Oct. 26, 2011 at 12:00 PM ET
Good news virtual gangsters: Rockstar Games has officially revealed via its website that the next installment in its famed "Grand Theft Auto" franchise is underway.
Rockstar has yet to unveil any information about "Grand Theft Auto V" — only that it will be releasing a trailer for the game on Nov. 2. However, game site Kotaku reports that "a source familiar with the game" told them it will take place in some version of Los Angeles.
Kotaku also reports that multiple sources have told them "GTA V" will feature more than just one playable character. (And for the record, Kotaku is often right when it comes to the rumor/anonymous source department.)
It's been three years since we've had an all-new console/PC installment in the controversial and ground-breaking "Grand Theft Auto" franchise, renowned for its gritty, crime-filled stories and epic, open-world gameplay. The superb "GTA IV" launched in 2008 and its two downloadable episodes — "The Lost and the Damned" and "The Ballad of Gay Tony" — arrived in 2009. 2009 also gave us "GTA: Chinatown Wars" for the handheld game machines.
For months now, rumors have been circulating that Rockstar was hard at work on an all-new game. Of course, the question is: When will we actually get to play it?
In June, GameSpot reported that anonymous sources had told them "GTA V" would likely launch sometime in 2012. But many game reviewers and pundits are now wondering if we might not see "GTA V" launch later than that — perhaps not until there are new Xbox and PlayStation machines to power it.
One thing seems certain — as is the "Grand Theft Auto" style, the next installment is sure to offer players a vast and detailed world with a crime-filled underbelly to explore. But where will we be living out our nefarious fantasies?
Previous installments in the "GTA" franchise have taken place in virtual cities based on real-world counterparts — Vice City in "GTA: Vice City Stories" was based on Miami, Liberty City in "GTA IV" was based on New York and Los Santos from "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas"was based on Los Angeles.
Looks like on Nov. 2, we'll find out if the City of Angels goes to the devil again.
(Thanks to Kotaku for the heads up.)
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Winda Benedetti writes about games for msnbc.com. You can follow her tweets about games and other things here on Twitter or join her in the stream here on Google+.And be sure to check out the In-Game Facebook page here.