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Will 'Grand Theft Auto V' hit the road in 2012?

\"Grand Theft Auto IV\" rocked the gaming world back in 2008. Now the gaming world wants to know: Will \"Grand Theft Auto V\" finally arrive in 2012?
\"Grand Theft Auto IV\" rocked the gaming world back in 2008. Now the gaming world wants to know: Will \"Grand Theft Auto V\" finally arrive in 2012?Rockstar Games

It's been a few years since Rockstar Games delivered a new "Grand Theft Auto" title but according to today's rumor-filled grapevine, it won’t be long before the renowned development company unveils the much-awaited "Grand Theft Auto V."

According to GameSpot, anonymous sources close to Rockstar have confirmed that the next installment in the series is "well under way" and is "pretty likely" to arrive in 2012.

The game site reports that those same sources told them Rockstar is already putting final touches on "Grand Theft Auto V" — touches such as adding minigames. They also said the game is, as one would expect, vast.

Certainly Rockstar has been plenty busy with other projects — namely the excellent "L.A. Noire" and the equally superb "Red Dead Redemption" before that.  But it’s the gritty "Grand Theft Auto" franchise that launched the company to (rock) stardom and many gamers can't wait to see what kind of vehicle-thieving, vice-filled action they deliver next.

"Grand Theft Auto IV," which launched back in December 2008, was not only a huge fan and critic favorite, it has gone on to become one of the best-selling games of all times with Rockstar recently reporting that the title had sold nearly 20 million copies since it launched while the series all together has sold 100 million copies.

And even though Rockstar has not announced or confirmed that a new installment is in the works, many clues (and even some common sense) suggest that it must be underway. (As if they could possibly give up on a cash cow of that magnitude.)

The Grand Theft Rumor Mill got a high octane boost earlier this year when Take-Two Interactive (which owns Rockstar) conducted casting calls for a project called "Rush."  The odd assortment of characters in need of voice actors sounded as if they’d been plucked right from a "GTA" game, causing many to believe "Rush" is the codename for "GTA V." Meanwhile, sleuths also discovered that Take-Two had registered several domain names for faux companies of the kind that also would appear in a "GTA" game.

All of this had led many to speculate that Rockstar and Take-Two would announce a new "GTA" game at last month’s Electronic Entertainment Expo. Alas, it was not to be.

But if all goes well — and if the rumor mill doesn't fail us — it won’t be long now.

(Thanks to GameSpot for this latest sleuthing.)

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Winda Benedetti writes about games for msnbc.com. You can follow her tweets about games and other things right here on Twitter .