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Rumor Check: GTA V

There have been no shortage of rumors regarding a potential follow-up to Rockstar's critically acclaimed GTA IV, but today the developer officially announced the sequel on its website. It's time to take a look at the various rumors that have been swirling around the project for the past year and judge how likely they are to come to fruition.

Rumor #1: A Colorful Cast
The GTA series has always been known for its outrageous cast of characters, and we're sure GTA V will be no different. However a casting call for voice actors from earlier in the year provided a little more information about who we might see in the next game. Although the casting call didn't name GTA V specifically, one of the characters (a "man-boy love activist" named James Pedeaston) was featured on an in-game website in GTA IV. The same casting call details other characters that may end up in GTA V, including a liberal conspiracy theorist, a pre-teen boy advocating his right to drink alcohol and have sex, and a young female "obsessed with sex parties."

Another casting call for a game codenamed Rush is also believed to be for GTA V, though the evidence is less concrete. This list of characters includes an FBI agent caught between rival mafia families, a monk/cult leader/yoga teacher, a "neurotic soccer mom," and a "weed evangelist," among many others.

Likelihood: Probable
Not only is there solid evidence of at least the first casting call being true, but both lists of characters fit with the hallmark of Rockstar's writing: biting, politically-charged, and hilarious satire of life in America.

Rumor #2: Team Bondi Tech
This summer Team Bondi's Brendan McNamara stated in an interview that Rockstar might use MotionScan, the ground-breaking facial animation used in L.A. Noire, in GTA V. McNamara also stated Rockstar was "more than welcome to use MotionScan" for the project, suggesting that Team Bondi is open to another partnership, despite problems that arose during the development of L.A. Noire.

Likelihood: Poor
Not only did the original quote sound like wishful thinking on McNamara's part, but Team Bondi has faced no shortage of turmoil since the original story, including reports of the developer owing more than $1 million in unpaid wages to its employees, and news from earlier this month that the company is shutting down. There's no word yet as to what will happen to Team Bondi's MotionScan, but even if Rockstar did buy the tech in the liquidation of the company's assets, we doubt the studio will use it in GTA V.

Rumor #3: GTA V Goes Overseas
Various rumors on the internet have suggested that the next GTA will take place in an overseas location, with London and Tokyo being the top possibilities.

Likelihood: Fat Chance
At least not for GTA V. All of the rumors of the newly announced sequel taking place in an overseas location read more like wishful thinking than actual reporting. Additionally, Entertainment Weekly's recent interview with Dan Houser makes the possibility sound even more unlikely. When asked about another international edition of GTA, Houser had this to say: "We go backwards and forwards on it. There are very interesting crime stories and other stories you can tell about anyplace in the world. Whether that would work with Grand Theft Auto – when so much about Grand Theft Auto is about the Americana, about the American media – is something I'm not sure about." While Rockstar may continue consider going international for a future installment, something tells us it's a little late to be choosing a location for GTA V.

Rumor #4: GTA V Invades The Real World
Another persistent rumor suggests that GTA V will be a more realistic take on the series, taking place in a real U.S. city instead of a fictional location. Los Angeles is the city of choice, with a bizarre post on VG247 specifically fingering Hollywood for the next adventure.

Likelihood: Doubtful
Most of these rumors point to Rockstar scouting real-world locations as evidence for a shift towards realism. However, given the studio's attention to detail, why wouldn't Rockstar look at real cities when designing a fictitious one? All of the previous GTA locations have been heavily influenced by American cities, and we're betting GTA V won't be any different – but a game can't be a parody and realistic at the same time, and we doubt Rockstar would choose authenticity over the wild satire that has made the series so popular thus far.

Rumor #5: Coming In 2012
Various reports and speculations have pointed to a 2012 release date for GTA V, including a listing from a German GameStop, and inside sources friendly to GameSpot.

Likelihood: Hopefully!
We don't know when GTA V is going to come out – it seems doubtful Rockstar would announce a sequel now if it wasn't going to be ready until 2013, but it's not impossible. More than anything, we hope GTA V will come out in 2012 just because it means we'll be able to play it sooner.

However these rumors shake out, one thing's for sure: answers are coming soon. In addition to officially announcing GTA V, Rockstar also revealed that a trailer will be available on November 2, just a week from tomorrow.

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