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(Pocket-lint) - There were hints earlier in the year that we might see the latest instalment in the Grand Theft Auto franchise released this October,  but that turned out to be hooey. Yes, GTA III was released in October all those many years ago, but GTA IV was released in April 2008 so there's no discernible pattern.

It was always unlikely to hit the streets this year, especially as there was no trace of the game at E3 in June. However, we probably won't see it at next year's E3 either, according to one analyst, who claims GTA V will be released in March 2013.

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Famed games industry analyst Michael Pachter has judged that Rockstar's next big game will come in March for a number of reasons. First, that it will be the cover star and subject to a big preview in next month's edition of Game Informer in the US means it is only a few months away from going gold.

Second, the publisher Take Two has been haemorrhaging money of late, posting loses of $110 million in the first financial quarter of the year. A March release of its biggest property, therefore, would balance the books for this financial year rather than next.

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"Their fiscal year ends 31 March, so they pretty much have to bring the game out by 31 March," Pachter told Now Gamer in a recent interview.

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Although he did admit to the gaming site that Rockstar could still surprise everybody. "You just don’t know with these guys, they could announce next week that GTA is coming out December 20, I think it would be stupid, but they could do it," he said.

However, while it is feasible to do so, he doubts Rockstar will take that path. "With GTA, I honestly think the Rockstar guys could bring it out before Christmas if they wanted to and they could announce next week that it’s coming out December 9, and then the Game Informer cover would get a lot of publicity, but my guess is that it’s coming out March," he explained.

"That’s probably an accurate release date and that gives them four full months to promote it."

Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 16 April 2013.