Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter has said Take-Two management has confirmed to him that the next instalment of Grand Theft Auto is in development, and has been for over a year.

The new game is said to utilise the same game "engines" as the most recent GTA, and Rockstar North is believed to be highly motivated to complete the game, understanding that a big pay day will follow.

Pachter's comments follow news overnight that Take-Two will not release a new multi-platform Grand Theft Auto title in fiscal 2010.

"When we do the simple math, we conclude that the next instalment is likely to be completed by some time in 2010, although given the frequency of game delays, it is not clear that it will necessarily come before October 31, 2010," said Pachter in a research note put out today.

He added: "However, it is clear to us that the next version of GTA will arrive before the end of FY:11."

Pachter estimates the game will achieve sales of between 15 and 18 million units.

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