It’s been nearly seven years since Take Two and Rockstar released Red Dead Redemption, and it might be eight before the developer-publisher duo releases its sequel. But while even rival publishers fear the game’s potential to dominate the sales charts, Red Dead Redemption 2 won’t be a smash hit on the same level as Rockstar’s last game.
At least, Take Two doesn’t think it will be. When asked if he foresees Red Dead Redemption 2 experiencing an enormous leap similar to what GTA V (80 million sales) saw over GTA IV (25 million sales), CEO Strauss Zelnick told GI.biz he wasn’t making that sort of assumption.
“What the team is doing is trying to make the best possible game they can, and if they succeed… Look, the reason, in my opinion, why GTA V has sold 80m units, and GTA Online had another record year three-and-a-half years since its release, is because it stands alone in the generation,” he said. “In every prior generation, there have been other titles that have clustered around GTA from a quality point-of-view. That’s clearly not the case now. If you are over 17 and you have a new generation console, you have GTA. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have shipped 80m units. Can any other title achieve that? It seems unlikely. Do we have incredibly high hopes for Red Dead? We do. But we are not putting it in the context of GTA.”
Red Dead Redemption shipped 15 million units as of February, an impressive number in its own right but one that’s hardly in the same stratosphere as GTA V’s 80 million copies sold and lagging significantly behind even GTA IV’s 25 million sales. After being delayed from its initial 2016 release date, Red Dead Redemption 2 is currently scheduled for a Q2 2018 release.