EA CEO John Riccitiello, speaking in a conference call, has just said that the timing of acquisition activity towards Take-Two was specifically designed not to "screw with GTA".
He said earlier in the call that he and the rest of his team were assuming that the game was practically complete.
Riccitiello added that retailer pre-orders for GTA IV are a "strong sign" that the game will hit its April 29 release date but refused to steadfastly say he was convinced it would release on time.
"I have had conversations [on the subject of GTA's release date] with Strauss [Zelnick, Take-Two boss]," he said. "I will not repeat them here as it feels a little out of school."
He added, "You can reserve the game from amazon" and other retailers "and that's normally a strong sign. I really wouldn't want to speak for Strauss... that's his call."
The call's just finished. We'll have the full transcript for you as soon as it's posted.