Rockstar delays Red Dead Redemption 2 into 2018, but that’s a good thing
Rockstar announced yesterday that Red Dead Redemption 2 has been delayed into 2018. Coming out for PS4 and Xbox One in Autumn 2018 (Spring in the Northern Hemisphere) Rockstar has apologised for the delay by way of providing a handful of screenshots.
Rockstar’s statement on the delay reads;
Red Dead Redemption 2 is now set to launch Spring 2018 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. This outlaw epic set across the vast and unforgiving American heartland will be the first Rockstar game created from the ground up for the latest generation of console hardware, and some extra time is necessary to ensure that we can deliver the best experience possible for our fans.
We are very sorry for any disappointment this delay causes, but we are firm believers in delivering a game only when it is ready. We are really excited to bring you more details about the game this summer. In the meantime, please enjoy this selection of new screenshots from the world of Red Dead Redemption 2.
The screenshots show off just how good the sequel is shaping up to be. As stated by the developer, Red Dead Redemption 2 is the first ever Rockstar title to be developed exclusively for current-gen consoles.
Delaying is the Right Move
It might be hugely disappointing to have to wait even longer for Red Dead Redemption 2, but the delay is the right move. Rockstar is renowned f0r the quality of its titles and isn’t a developer to rush a title out to meet deadlines. Nor is it every been known to release titles yearly.
Red Dead Redemption was released in 2010, after development began in 2005. Through its four-year development cycle it was delayed numerous times. Even after it was announced in 2009 and set for release the same year, Rockstar delayed it until 2010.
It payed off. Red Dead Redemption holds a score of 95% on Metacritic and has been included in numerous Game of the Year/Generation lists.
Sales Don’t Lie
Grand Theft Auto V was released in 2013 following a five year development cycle. Originally set for release in March 2013 it was delayed into September. At the time Rockstar released a statement saying;
It simply needs a little more polish to be of the standard we and, more importantly, you require
It was five full years between the release of GTAIV and V and as of today, GTAV has sold over 80 million copies. Compared to franchises with annual releases, GTAV sold more then three times the nearest title.
GTAV is now the fourth best selling video game of all time. In fact, five if the top 50 selling games are Rockstar titles; GTAV, San Andreas, Vice City, IV and Red Dead Redemption. There’s no denying the power of Grand Theft Auto’s brand, but it also extends to Rockstar as a whole.
Red Dead Redemption sits as the 46th best selling game with 15 million copies sold. It’s hard to deny that much of its success was due to the understanding that Rockstar creates great games, in its own time.
It Pays to Wait
Red Dead Redemption 2’s original release window was Q3/Q4 2017. At the time of writing, from July to December 2017 there are a huge number of titles headed to retail. Splatoon 2, Middle-earth: Shadow of War, Destiny 2, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, CoD WWII and Star Wars Battlefront II are just some of the AAA titles due in that period.
Red Dead Redemption 2’s target market overlaps with many of the titles above. While it would likely still perform incredibly well in a crowded release window, moving it to a less dense period will likely improve sales. It also gives Rockstar the necessary time to finish the game to its standards.
Uncharted 4 is a similar example. It has pedigree, a rabid fanbase and a developer known for quality. It was delayed multiple times and eventually released in the relatively quiet period of May. It received universal acclaim — holding 93% on Metacritic — and has sold 8.7 million copies as of January 2017. For a console-exclusive, that’s a phenomenal number. Red Dead Redemption 2 is poised to perform even better.
It’s certainly disappointing that Red Dead Redemption 2 has been delayed into 2018, but it’s bittersweet. The additional time means Rockstar will create the best game possible. Being released in a less crowded period means more sales and more people playing.
We’re just going to have to be patient.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is scheduled for release for PS4 and Xbox One in Autumn 2018.