In a rare interview, Dan Houser, Rockstar Games co-founder and creative VP, has explained to Variety just why he believes the multi-million selling franchise remains as relevant today as it ever has.

"The intellectual property is the main asset in the company. That's why "GTA" is still relevant 10 years later. We haven't put one out every year. We haven't fleeced it. And we haven't put it on 50 different formats," said Houser.

He continued: "We're very conscious of not trying to milk it and not do lunch boxes and sticker cards or movies - things that aren't appropriate. We always look at doing anything if it can keep the spirit of what the game is and if it's done by the right people so it keeps the ethos."

"Fleecing" the franchise, as Houser puts it, has been one of the main concerns amongst GTA fans regarding EA's proposed take over of Rockstar parent company Take-Two, which would perhaps lead to the hugely popular GTA series switching to an annual release schedule, which in turn could see a drop in the quality Rockstar has instilled in each previous GTA title.

Grand Theft Auto IV will be released on April 29 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.