3 GTA V announcement (Note: This will happen again and again). Financial analyst Mike Hickey: "We believe there is building suspension for a pre-E3 announcement, although we expect nothing from Rockstar at this year's official E3 event." Read more @ GTAV.net »

May 4 — Gullibility alert: 'leaked' pre-E3 document mentions Grand Theft Auto: Vice City 2, because, you know, people just leave that kind of thing out there

Well, we can all laugh at it now. Read more @ GameReactor.eu »

July 27 — GTA V is set in Los Angeles! Probably GTAV.net: "...an independent source had informed them that Rockstar is definitely researching locations "around Hollywood... and the surrounding area." A report (if you can call it that) today on VG247 suggests that Grand Theft Auto V will be set in Hollywood. Later, Eurogamer reports that Rockstar is, indeed, doing research around Hollywood. Read more @ EuroGamer »

February 26 — New theory: StopPayingYourMortgage.net = GTA V-related website A bunch of URLs registered by Rockstar-owning publisher Take-Two — among them gems like CashforDeadDreams.com and SixFigureTemps.com — suggest Rockstar wants to satirize the recession this time around. Except maybe in the year 2012 there'd still be nothing interesting on these sites. Read more »

March 7 — Possible codename for GTA V: Rush Google search wizard superannuation manages to dig up some interesting casting details about an upcoming Rockstar title. (Superannuation later lands a gig at Kotaku.) Read more »

March 29 — Take-Two starts hiring voice talent, likely for GTA V Rockstar announces a casting call for characters that would fit perfectly into any GTA title — including one with the same name as a pedophilic radio host from GTA IV. Coincidence? Read more »

May 26 — GTA V set to be unveiled in 2012? Take-Two: "...we have a very strong pipeline of titles in development." In a quarterly financial briefing, while talking about the 2013 fiscal year, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick hints that something big is coming. Read more @ Take-Two »

June 21 — GTA V in 2012? You're damn... right? Gamespot: "The sources said a 2012 release was "pretty likely," adding that the game's scale was vast." A report by Gamespot reveals that GTA V has already been in development for quite some time. Read more »

October 11 — Rockstar gives "big shout" to their GTA fans Given that Sam Houser being heard saying "Good day" so quickly that it might have sounded like "GTA" could constitute a GTA V update for news-starved fans, the fact that Rockstar gives a shoutout to the GTA faithful during a Max Payne 3 Q&A on their very own Newswire is kind of a big deal. Kind of. Read more @ GTAV.net »

October 25 — It's real. GTA V to be revealed in one week!

7:15am — Rockstar says the GTA V debut trailer will arrive next week The debut trailer is scheduled for November 2. Only Rockstar would dare to run a trailer for an upcoming game during the heavy fall release season and know full well that, on that day, no big fall games will matter. Read more »

11:00am — GTA V will make or break consoles "Rockstar doesn't need anyone. Everyone else who makes video game platforms needs Rockstar." Kotaku explores the implications GTA V's release could hold for various game platforms. Read more »

1:00pm — Are these the best cities for GTA V? We analyse possible locations for the new GTA title. Read more »

4:20pm — Well, that didn't take long! GTA V to be set in Los Angeles/Los Santos Sources familiar with the game confirm long-standing rumours that GTA V is, indeed, set in a fictional version of Los Angeles — and one tosses in a tantalising bonus claim that the game will have multiple protagonists. Read more »

October 26 — A look into the GTA V logo's history A Reddit user points out that the "FIVE" at the end of the game's logo is lifted from old U.S. paper currency. But what does it all mean? Read more »

October 31 — Tributes to the upcoming GTA V trailer

1:30am — A Liberty City walkathon, in honour of GTA V

The announcement of Grand Theft Auto V's trailer coming out inspires Youtube user GermanScientistTV to record this lovely tour of GTA IV's Liberty City. Read more »

11:40am — Here's the new GTA V trailer, NMA style

The Taiwanese group Next Media Animation show us what they think the new GTA V teaser will look like. Read more »

November 2 — The first GTA V trailer has arrived!

11:00am — To get ready for the new one, we remember how we were introduced to GTA IV

We talk about how the first trailer for GTA IV depicted the game we all know and love. Read more »

12:00pm — Here's GTA V's first official trailer

The GTA V trailer has landed! It features a man talking about retiring to the city, overlaid over a montage of scenes from the game. Read more »

12:14pm-The GTA V trailer song is Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake by The Small Faces

Kotaku does a little detective work and finds out which song was playing in the background during the new trailer. Read more »

1:20pm — The GTA V trailer has loads of cool stuff in it Kotaku Timeline: Grand Theft Auto VWe comb through the new trailer, picking out various interesting tidbits and analysing them. Read more »

November 3 — Discussion of the first GTA V trailer

3:00am — Was that Ray Liotta narrating the GTA V trailer? 'fraid not IGN confirms that the voice actor of GTA: Vice City's lead character wasn't doing the voice in the new GTA trailer. Read more @IGN

11:20am — What if we run over a dog in GTA V? Commenter Nostrapadamous, after seeing the dogs present in the trailer, delves into the matter of virtual animal abuse (accidental or otherwise). Read more »

1:20pm — Will GTA V feature old GTA characters?

A sharp-eyed Reddit user notices that three figures in the GTA V trailer resemble the protagonists of GTA III. GTA: Vice City and GTA San Andreas. Read more @Reddit

1:57pm — Rockstar releases GTA V statement Rockstar: "Grand Theft Auto V focuses on the pursuit of the almighty dollar in a re-imagined, present day Southern California." Rockstar Games officially announces GTA V on their Newswire. Read more @ Rockstar Games »

November 4 — Here's GTA V's first very own rap

Rapper Dan Bull writes a song in reaction to the new GTA V trailer. Read more »

November 14 — Can this man be the star of GTA V?

Kotaku looks into the rumour that the man narrating the GTA V trailer was voiced by none other than Ned Luke. Read more »

December 15 — It's time for a female hero in GTA! Kotaku looks at historical representations of female criminals in the media, and speculates on how well Rockstar would handle writing one. Read more »

February 13 — More GTA V details in a few months Rockstar: "...expect that we'll be talking much more about GTAV starting at some point in a few months' time." Rockstar confirms that there will be no GTA V-related news for a while — at least until after Max Payne 3's spring release. Read more @ Rockstar Games »

March 6 — Could Mafia II developers be working on GTA V? VG247 discusses a rumor that 2K Czech, the people responsible for Mafia II, might be working with Rockstar on GTA V. Read more @VG247

March 22 — GTA V's multiplayer will feature "crews" Houser: "...by creating crews through Social Club, the crews that you create in Max Payne 3 will be ready and available for you to play in Grand Theft Auto V from day one." In an interview with IGN, Dan Houser reveals that GTA V will support the new Crew system for multiplayer, which debuts with Max Payne 3. Read more @ IGN »

April 12 — CJ won't be returning in GTA V

In a tweet, Young Maylay, Carl Johnson's voice actor, confirms that he won't be returning to voice the protagonist of San Andreas in GTA V. Read more @ Twitter »

April 13 — Fans map Los Santos onto Google Maps While waiting for updates on their most anticipated game, the folks over at GTAForums mark a Google Map of Los Angeles with the real life versions of locations pulled from the the GTA V trailer. Read more @ GTAV.net »

May 27 — An old-school GTA V trailer remake

A GTAV.net community member recreates the GTA V trailer (again), this time using San Andreas. Read more @ GTAV.net »

May 28 — A possible GTA V easter egg in Max Payne 3

While playing Max Payne 3, GTAForums user CantPauseToast stumbles upon several photos which seem to depict planes featured in the GTA V trailer. Read more @ GTAV.net »

May 29 — Five things GTA V should lift from Max Payne 3 We, after having a go at Max Payne 3, talk about which parts of the game should Rockstar use to improve GTA V. Read more »

August 3 — GTA V goes viral Rockstar begins their viral marketing of GTA V, via a series of tweets from the Epsilon Program, a religious cult last featured in GTA IV. Read more @ GTAV.net »

August 9 — The GTA V fans' next target: Battlefield 3

They did it again! Battlefield 3 is the latest game to get the GTA V trailer treatment. Read more »

August 20 — Fact: you can fly planes in GTA V

Rockstar releases more GTA V screenshots, this time featuring the game's vehicles. Read more »

August 22 — GTA V is looking gorgeous!

A new batch of GTA V screenshots released by Rockstar, titled "Leisure", showcases the game's stunning vistas and fun activities. Read more »

August 24 — Here's a hot new batch of GTA V screenshots!

Rockstar continues teasing their fans with "Business", yet another batch of GTA V screenshots. Read more »

October 11 — We might be getting a release date for GTA V

Game Informer's Andy McNamara tweets that he's at Rockstar HQ, checking out a playable build of the game — which means there's definitely some news coming soon. Read more »

Developer Rockstar North
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Platform: TBA
Release Date: TBA
Genre: Open World Action Adventure
Modes: Single player / Multi-player
Rating: Pending


    That's a fucking long timeline for a game which has only had a single trailer and a handful of screenshots released.

    I absolutely cannot wait to play GTA V. One of the main motivations in upgrading my PC is to be able to play this game properly barring another catastrophic Rockstar PC release.

    Rockstar fix your buggy arse engine for this one or GTFO!

    love the timeline feature guys!! would love to see one for Half Life 3

    There's been much more news and leaks now, Kotaku please update this post as it is awesome so far!

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