Take-Two Interactive does not consider Grand Theft Auto a series that is required to have annual sequels to the franchise.
As many of you know, franchises such as Call of Duty or Guitar Hero will often receive sequels every year. one franchise has multiple development teams to keep the releases annual, even. But does the quality of a video game suffer a bit when the releases are so frequent? When a Take-Two CEO was asked about the profits made in a non-GTA year, and they were quick to respond in saying that it is not the case, they can indeed be profitable with their other video game franchise possessions. But, they do not feel that GTA is a series that needs to be released annually.
Grand Theft Auto IV was released last year, and two downloadable expansions were released that offered further story content. The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony were the titles of these downloadable add-ons, and they have had a fairly good fan reception. Not only that, but they have shipped GTA: Chinatown Wars for both the PSP and DS, and are selling a collection of the two downloadable episodes as Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City. So within the past year or two, we have seen quite a lot releases in the series, but none of these have really served as an official sequel.
There is a balance between the development times on an amazing game and meeting consumer expectations and the time needed to ensure that the experience leaves the consumer wanting more. Take-Two Interactive clearly has a good track record in that aspect, because GTA is possibly one of the most wanted games of all time.
The time taken and the improvements seen over time is a very huge selling point, to see the jump from a prior generation to a next generation appeal. Honestly, GTA does not need to have annual sequels at all, and I think that doing so would ruin part of the appeal of the series as a whole.