Although Grand Theft Auto IV did represent a departure of sorts with a bit more authenticity and a slightly different style of gameplay, it was still recognizable as GTA.

But might the fifth installment be something very, very different…? We all assume it'll be just like past entries only in a different location – and I can tell you right now, that's basically what the fans desire – and we often discuss possible cities. Tokyo, London, and Chicago have all been talked about but maybe we shouldn't be making assumptions. Look, two facts must be considered, and these facts may be tough to swallow for the hardcore franchise followers.

First- I don't know if you've noticed but quite a few big-name, long-running franchises have undergone significant changes this generation. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots was amazing and it remained masterful because it gave the fans the option to play MGS as they always have. However, it also offered an option for newcomers and those who don't have a lot of patience; the option to shoot their way out of most any situation. Then there's Final Fantasy XIII , and the changes and alterations evident in that installment have been outlined hundreds of times since it launched. Resident Evil actually didn't change, and look at the flak it got.

Those are just a few examples. Other smaller examples include the upcoming SSX: Deadly Descents , which will be a good deal different and maybe even unrecognizable to the fans. So this trend may affect GTA as well, although what may save the series is that it already appeals to the mainstream, right? Do we really need to change that much in this quickly changing business environment? Secondly, there's this new talk about Activision buying Take-Two Interactive …now, this might mean nothing; it might mean something. Perhaps it will have no bearing on Rockstar; maybe it just won't matter if Take-Two or Activision publishes the next GTA.

But some sort of change may take place. That's all we're saying. Therefore, maybe the new GTA title is more…well, up in the air then we had previously thought, and that's enough to give me nightmares.

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