'Grand Theft Auto V' set for September release

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A new installment of the unabashedly violent "Grand Theft Auto" videogame franchise will hit streets worldwide in September, Take-Two Interactive Software announced Thursday.

Take-Two said its publishing label Rockstar Games will release 'Grand Theft Auto V" for play on Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3 consoles on September 17.

"Grand Theft Auto V continues to push the series forward in new ways," said Rockstar founder Sam Houser, referring to the coming version as "our deepest, most beautiful and most immersive world yet."

The new game is set in the Los Angeles-style fictional city of Los Santos, described as a sunny metropolis full of self-help gurus, starlets and fading celebrities struggling in an era of "economic uncertainty and reality TV."

Central characters include a former street gangster, an ex-con, and a "violent maniac" betting that a series of dangerous heists will pay off in better futures, according to Rockstar.

The game maker promised that the latest installment with have franchise "classic hallmarks," including "a darkly humorous take on modern culture."

"Grand Theft Auto: IV" blew away videogame and Hollywood records when it was released in 2008, raking in $500 million in its opening week.

More than 125 million copies of "GTA" games have reportedly been sold since the series began in 1997.

The "GTA" franchise is an epicenter for outrage over violence in videogames because players triumph with acts such as carjacking, thuggery, and killing.

The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) stamped a "Mature" label on "GTA: IV," banning US retailers from selling the game to anyone under 17.

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