With so many high profile games releasing in 2017, it’s hard to pick just one as the most anticipated game for the year. That being said, Red Dead Redemption 2 has already made a strong case for its place as the top release, despite very little in the way of tangible information. According to Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick, however, that may soon change.
While speaking at an investors call (via Gamespot), Zelnick revealed Take-Two’s expectations for Red Dead Redemption 2, teased some looming announcements, and even shared a brief quote about the game’s online component. In total, it sounds like Take-Two and Rockstar are going to have a major hit on their hands, and the studios are well aware of it.
First off, Zelnick tried to put Red Dead Redemption 2’s sales potential in perspective, revealing that its predecessor – the well-reviewed Red Dead Redemption – shipped 15 million units over the course of its run, including 8.5 million units in the first year. Unfortunately, Zelnick didn’t say what those numbers suggest about RDR 2’s sales, but one has to assume that Take-Two expects the sequel to outpace its predecessor.
In order to deliver strong sales numbers, though, Red Dead Redemption 2 is going to need to build a ton of hype with games, but so far Rockstar has kept relatively quiet. Fans have seen the first trailer for Red Dead Redemption 2, but even that didn’t want to reveal too much. For example, we don’t yet know anything about the main character (or characters) of RDR 2, or whether or not it’s a sequel or prequel.
That will apparently change, as Zelnick touts the marketing support Take-Two has given to its past releases, and which will fuel Red Dead Redemption 2 towards its release this fall.
“We support all of our releases very significantly. We’re incredibly proud of our marketing teams throughout the company and our support is quite significant for all of our releases…I think you should expect to see, with regard to all of our releases, very significant marketing support.”
And finally, Zelnick talked about Red Dead Redemption 2’s online component, which he says will not cannibalize the player base of GTA Online. In his mind, Red Dead Redemption 2’s multiplayer and GTA Online will succeed on their own terms because they both offer quality experiences to gamers.
“I don’t think there is any competitive dynamic with any of our upcoming releases, apart from the fact that our success is driven by quality. So I think the success of [Red Dead Redemption 2], which is highly anticipated, will be driven by its quality, and I think that the ongoing success of Grand Theft Auto Online is driven by its extraordinary quality.”
How Red Dead Redemption 2 will differ from GTA Online is unclear, but it would not be surprising to see the Western title take a few pages out of the open world crime game’s playbook. There may have been a few stumbles at the start, but GTA Online has grown to be a massive success for Rockstar Games, to the point the developer put all of its focus into new content for that and nothing for the single player.
Hopefully, Red Dead Redemption 2 receives a better balance of content, but it’s too early for Rockstar to begin talking about those sorts of things. For now, the focus is on the slow reveal of the game, which will eventually speed up if Zelnick is to be believed.
Red Dead Redemption 2 will release in 2017 for PS4 and Xbox One.