It looks like Rockstar and Team Bondi's crime thriller has been pushed back once again.
Though the Rockstar Games published L.A. Noire was expected to be released by the end of October 2010, an analyst says he has confirmed that it's been pushed back into the fiscal year of 2011 according to his retail sources. Pacific Crest Securites' Evan Wilson says that this delay only confirms his loss of faith in Rockstar parent company Take-Two.
L.A. Noire is a 1940s "film noir" style game about crime, sex, and trench coat-wearing men smoking in the shadows that is said to have a script 22,000 pages long. It's been in development for years by Team Bondi, an Australian developer made of of team members that worked on the PlayStation 2's The Getaway, and is rumored to have quite a large budget.
"We have confirmed the delay of L.A. Noire from fiscal Q4 (Oct.) well into [fiscal] 2011 [November 1, 2010 to October 31, 2011]," Wilson says. "As far as we can tell, Take-Two has not shown the game to retailers." Retail listings currently put the game at a February 2011 release.
Videogames get delayed all the time, but to Wilson this is just another example of poor management by Take-Two, who alleges that this is the company's 20th major delay with its current management team, and L.A. Noire makes up three of those. "Clearly, management either has no control over the release of its games, cannot accurately predict the timing of their completion or is not concerned with the forecasts it issues to investors," he said. "In any case, the delays have reinforced the low confidence we have in current management."
Earlier this year, separate analysts criticized Take-Two's practices of delaying games and said even if it made blockbusters it'd be tough to make a profit. Though Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption has continued to be a strong seller, these delays could be risky if L.A. Noire can't match its level of retail strength, even if it's a great game.