Grand Theft Auto 5 will be released on September 17, 2013, Rockstar Games has announced.

The date is much later than the spring date the firm had been aiming for, but promises the wait will be worth it.

A letter to fans published on the Rockstar Games website reads:

"Dear all

"Today, we have an official release date to share with you: Grand Theft Auto V will arrive in stores on September 17, 2013.

"We know this is about four months later than originally planned and we know that this short delay will come as a disappointment to many of you, but, trust us, it will be worth the extra time. GTAV is a massively ambitious and complex game and it simply needs a little more polish to be of the standard we and, more importantly, you require.

"To all Grand Theft Auto fans, please accept our apologies for the delay, and our promise that the entire team here is working very hard to make the game all it can be. We are doing all we can to help ensure it will meet if not exceed your expectations come September - we thank you for your support and patience."

A four month delay points to a previously planned May release date, as many had been predicting.

Rockstar founder Sam Houser commented: "Grand Theft Auto V continues to push the series forward in new ways; Rockstar North are creating our deepest, most beautiful and most immersive world yet.

"We are very excited for people to learn more about the game in the coming months."