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Big name game delays bolster 2013

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Not so fast...

With the circus-like E3 expo less than three weeks away (listen closely and you can hear the collective gaming industry screaming in excitement/terror), you'd think the focus would be on 2012.

But with game sales on track right now to hit a six-year low, developers and publishers certainly want this year to end on an uptick, right? Well, of course, they do, but more and more, 2013 is looking like the year where things are going to get really interesting.

Square Enix's decision to delay the reboot of Tomb Raider until next year was the second big push back this year. Last week, Take-Two Interactive Software announced that Bioshock Infinite would miss its original October 16, 2012 release date. The game is currently scheduled for Feb. 26, 2013.

Both games were two of the most anticipated of 2012, so there's certainly some disappointment that goes with the delays. Savvy gamers know, however, that when top-tier games are pushed back, the wait is almost always worth it.

BioShock and Tomb Raider are hardly the only members of the class of 2013. The Elder Scrolls Online is set to release sometime next year, as is EA's reboot of SimCity.

Also on the calendar is the latest in the Command & Conquer series, C&C: Generals 2. And action fans will see the nano-suited Prophet return to New York City in Crysis 3 in the spring of 2013.

The big unanswered question, actually, is when will Grand Theft Auto V hit store shelves? Rockstar Games are the kings of the "when it's done" development mentality and would certainly never rush a game as important as this one. But the delay of Bioshock Infinite prompted Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter to predict the game could be released as early as this October.

Whenever it comes out, expect GTA V to give the industry a much-needed shot in the arm.

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