• in

    Will Red Dead Become a Mainstay Franchise?

    Red Dead Revolver, the first game in the Red Dead franchise, was released in 2004, meaning the GTA franchise had a seven year head start on it. However, this still wouldn’t explain the discrepancy between the number of games each franchise boasts.

    For just three Red Dead games, one of which is upcoming, we have 15 GTA games. So will Red Dead Redemption 2 kick off a busier future for the franchise, or is it going back on the shelf post-launch of the next title?

    The thing with Rockstar Games is that they’ve always been the “guys making GTA” with nothing else hitting the same level of popularity. Only Red Dead ever came close, and it’s looking better in terms of installments than most others. There are two Manhunt games and two Smuggler’s Run games, with most other franchises being standalone. Max Payne is the only one which matches Red Dead at 3 titles.

    While Red Dead’s few games is not unusual for Rockstar, another factor to consider in our comparison with GTA is how the developers changed their approach to development. Up until GTA 4, we got a new GTA game every one to two years, whereas we had to wait five years for GTA 5. Thus, the eight year gap between 2010’s Red Dead Redemption and Red Dead Redemption 2 is a lot less strange.

    Profitability plays a role as well. GTA has always been the massive money maker for the company, and while Red Dead Redemption was quite successful as far as games go, it still didn’t touch the records of most GTA titles. Naturally, Rockstar and Take-Two have a business incentive to push more GTA games.

    However, Red Dead Redemption 2 has been getting a lot of attention in spite of the sparse info that exists, meaning it may become a success greater than Rockstar expects. Take-Two has expressed a desire to ramp up AAA production, and while this mostly falls on 2K, they might want Rockstar to put out more games as well.

    Would monetary success in the release of Red Dead Redemption 2 be enough to guarantee more titles more frequently in the near future?

    The IP definitely has the potential to become a big money maker. Ports or remasters of Revolver and Redemption would definitely sell, spin-off games for other platforms would increase audience reach (Take-Two seems keen on supporting the Nintendo Switch. A spin-off Red Dead title would be a massive boon) and with the recent acquisition of Social Point, they have a hand in the mobile gaming industry as well.

    However, potential alone isn’t enough to carry a franchise. The question of Take-Two actually investing in such an endeavor remains. Red Dead Redemption 2 is carrying far more responsibilities than simply being a good game – it’s going to show the industry the new direction Rockstar Games is taking, it will be the torchbearer of the Western gaming genre and now, it’s monetary success will determine the fate of the entire franchise.

    No pressure.

    One possible pitfall that may doom the IP to sit on the shelf for another decade after Red Dead Redemption 2 is Rockstar’s and Take-Two’s aversion to rivalry – and if Red Dead becomes popular, they might see it as a rival to their prodigal IP, Grand Theft Auto. This dislike of competition is part of the reason why Rockstar generally skips video gaming press events and conventions.

    We’ve still some time to go before Red Dead Redemption 2’s delayed release date rolls around for a bit of speculation, however once the sales figures roll in after launch we’ll have a pretty good idea of where the franchise might go in the future.

    In the mean time, we can stare intently at a handful of screenshots while we wait for the next official breadcrumb.

  • in

    Red Dead Redemption 2 Expected To Usher In Record Year

    Red Dead Redemption 2’s delay has left the tail end of 2017, much like the elapsed portion of the year, rather thin on new releases.

    While the timing of the delay has left Take-Two relying on DLC and the continued success of GTA Online, it has provided new windows of opportunity for other publishers. To contrast the delay in the absolute, Red Dead Redemption 2’s release is expected to herald a record breaking year for Take-Two in terms of revenue and earnings.

    The long awaited sequel to 2010’s Red Dead Redemption was intended to be this year’s big hit, ticking Take-Two’s check box for releasing at least one non-sports AAA title each year. That, however, went up in smoke when the title was pushed to early 2018 in order to win the developers more time for polish and tweaking.

    Said polish and tweaking won’t be affecting the game’s sales, or if they do, it will only be in a positive manner. In the past few years many high profile AAA titles suffered delays and performed well afterwards. The gaming community has learned that delays for the sake of further polish generally lead to the production of a better game.

    Red Dead Redemption 2 will steal the show when it’s released, whenever that may be. Right now, it’s scheduled for fiscal 2019 (April 1st, 2018 to March 31st, 2019) and slated to arrive sometime next spring. The game’s influence, coupled with the assumption that the baseline success shown in low-release periods like the current one holds up, allows Take-Two to aim for a record breaking year.

    Red Dead Redemption 2 will be joined by a game so far unnamed that’s coming from 2K, and is a new installment of a major franchise (though almost everyone suspects it may be Borderlands 3). Take-Two expects the coupling of these factors will propel fiscal 2019 to the top of their leaderboards, toppling all previously held records.

    Strauss Zelnick discussed the past quarter and the future of the company in a conference call with investors and some members of the gaming press recently. Much attention was paid to Red Dead Redemption 2, even though it was technically GTA Online which carried the past quarter on its shoulders to success.

    As a result of our stronger-than-expected first quarter operating results and improved outlook for the remainder of the year, we are increasing our fiscal 2018 outlook for Net Sales and net cash provided by operating activities. Looking ahead, we expect fiscal 2019 to be a record year for Net Sales and net cash provided by operating activities led by the launches of Rockstar Games’ Red Dead Redemption 2 and a highly anticipated new title from one of 2K’s biggest franchises. We have a robust development pipeline and are better positioned than ever for long-term growth and margin expansion.

    Red Dead Redemption 2 slipping from 2017 isn’t a tragedy in any measure for Take-Two, based on the numbers they’ve pulled this last quarter, but that performance can mainly be attributed to GTA Online still owning the multiplayer scene. The game keeps making insane amounts of money, setting the bar ever higher for Red Dead Redemption 2.

    Fiscal 2018 is off to an excellent start, with our business’s positive momentum continuing to exceed our expectations in the first quarter. We delivered growth in both Net Sales and net revenue, as well as margin expansion. Our results were led by the ongoing extraordinary performance of Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online, strong demand for NBA 2K17 – which is now our highest-selling sports title ever – and increased recurrent consumer spending.

    In the past weeks, we’ve been getting what can be viewed as mixed messages from Take-Two Interactive regarding the projected levels of success they’re expecting from Red Dead Redemption 2 once it is released. On the one hand, Zelnick does not expect the title to perform as well a Grand Theft Auto 5 did back in the day when it was launched, but at the same time expects the game to boost the company’s fiscal year to record breaking numbers, presumably meaning beating the year that GTA 5 was released.

    Of course, it is important to consider that executives expect the next fiscal year to be a record breaker thanks to Red Dead Redemption 2 and that unnamed 2K title, but the fact of the matter is, if we compare sales figures from past games, Red Dead Redemption 2 will be carrying the revenue numbers to that goal. At the same time, the reasoning behind why it’s logical to assume the game won’t match GTA 5’s success is sound and plentiful, which is why this prediction seems a tad premature even in the face of the game’s overbearing hype and popularity in spite of the general lack of new information.

    That lack of new information is something Take-Two really doesn’t want to alleviate. When a direct question about what the possible future of the Red Dead franchise on PC could look like, or if there even was such a future, was asked, the answer provided was a masterful dodge. Initially, the question regarding Red Dead Redemption 2’s PC port was the second part of a complex question, and the execs simply didn’t answer it, but when pressed, they replied in general terms.

    The PC market is vibrant for us. It’s a core market, a predominantly digital market. So, for us, the PC market is very important and something we really focus on.

    Unrelenting, the gaming press members in the conference call pushed on. They managed to get snippets from Zelnick and co about how PC viability is determined on a case by case basis, and that the decision and any related announcements are ultimately up to the developers themselves. If we ever learn of a Red Dead Redemption 2 PC port, it won’t be through an earnings report.

    The PC issue is one that is guaranteed to haunt Rockstar, at least through community discussions, for as long as people consider the Red Dead franchise relevant. Hell, it’s been discussed ever since 2010, and the community efforts to convince the developers to bring the previous installment to PC are still on going, not to mention a reinvigorated effort to secure a port for the upcoming sequel.

    No Red Dead game has ever graced the PC with a full port, and currently the only way to get Red Dead Redemption running on the platform is through Sony’s PlayStation Now streaming service, which requires the payment of a subscription fee. The game played in this manner requires a Dualshock controller, is locked to 30 FPS and rarely actually hits that number. We’ve theorized that this is the reason why an actual port isn’t coming, as Rockstar and Sony’s deal might include a clause giving the latter a monopoly on Red Dead games on PC.

    We still don’t know a whole lot about the game itself. We’ve seen some official Red Dead Redemption 2 screenshots, but other than that there is only pure, fan-generated hype keeping this title in the news. Rockstar has promised more info during the summer and it’s already August. Many fans assume that the developers will subvert the status quo of skipping gaming conventions and use the upcoming Gamescom event to unveil further details about the game.

  • in

    Red Dead Redemption 2’s Delay Opens Opportunities for EA

    Not too long ago Ubisoft executives spoke about how not having to compete with Red Dead Redemption 2 in the upcoming quarter may be a boon to the sales of their own games. Now EA has joined them in speaking out about how the delay might be beneficial to their own performance, however with a slightly different take on things.

    While sharing a release window with a game on the level of Red Dead Redemption 2 is something most people would assume is daunting for rival publishers, it’s easy to forget that all players of the AAA industry face stiff competition all the time – just look at the Fall release schedule of this year. Even without Red Dead Redemption 2, there are still several huge and highly anticipated games on the menu, with some launching within days of one another.

    Competition is a reality of the AAA sphere that all publishers have to deal with and it wouldn’t have been a new situation for EA who release a high number of AAA games themselves each year. While EA CFO Blake Jorgensen did say that the delay of Red Dead Redemption 2 provides some opportunities, he also said that high profile releases can actually help all publishers, even if they’re not the ones releasing.

    What we’ve found historically, we’ve had many times where we’ve gone into quarters that looked daunting because of the competition. Think back to [Grand Theft Auto V] when it came out, and what we actually found is it grows the overall market. It drives console sales. Oftentimes, many of those titles get bundled to help drive or reduce the price of a console for the consumer, and it drives excitement in the marketplace, and we like that. It benefits the consumer and it benefits us because it generates a lot of buzz around games.

    The publisher sees the potential of highly hyped games to be gateway products into the medium for many potential fans. We often highlight how GTA 5 is predominantly a mainstream title with many people who play it, and only it – but how many of those people started out like that only to become hardcore gamers due to the influence of the title?

    The entertainment industry isn’t like most others were companies race to grab the customers away from one another. Typically, a person only needs one phone, for example, and every company wants to be the one to sell you that one phone. However, the typical entertainment consumer won’t be purchasing just one entertainment product and this changes the game. Publishers need to win customers, not steal them, and thus the promotion of any entertainment medium as a whole (like game consoles) is good news.

    Nonetheless, the delay of a game as massive as Red Dead Redemption 2 will grant EA’s releases some more breathing room, and Jorgensen isn’t blind to this fact either.

    So I don’t think it bothers us, but it excites us, I’d say instead. And you might remember, no [Red Dead Redemption 2] that was originally in the plans for our third quarter, fourth quarter of the calendar year, so that does open up a little bit of opportunity, I think, for everybody.

    While the Red Dead Redemption 2’s delay has resulted in a rather sparse release schedule for Take-Two, it’s not like 2017 will be thin on new releases going forward. There are plenty of other games to look forward to in the time before the Spring of 2018 rolls around.

  • in

    Red Dead Redemption 2 Not Expected To Match GTA 5’s Success

    The gargantuan success of Grand Theft Auto 5 is both an achievement standing testament to the skill of the developers at Rockstar Games, and very likely a looming oppressor that instills doubt in the same developers while they work away on Red Dead Redemption 2. Even though these are two separate franchises, the upcoming Western title will inevitably be compared to GTA 5.

    The previous Red Dead game, Redemption, released in 2010, has sold approximately 15 million since launch. If we were to compare GTA 5 and GTA 4 (2208), the previous title sold around 25 million units whereas 5 is currently sitting at over 80 millio,n with a good chance of hitting further milestones.

    In an interview with Gamesindustry.biz, Strauss Zelnick spoke at length about Take-Two Interactive’s vision of the future, and that vision includes no small expectations for Red Dead Redemption 2 . However, even they don’t expect similar increases in installment to installment sales, nor do they expect sales to rival that of GTA 5.

    Analysts said as much as soon as the game was officially announced. The general consensus is that Red Dead Redemption 2 will be a huge success in its own right, but will not reach the levels of overwhelming mainstream popularity that catapulted GTA 5 to the top of the sales charts.

    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 3-and-a-half years since its release, is because it stands alone in the generation. 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

    That said, the shadow of GTA 5’s success looms over the developers of Red Dead Redemption 2, even if it isn’t being cast by their superiors. Rather, it’s the community they might need to worry about. It’s no secret that the gaming populace is, more than occasionally, a toxic bunch of people, and a pervasive and quite harmful misconception that any sequel that doesn’t eclipse the predecessor is automatically bad is widespread. Even hitting the same bar isn’t good enough, it has to be better.

    Even though Red Dead Redemption 2 is a different franchise than GTA, the comparisons to 5 will be inevitable. The similarities between Red Dead Redemption and the typical GTA gameplay formula are so numerous that it’s easy to draw parallels, and it has been confirmed that the two share a fictional universe (along with Manhunt).

    One recent game that is widely ridiculed and considered a failure by many in spite of being a perfectly functional and highly entertaining game on its own merits is Mass Effect: Andromeda. Anywhere you look, you’ll see not only fans, but critics panning the title. It has its flaws, and it is perfectly reasonable to assume some genuinely disliked it on its own merits, but far too much of the hate directed at it stems from not one-upping the original trilogy.

    Generally, players and critics all agree that GTA 5 is an absolutely fantastic game with massive entertainment value. If Red Dead Redemption 2 turns out to be a very good, or even “just” a great game, you can bet some will write it off as a disappointment after GTA 5.

    Nonetheless, signs are pointing to a better future. In most recent cases, game delays have often characterized titles that ended up being well received – The Witcher 3 pops to mind, which was delayed several times, and ended up grabbing Game of the Year awards across two years. Somehow.

    Rockstar’s near spotless track recording when it comes to genre and generations defining masterpieces and legendary classics coupled with the general assumption that the delay will result in a more polished title is looking very good for Red Dead Redemption 2. In terms of sales, on the other hand – well, the facts that the game is grabbing so many headlines this far out from launch, even though we only have a handful of screenshots and a cinematic trailer speak for themselves.

    That said, some fans are worried about the extent of influence GTA 5’s success will have on the structure of the upcoming Western epic. GTA Online, the game’s popular multiplayer component, has been getting all the post-launch content, and the microtransaction system has, in the opinions of some, resulted in a grindy gameplay experience. One of Zelnick’s comments can sound a tad worrying in this regard.

    […]Obviously we know what Rockstar tends to do. And Rockstar’s activities have been transformed by Grand Theft Auto Online

    “Transformed” by GTA Online. That’s pretty telling what kind of direction the developers are looking at for their future games. It is possible that the delay of Red Dead Redemption 2 could be at least in part attributed to further effort being put into the multiplayer mode, Red Dead Online, which Rockstar announced alongside the main game. The direction they tale is the key here from a fan’s perspective.

    The Zelnick interview branched out into more general fields regarding Take-Two’s plans for doing business. With the new release date for the upcoming Western being somewhere in early 2018, the release schedule for 2017 is sparse. No Rockstar titles and very few 2K releases means this is a quiet year for Take-Two, much more quiet than they would like. The company planned on releasing at least one non-sports AAA title each year. In 2016, they released more than 6, and this year, none.

    2K had a really good season this past year, but it was, for the company, still relatively thin. And it didn’t help that Battleborn wasn’t a big success. So part of it is the level of success, part of it is the schedule, and part of it is finding the human resources to actually take the intellectual property that we own and bring them to market. Those are an array of challenges, juxtaposed against the uncertainty of how long it takes to make a AAA title, which means we can find ourselves in fiscal 2018 with a much thinner schedule than we’d like

    Battleborn is Take-Two’s entry into a rapidly growing industry segment which marries the genres of MOBAs and team-based shooters. Other examples include Overwatch, Paladins and Paragon. Anyone following gaming news will know that Blizzard’s Overwatch has been leading the pack by a massive margin.

    2K was really busy with game releases last year, including major titles like XCOM 2, Mafia 3 and Civilisation VI, however their schedule doesn’t have anything major lined up for the latter half of 2017. Likely, this is in part a planned move, as Take-Two wanted as little clutter surrounding Red Dead Redemption 2’s release as possible, allowing their flagship release to get all the limelight it needs.

    However, the delay seemingly messed up that plan, and instead of going strong with a heavy hitter they’re now looking at an empty year. Of course, this curse for them comes as a blessing for other publishers. Red Dead Redemption 2 is sure to steal the scene whenever it finally arrives, so from that point of view it isn’t an issue for Take-Two, they just like planning other releases accordingly.

    obviously fiscal 2019 will look much better with the launch of Red Dead 2 and a huge new title from 2K, as well as the 2K Sports titles, catalogue, recurrent consumer spending, NBA2K Online in China, Social Point and the like. We’ve already said that fiscal 2019, which isn’t that far away, is $2.5bn net sales minimum, £700m cash flow from our operations minimum… that’s pretty consequential

    Take-Two is looking to expand in the coming years into new market segments. We reported some time ago that many properties were licensed for film production, and that the company acquired established mobile developer Social Point. Additionally, Take-Two is trying to tap the creative resources of the indie sphere through acquisitions (Kerbal Space Program) or by entering joint projects, publishing and funding indie talent to turn their concepts into AAA productions.

    The aspect of these plans that will soonest reach fruition is, without a doubt, the mobile segment. Rockstar Games has already been porting old titles such as Bully and 3D era GTA games to mobile devices, however soon we’ll be seeing original content as well. Thing is, it likely won’t be based on Rockstar IP, but rather franchises from the 2K catalogue. David Ismailer, President of 2K, elaborated on this.

    Our focus right now is on our core two brands – NBA and WWE. Once we get those better positioned, I think there might be an opportunity to leverage some of our other brands in the mobile space

    This means that getting any new portable GTA titles in the vein of Chinatown Wars, or even a mobile Red Dead game, will likely remain a dream for many years to come. That said, the possibility is greater than it was ever before, so at least we’re getting there.

    In fact, there are some segments of the community who believe that in spite of expectations, Red Dead Redemption 2 might explode to become something far greater in terms of influence. We’ve said ourselves that generally speaking, the Red Dead IP speaks to a different market segment as GTA does. GTA is the very embodiment of the mainstream, whereas Red Dead is still mostly a core gaming property with little mainstream reach.

    If we assume GTA Online represents the future for that franchise, it means GTA will fully embrace the mainstream direction. In this case, Rockstar might use the Red Dead IP to maintain a hold on the core gaming audience, and use it as a vehicle to offer what GTA 5 didn’t – more focus on single player content, by which we mean DLC. If Red Dead takes on the mantle of Rockstar’s flagship IP while GTA is repurposed to be their mainstream revenue source, spin-off and branching cross-media products could follow, such as mobile games.

    Naturally, all of this is speculation, and unfortunately, some of Zelnick’s comments once again seem to speak against it. He is very much aware that Take-Two has shifted priorities from the core gaming segment to a much wider audience.

    We have gone from a company that focuses on hardcore gamers, to an entertainment enterprise that is expressed through interactive entertainment primarily, but there may be other areas that has nothing to do with games. I would argue that the league really has nothing to do with interactive entertainment, because it will be linear entertainment for most of the people involved. They’re watching it, they’re not interacting with it. We’re not calling it a different market, but that is what it is

    Not only are core gamers no longer the primary audience, but the audience as a whole now includes non-gamers. This is a direction that was made abundantly clear with the way GTA Online evolved over the course of three years, but Red Dead Redemption 2 will be the true indicator of what kind of a company Take-Two has become since then.

    At the end of the day though, to the Red Dead fans, all of this means two things: Red Dead Redemption 2 may turn out to be a much more multiplayer and mainstream oriented title than many long-time fans expect, and that Take-Two’s desire to release more games more frequently is aimed primarily at 2K and the new mobile market, not Rockstar. Chances are the time between the next Red Dead game after Redemption 2 will be as long, if not longer, as it was between 2010’s title and the upcoming one.

  • in

    Red Dead Redemption 2 Delay A Boon To Ubisoft

    While the recently announced delay of Red Dead Redemption 2 to early 2018 is sad news for fans (unless they consider it time well spent perfecting the game of course), it is a breath of fresh air for all of Rockstar and Take-Two’s competitors who feared severely diminished sales in the latter half of this year due to the highly anticipated Western title.

    Ubisoft is among those relieved by the delay and this should come as no surprise. In spite of being a leading figure in the gaming industry with several highly popular AAA franchises under their control and one of the strongest E3 presentations this year, Ubisoft is going through hard times right now.

    A hostile takeover attempt by fellow French multimedia company Vivendi, who formerly owned another industry leading developer and publisher Activision Blizzard, is underway. Not a year ago Ubisoft published an open plea towards fans and investors alike to help them out, either by buying shares away from Vivendi, or simply by buying their games instead of pirating them.

    Ubisoft CFO Alain Martinez spoke about the effects of the Red Dead Redemption 2 delay on Ubisoft’s upcoming quarter during the company’s latest investor call, and detailed how it will help the performance of their games on the market.

    Clearly the fact that there is no Red Dead Redemption [2] is a positive for our fiscal year 2018. This is something that we had taken into our [financial] assumptions. So the absence of that game is of course giving us a better window for the launch of some of our games.

    Ubisoft has projected some favorable increases in sales with up to 34% improvement over the previous quarter. Some analysts were puzzled by this, however Martinez clarified that the figure included the delay of Red Dead Redemption 2, as well as allowing for specific launches such as Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, Season 3 in For Honor and another expansion pack for the popular team based shooter Rainbow Six: Siege.

    Additionally, later releases this year are some of Ubisoft’s biggest franchises coming back from long breaks.

    After two years, Assassin’s Creed is back with Origins, taking the stealth action series to ancient Egypt. Joining it is South Park: The Fractured But Whole, the follow-up to The Stick of Truth which was also delayed several times. Both of these games have been anticipated for a long time and have avid fanbases. Assassin’s Creed in particuar is widely thought to be a blockbuster in the making.

    However, had Red Dead Redemption 2 stuck to its projected release date of Fall 2017, both of these titles would have suffered for it in terms of sales.

    As it shares the open-world nature of Red Dead Redemption 2, Assassin’s Creed: Origins would have suffered the most since the target demographic is largely the same for both games, leading to most players buying Red Dead, playing it for months, then grabbing Origins at a discount, if at all.

    Nonetheless, this won’t be actively affecting Ubisoft release schedules, meaning that the company didn’t choose to pounce on the now unmuddied period of Fall 2017 to release games planned for other dates. Game releases are meticulously planned in advance for optimal sales based on an extensive market analysis.

    Red Dead Redemption 2’s hype train is chugging along unhindered despite the lack of official news since the delay announcement and screenshot dump, further standing testament to how popular this game managed to become even before launch. The title is sure to steal the show for months once it’s finally released, and any game unfortunate enough to share launch month will suffer for it.

  • in

    Red Dead Redemption 2 Rival ‘Wild West Online’ Shows Off Gameplay

    It appears that gamers aren’t the only ones who have been wishing for the Red Dead franchise to make its way to PC after all these years, it’s game developers too. Luckily, the latter can do a whole lot more about the situation than the former, and Wild West Online was born. The developers, 612 Games, are a team of industry veterans with a passion for Western games. But will the project live up to expectations?

    As mentioned above, the link between Wild West Online and Red Dead Redemption goes beyond both games sharing a setting. WWO is the direct result of Red Dead Redemption inspiring a group of people who decided to create their own Western game exclusively on PC to fill the void left by John Marston’s adventure, as well as whatever the sequel is in store.

    Wild West Online was officially announced on May 11 2017. However the day just before that announcement one of its promotional screenshots was leaked early and mistaken for a screenshot of Red Dead Redemption 2. It was only after the official announcement of the game that it became clear another Western title is on the block.

    Obviously, the first question that rose in everyone’s minds was whether it is even viable to release a Western game so close to the release of something as major as Red Dead Redemption 2, but there are a few things going in WWO’s favor. Firstly, while Red Dead Redemption 2 has only been confirmed for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, WWO is coming exclusively to PC, meaning the markets for the game are completely different. Additionally, WWO is a full-on massively multiplayer online game, so it fills a different niche than Red Dead Redemption 2, which (we hope/think) will primarily be a single player experience with an additional multiplayer mode called Red Dead Online.

    The dev team, 612 Games, have prominent members of the gaming industry in their team, with people who’ve worked on games like the Crysis series, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Star Trek Online, Neverwinter Nights, Hawken, Ryse and The Darkness. With a solid lineup of heavy portfolios, they also carry weight with investors which is why this isn’t a crowdfunded project.

    So far, all the ingredients for a great game are there: experience, talent, passion and a budget. The Western genre is woefully underrepresented, so there is plenty of space for two games, especially on different platforms. However, there is a red flag flying, albeit a small one. The game uses a game engine which was developed for War Z, one of the worst disaster stories of the indie gaming industry, and is supported by a company owned by one Sergey Titov, who is widely blamed for that debacle.

    Nonetheless, the signs are promising, and the jittery animations of the gameplay video that was just released can be chalked up to this being the alpha version of the game. The developers plan on releasing free DLC post-launch, in a season-based model similar to some of the “live service” multiplayer games that follow this mentality.

    The game boasts a massive map, with its biomes set to be expanded further with Mountainous and Mexican regions as DLC. Regular missions will be joined by a reputation system, allowing you to be either a ruthless outlaw or a valorous deputy. Players can visit saloons for a few rounds, some gambling, or possibly some adult entertainment on the upper floors, while cities will also boast general stores and gunsmiths.

    In the wilderness, a dynamic day/night cycle will vary the way you play by bringing about different gameplay conditions. During the day, there is a greater measure of safety during your adventures, while night time brings the perfect opportunity to camp and rest, or ambush unsuspecting enemies under the cover of darkness. Some of the proposed DLC will be adding night-only missions with a great variety in objectives.

    But, how will this game measure up to Red Dead Redemption 2 This is the question everyone will inevitably ask even though the two games are essentially different genres and on different platforms. When there are just two Western titles on the horizon, they will be compared no matter what.

    Fact is, even with the kind of experience the people working on Wild West Online have, they still won’t get a measure of investor interest or funding to match the insane amounts of resources that Take-Two and Rockstar Games can mobilize. Big budgets aren’t everything though, and passion and skill often count for more. Thing is, Rockstar packs both of those qualities in plentiful supply too.

    At the end of the day, Red Dead Redemption 2 will end up a more polished product benefitting from a single player campaign, whereas Red Dead Online alone will also be able to match or better the experience of Wild West Online. There is likely a reason why 612 Games isn’t even considering a console launch – they’re picking their battles.

    The tentative release date of Wild West Online is December this year, with alpha and beta stages spread out between now and then. Whether the game lives up to the expectations it sets for itself, and whether it can truly scratch the Red Dead itch that PC players have, is anyone’s guess until then.

  • in

    PS4 Games Coming To PS Now, Might Mean Red Dead Redemption 2 Will Stream On PC

    While it’s far off from being any sort of confirmation, a recently announced change coming to the PlayStation Now streaming service might be an indication that Red Dead Redemption 2 will be playable on PC at some point… Just not via a proper port of its own.

    The PlayStation Now service is a subscription-based streaming library which allows subscribers access to a given number of PlayStation 3 titles on either their PlayStation 4 consoles or on a PC (with a dualshock controller hooked up). The service has a rather large and expansive library and subscribers are given access to all of the games – you don’t need to buy them on top of paying subscription fees.

    While this offers a legitimate way of playing PlayStation 3 exclusive releases without the PS3 console itself, many users who have accessed the PS Now library on PC often report dodgy performance. Very high-end internet connections, both in terms of speed and stability, are needed to stream the games decently, and even then the best you’ll get is 30 FPS and dodgy controls with some limited functionality.

    Red Dead Redemption is included in the PlayStation Now service, thus marking the game’s debut on PC. This is a less than stellar way to play the game, however, it’s the only way to go if you want to play Rockstar’s Western epic on your PC.

    Yesterday though, the PlayStation Now library was expanded with PlayStation 4 titles, none of which were available through the service previously. This move pushed said library past the 500 game mark, but more importantly, it holds much potential for the future and is relevant for Red Dead fans for two reasons. One good, the other bad.

    First of all, based on the fact that Red Dead Redemption was made available through the service and that Rockstar and Sony have some kind of deal going on, Red Dead Redemption 2 will likely make its way to PS Now eventually, and thus it will be playable on PC. This is the good news.

    The bad is that it could mean a proper PC port of the game will never arrive.

    This deal the two companies have with one another is likely the reason why the previous title isn’t coming to PC amid the hype for the sequel. With all the buzz around Red Dead Redemption 2, releasing a remastered version of the 2010 installment on PC would have made ludicrous amounts of money.

    People are already pining for new Red Dead content, especially with the delay that was recently announced, and there really wouldn’t be any better way to cope with waiting than by playing a graphically upgraded Red Dead Redemption running on PC.

    However, the fact that PS Now is involved means that Red Dead Redemption will definitely never make it to PC as a proper port, and possibly Red Dead Redemption 2 neither.

    The reason is simple – the moment an actual port is released, with keyboard, mouse and 4K support, graphical options and an uncapped framerate, everyone will buy and play that, and no-one would use the PS Now version. The Red Dead name has massive recognition and draw, and we suspect many a PS Now subscriber is currently only paying because of that particular game being available.

    By having a monopoly on Red Dead games on PC, the appeal of the PlayStation Now service is boosted significantly. And while no details of the actual deal between Sony and Rockstar are publicly known beyond PlayStation 4 players getting early access to post-launch DLC, maybe it contains something about no proper PC port being released while the partnership is still running.

    If that’s the case, let’s just hope it doesn’t run forever.

  • in

    Top 5 Games To Play In 2017 Now That Red Dead Redemption 2 Is Delayed

    Some time ago Rockstar announced that Red Dead Redemption 2’s release will be delayed until the spring of 2018. In doing so, they ruined innumerable “top games to look forward to in 2017” articles across the internet.

    The move also tossed up the gaming schedules of many an eager fan waiting to dedicate the latter half of this year to delving into the vast Wild West world that Rockstar is creating.

    So, now that your gaming schedule has been cleared out, you’re going to need something to fill that void – or rather, multiple somethings. Luckily for you, the recently held E3 event had some heavy hitting reveals coming later this year, and 2017 has already been a seriously strong year for game releases.

    Out Now

    1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

    Also known as “that one game on the Nintendo Switch”, Breath of the Wild has stolen headlines consistently since release.

    Praised as one of the best Zelda games, and worthy on its own to justify buying a new console just for this purpose, Breath of the Wild gave players a fantastic, deep, detailed and lively open-world in a sea of bland and empty ones being produced by the AAA corporate machine.

    The game world is packed to the brim with activities to do and hidden secrets to uncover. Add to that an endearing artstyle and captivating soundtrack and you have yourself a very strong contender for Game of the Year.

    2. Nier Automata

    Nier Automata is the newest installment in the Nier franchise, which itself is part of the Drakensang franchise, but don’t let that put you off if you haven’t played any of the other games. Automata is perfectly enjoyable without previous knowledge of the other titles.

    Praised almost universally as an early GOTY, Nier Automata wraps a surprisingly deep and philosophical (of the non-pretentious variety) narrative that is guaranteed to make you sad into the guise of a fast-paced fluid action RPG.

    While the way combat flows will elevate the gameplay experience of Automata over many other titles released this year, the storyline is what will ensure that it is remembered – and saying anything about it would already spoil too much.

    3. Grand Theft Auto Online

    Yes, GTA Online wasn’t released this year, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t one of the best bets for passing free gaming time with. Why not play the game everyone is playing?

    Rockstar Games poured an immense amount of effort into the single player portion of the game, but it is Online that has been expanding with constant free DLC ever since it launched over three years ago.

    Incidentally, the game just recently received a massive update called Gunrunning which added a ton of content, for free, as always.

    Then again, seeing as over 80 million people have bought this game, chances are most of you are playing this already.

    4. Mass Effect: Andromeda

    The gaming press and community have unfortunately been perpetuating the idea that if a sequel doesn’t surpass the quality of its predecessor, it’s automatically trash. Andromeda got a rather lukewarm reception simply because it didn’t eclipse the original trilogy, however when looked at alone, it’s still one of the best games of this year.

    While the tale of the Ryder siblings isn’t the same grand epic as the saga of Commander Shepard, Andromeda was never aiming for that. The goal was to show us a new galaxy, and how the species from our own adapt to this new and dangerous environment.

    Andromeda’s many alien planets hold countless hours of entertainment, and this is a perfect example of a game that you shouldn’t overlook just because of the vocal haters.

    5. Torment: Tides of Numenera

    If you’re even remotely interested in RPGs, then there is no way you haven’t heard of Planescape: Torment, lauded by many as the best RPG of all time. Well, the kinda-sequel kinda-spiritual successor game was released this year after a very successful crowdfunding effort.

    While Tides of Numenera didn’t quite manage to eclipse the legendary predecessor, it’s still one of the best RPGs out there. It also introduces players to one of the most unique and unusual game worlds in the industry.

    If you’re hurting for a true RPG, prepare to whisk yourself away to a billion years into the future.

    Out Later This Year

    1. Assassin’s Creed: Origins

    Yes, it’s Assassin’s Creed again – but after a two year hiatus.

    While the industry kinda got burned out on Ubisoft’s stab happy open world stealth’em’up franchise after a long string of annual (or even more frequent) releases, the gaming community is ready for Assassin’s Creed to return, and Origins seems like the best way the franchise can do just that.

    Instead of inching closer to present day on the timeline, Origins catapults fans into an age that predates that of Altair from the first game. Taking place in ancient Egypt, Origins will show us the events leading to the foundation of the titular secret society with an insatiable hood and knife fetish.

    Coupled with this triuphant return will be a wide array of fundamental gameplay changes. It will still be Assassin’s Creed at its core, but there won’t be a minimap, for example, and deeper RPG elements like a levelling system and loot will be added as well.

    2. Destiny 2

    If you’re among the millions of hyped up players who were let down by Bungie’s first non-Halo game, then Destiny 2 is here to restore your faith in the franchise.

    Featuring improvements that, if we’re being honest, should have simply been present in the first game and wouldn’t be considered “improvements” in other games, such as a map and, you know, an actual story, Destiny 2 will be the game Destiny always should have been.

    The crushing hopelessness of the first game’s setting, where humanity’s vast prosperous civilization that spanned the solar system was reduced to a single struggling city, is made even more crushing when said city is burned down. We’re interested to see where the sequel’s story goes, since from a point of view this is the actual narrative debut of the IP.

    3. Call of Duty: WWII

    We’re fairly certain that the past few years of the lackluster generic sci-fi nonsense that Call of Duty had become was merely a long-reaching several year market manipulation campaign intended to ensure that merely reading that title will trigger fans into buying the game, sort of like a conditioned muscle reaction.

    Yes, finally, Call of Duty is returning to WWII and you’re probably not even reading this anymore since you’re pre-ordering the game right now. It’s okay, we’ll wait. Back? Good.

    While the change of setting to something better established and more familiar might seem like a massive selling point, the highly adaptive multiplayer improvements the developers implemented are what make the hype for this game justified. All sides can use the weapons of all sides, you personal avatar will be highly customizable and factions will vary match-to-match.

    Yes, you can be a black Nazi woman in this. Thank you, Sledgehammer Games.

    4. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

    Joining the long list of games determined to utterly ruin your filing system, Wolfenstein 2 is the fourth game in the franchise’s current continuity, and eleventh entry in the entire franchise. Following the alternate reality version of The New Order, The New Colossus depicts a technologically advanced steampunk Third Reich successfully occupy the USA.

    Returning hero B.J. Blazkowicz is somehow healed from low body paralysis between the tutorial and the rest of the game, but you can bet that this over-the-top Nazi killing adventure will provide one of the tightest shooting mechanics of this year.

    5. Super Mario: Odyssey

    Joining Breath of the Wild as another game made to make the Switch worth buying, Odyssey represents the trend of Mario games adding a new gimmick for their new console debuts. This time around, Mario’s iconic hat will be missing the small white “M” symbol, which will be replaced by two eyes. The gimmick this time around is that when Mario throws his hat on something, he can possess it and control its movements.

    Oh, and for the first time in the franchise, Mario will visit kinda-Earth and will meet actual humans. It’s about as creepy as you’re imagining right now.

    Between all these games and upcoming releases, you’ll have plenty with which to take your mind off the nigh unbearable desire to play Red Dead Redemption 2, as we wait for its early 2018 release date.

  • in

    Red Dead Redemption 2 Will Be What Defines The “New” Rockstar

    Rockstar Games has a lot riding on Red Dead Redemption 2, far more than just the success of this one title.

    The future of the franchise is at stake, but the game will also be the “debut” of the company Rockstar has become in the years since 2013. Much has changed in the four years since the release of Grand Theft Auto 5, and it’s up to Red Dead Redemption 2 to show what direction that change took the hyper-popular developer.

    The gap between the release of the two games will be longest in Rockstar’s history, which is a symptom of the changing waters. GTA 5 was where the change started, and we’ll only see the results come the launch of Red Dead Redemption 2.

    The focus has shifted from story driven single player experiences to multiplayer, one of the leading figures of the company left amid turbulence, and the massive success of GTA Online’s business model has altered the direction in which the company will likely want their games to evolve.

    Let’s break down the major influencers of the “new” Rockstar Games.

    First of all, there is GTA 5 itself, the prodigal son, if you will. There is the absence of Leslie Benzies, whose influence shaped the games that he worked on significantly. Finally, there is the general change in directive within Rockstar from singleplayer focused titles to persistent, long-term multiplayer “services.”

    But how do all of these affect Red Dead Redemption 2?

    The Grand Theft Auto 5 Effect

    Volumes have been written about the potential influence GTA 5 might have on Red Dead Redemption 2, but the main beats are usually the same.

    We saw a new precedent set with Rockstar wherein the multiplayer component got more attention post-launch. So much so to the point of there not being any new single player content at all. GTA has been a singleplayer franchise first and foremost throughout its history, but the most recent title threw this tradition, and to great monetary success.

    Many fans fear that this will result in Rockstar banking on a similar effect and developing Red Dead Redemption 2 with this in mind. GTA Online wasn’t expected to be so successful, and Rockstar even announced single player DLC at one point. But the unprecedented amount of popularity that Online received seemingly changed their plans, with more budget allocated to Online DLC until any hope for new single player content was quietly killed off.

    In light of GTA Online’s success, it’s possible that Rockstar will develop Red Dead Redemption 2 with more focus invested in the multiplayer component from the get-go. While they know that there is still massive expectations for the campaign mode, as Red Dead Redemption’s story was what gained it fame in 2010, we should expect a more consistent ratio in polish than in the case of GTA 5, where the single player obviously got more love during initial development.

    The Benz

    Then there’s the departure of Leslie Benzies. We covered this a bit in the past, noting how the Housers themselves described him as the savior of Red Dead Redemption. When development was way off track and unorganized, Benzies dropped in and whacked things into shape, resulting in the legendary classic that has enthralled fans since 2010.

    Benzies’ influence is also a major element of GTA. He acted as producer on the franchise since Grand Theft Auto III, and many credit him as being the “mastermind” behind the franchise.

    With GTA 5 it was him that convinced the Housers there was a future in Online since the brothers reportedly dismissed the idea at first. Then, after the concept was given weight, Benzies openly opposed the microtransaction business model, which the Housers were pushing onto the multiplayer aspect.

    Not long after this Benzies left for an extended holiday, only to return to the news that he’d been fired. Since it was Benzies whose influence saw Red Dead Redemption become what it is, his absence could be cause for worry.

    Story Mode Versus Online

    Finally, there is the general shift in tone and direction that Rockstar seems to be pursuing.

    GTA Online’s massive success has given them a taste of what it’s like being a truly mainstream developer with a mainstream product, and with audiences this big, the rules change.

    The single player focused Rockstar we knew and loved could be turning into a company more focused on producing a multiplayer experience that facilitates expansion – such expansion allowing for long-term content support and a consistent player base open to recurrent spending.

    It’s up to Red Dead Redemption 2 to either prove or disprove these predictions and suspicions. The DLC being released for GTA Online is hardly enough to get a good profile on where Rockstar’s future is heading, but the upcoming Western title will be emblematic of what kind of a developer they want to be from this point on.

    We’re not saying that the single player component of Red Dead Redemption 2 will be unpolished, completely neglected or half-baked.

    There is a reputation to uphold and a legacy to honor here, and Rockstar won’t be prepared to abandon its roots. We’re certain Red Dead Redemption 2 will deliver a compelling and fantastic storyline with plenty of single player content to entertain us for a good hundred hours or more.

    However, at the same time, more focus will be given to multiplayer. Man hours and money will be invested in Red Dead Online that might have otherwise been invested into the single player.

    All that remains to be seen is whether Rockstar can pull it off and make both game modes amazing. We’re guessing they can.

  • in

    What To Expect From Take-Two At E3

    With only a few days to go E3 is rapidly approaching, and hype around the biggest annual event in gaming is peaking.

    Predictions are running wild, game journalists are counting the days and pretty much every flat surface in Los Angeles has been plastered with various promotional images related to upcoming games.

    But where does Take-Two Interactive, Rockstar Games and the recently delayed Red Dead Redemption 2 fit into all of this?

    Rockstar’s parent company won’t be that active at the massive expo, even though it has two major developers – the other being 2K – under its umbrella. 2K has been teasing all sorts of upcoming announcements, with Firaxis pushing something XCOM related on social media and an upcoming Borderlands game from Gearbox being pretty much an open secret. Between these, you’d expect that the company will have a strong presence at E3.

    However, the CEO of Take-Two Interactive, Strauss Zelnick, has stated that the company won’t make any big announcements at E3 this year. Other than showing off WWE 2K18 and NBA 2K18, two of 2K’s popular annual sports titles, the company will have a corporate presence and not much else. This means that even the unannounced games being teased will skip the show.

    It will be an interesting year for us. We’re not really showing products. We have a corporate presence at E3, and we’re excited to be there. We’ll be meeting with investors and meeting with the press naturally, and meeting with retail partners. I think it’s an important show and it’s important for the industry, and it’s very important for us as the number three company in the space to be there.

    On the one hand, this isn’t all too surprising. Take-Two’s subsidiaries, especially Rockstar Games, rarely show up at E3, or at any other major event for that matter. While 2K is a more frequent presenter, Rockstar has only appeared a few times, such as when they announced the Enhanced Editions of Grand Theft Auto 5.

    That said, this very well might be a smokescreen.

    Another thing Take-Two has a penchant for is secrecy, and once again this is more characteristic of Rockstar. They like to keep information under lock and key up until the last possible moment, so we see a surprise presentation a possibility. In recent years, much has changed around Rockstar Games, including studio reshuffling and the loss of one of the company’s pillars, Leslie Benzies.

    Red Dead Redemption 2 is in a whole different situation to what GTA 5 was, or other games before it. GTA 5 was destined for popularity and its success really wasn’t ever in question. Red Dead Redemption 2, on the other hand, is carrying the future of a franchise on its shoulders.

    Either it is successful but not exceptionally, meeting requirements and allowing the franchise to drift to the back of the gaming community’s collective mind for another 7 or more years. Or, it becomes a massive success, and elevates the Red Dead franchise to the tier of GTA, ensuring a longer future and more titles on the horizon.

    Rockstar is using Red Dead Redemption 2 to test whether the IP can become a heavy hitter, rivalling their flagship franchise. The massive hype around Red Dead Redemption 2 lends good chances for the second possibility, but for it to become reality, Rockstar will need to grab every opportunity they can, including E3.

    And of course, it’s not just the publishers who can show off new games at E3. Oftentimes new footage from previously announced games getz the spotlight at the presentations of one of the two major console manufacturers.

    Even when not announcing a new console, Sony and Microsoft frequently use major AAA titles to push the marketing of their systems, even if the title isn’t an exclusive or the developers of said game have their own panel.

    The console wars are often decided – or undecided, as they have been for several generations – by virtue of games above all else. Fans can compare the specs of the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One project Scorpio all they want, but at the end of the day, games are the deciding factor. And advertising your console with the most anticipated games is how battles are fought.

    We already know about Rockstar’s deal with Sony regarding special cross promotion between the PlayStation 4 and Red Dead Redemption 2, and we also know that PS4 players will get access to Red Dead Online post-launch DLC sooner than Xbox One players will. However, a seemingly throwaway comment from Sony Europe boss Jim Ryan might suggest that Red Dead Redemption 2 will also be waving PlayStation colors on the show floor at E3.

    When speaking about the Sony lineup for E3, after highlighting a host of exclusives, Ryan mentioned special deals they have with games, all in the context of the company’s show schedule.

    We have a Call of Duty partnership, a Destiny 2 partnership, Red Dead partnership with Take-Two and Star Wars with EA

    Of course, this is hardly an outright confirmation. If Take-Two is keeping radio silence regarding this matter, then a comment like this might have been a slip of the tongue since Sony is more than likely in on this sort of thing, what with the deal and all that.

    Red Dead Redemption 2 popping up at E3 is still highly unlikely, but the possibility is there.

    Following the announcement that the game would be delayed until 2018, Rockstar promised more information about Red Dead Redemption 2 would arrive during the summer, so E3 would fit that profile. We sure hope we’ll finally get a glimpse of the game in motion, since the announcement trailer was mostly cinematic. In a few days we’ll see whether Take-Two truly intends to keep this year’s E3 uneventful, or if they’re hiding a bombshell behind smoke and mirrors.

  • in

    All Signs Point To Microtransactions In Red Dead Redemption 2

    While this isn’t a confirmation since no specific games were named, it’s become increasingly certain that Red Dead Redemption 2 will be getting its own multiplayer microtransactions when the game is released next year. Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Take-Two Interactive which is the parent company of Rockstar Games, recently spoke about a number of topics pertinent to AAA gaming, with microtransactions being a major focus.

    Zelnick represented Take-Two Interactive at the Cowen and Company 45th Annual Technology, Media & Telecom Conference held on the 31st of May, two days ago. One of the key topics was monetization and Zelnick’s take on the matter not only exemplifies why people complaining about GTA Online’s business model should not be doing so, but also strongly indicates that Red Dead Online will have a similar system.

    You can’t give stuff away for free in perpetuity; there’s no business model in that. But we’re not trying to optimise the monetisiation of everything we do to the nth degree. My concern is, if you do that, the consumer knows. They might not even know that they know, but they feel it.

    Gamespot reported Zelnick’s comments from the conference and it’s evident from what was said that he doesn’t turn a deaf ear to the community, even if he’s not a gamer himself, and at the same time acknowledged the criticisms of GTA Online’s microtransaction model.

    Many players accuse the game of having abnormally high in-game prices while money is relatively hard to earn through missions, thus “forcing” them to buy so-called Shark Cards. Fans who play GTA Online and are looking forward to Red Dead Redemption 2 have expressed hopes that the multiplayer mode of the upcoming Wild West title (likely called Red Dead Online) will omit these microtransactions.

    Players, however, often fail to make the connection between the revenue gained from these microtransactions and the stream of free DLC that GTA Online has been getting. It’s a pretty clear connection, since, as Zelnick put it, there is no business model in giving away that much free content.

    Since Rockstar already has a timed exclusivity deal worked out with Sony, we know that Red Dead Online will be getting similar free updates after launch. If you ask us, three years worth of major DLC additions in exchange for microtransactions you don’t have to buy is a great tradeoff.

    Think about it anecdotally – when you paid a little too much for something, even if it was something really good, it really irks you. Paying too much for something bad is even worse. Paying too much for something really good, even if you can afford it, just leaves you with a bad feeling. We don’t want our consumers to ever feel that way.

    Zelnick also points out how other companies in the industry milk monetization vehemently and openly. While he didn’t name any names, we sure can: any publisher, with Blizzard at the bow, which sells blind-box microtransactions for games that you need to buy in the first place.

    Not only did you pay for the game itself, and then the microtransaction, but you don’t even know what is in said microtransaction. You’re gambling your money whether what you get is actually what you want. On the flipside, Take-Two’s microtransactions are completely upfront about what you’re going to get.

    We are convinced that we are probably from an industry view undermonetising on a per-user basis. There is wood to chop because I think we can do more, and we can do more without interfering with our strategy of being the most creative and our ethical approach, which is delighting consumers. We’re not going to grab the last nickel.

    All this allows us to deduce some aspects of Red Dead Online.

    The Sony deal is indication enough that RDO will feature post-launch DLC and Zelnick’s comments add weight to there being a microtransaction model present similar to the one seen in GTA Online. In terms of purchasable content in Red Dead Online, Rockstar will be taking one of two roads.

    Due to the setting of the game, the pool of historically accurate items to buy is significantly smaller than in GTA Online. There were fewer weapons and no cars, no yachts, no planes and no helicopters. Horses might be kept at a stable as stand-ins for cars, but there are only so many different species and type of horse. Clothing options are also more limited than in the modern era, though a greater measure of creative license is available here.

    In order for in-game currency based microtransactions to make sense, that currency will need to be given value by virtue of the things it can buy. With a limited number of horses, weapons and clothes, it’s very likely that property will be the main commodity. It’s possible that players will tend to a ranch that will require constant expansion and upgrading, as well as consumable supplies.

    Another route is to engineer the value of currency so that even the few items available would promote recurrent spending, however this is a tougher model to pull off. Things in this model would either be so extremely expensive, or money would be so hard to earn, that the lesser number of available items would still be difficult to acquire through gameplay alone.

    Of course, the main driving force behind GTA Online’s economy are the constant DLCs. If Rockstar “uses up” all the items from their limited pool on launch, the DLCs would need to focus on other kinds of content, mainly gameplay additions. However these do not present players with new goods to spend money on.

    The previously mentioned homestead might be expanded on to such an extent that the DLCs keep adding to that particular mechanic, but the lasting appeal of it will need be accounted for and ensured.

    Rockstar Games recently delayed Red Dead Redemption 2 until the Spring of 2018 in order to further polish the title, so we’ll still have to wait a while until we learn just what to expect from the microtransactions in this game… Especially if it follows GTA V’s suit and the multiplayer component is launched a month after the initial release.

  • in

    Red Dead Redemption 2 Delay Survival Guide

    Rockstar Games recently announced that the highly anticipated Red Dead Redemption 2 will be delayed until Spring 2018, thus completely ruining the plans eager fans had made for the latter months of this year.

    Originally slated for Fall 2017, Red Dead Redemption 2 has made some immense waves in the media since its announcement, even though barely any game details have been shared.

    So, how are we going survive the wait?

    Even though at the same time they announced its delay, Rockstar also released the very first screenshots of the game, that’s no consolation. 7 years have gone by since the launch of Red Dead Redemption which catapulted the franchise into the spotlight.

    Remembered as a true classic, RDR had fans clamoring for a sequel – or even just a PC port – ever since it launched. And now, when we were so close to jumping back into Rockstar’s fictional Wild West world for another adventure, the wait has been extended.

    We’ve already covered a few games you might want to play in anticipation of Red Dead Redemption 2, but there are plenty of things to do beyond the realm of the virtual in order to pass the time between now and next Spring. That said, the first entry on this list might ring more than just a little familiar.

    Replay Red Dead Redemption

    Not only will you brush up on the events of the previous game right before jumping into the sequel (or prequel), but you’ll be spending your time with one of the most fantastic open-world games of the last console generation. Red Dead Redemption has aged well and looks great even today, and thanks to Backwards Compatibility on Xbox and the PS Now stream service for PlayStation, you can enjoy the title on your current gen consoles as well.

    Waiting for Red Dead Redemption 2 has undoubtedly put fans in a mood for Western games, and while this list has a few nice entries, no game is quite like Red Dead Redemption, thus they can’t really scratch the same itch. Plus, with all the time between Spring 2018 and now, you’ll have the chance to comfortably explore every nook and cranny in the game, achieve 100% completion and hunt down every achievement.

    What better way to jump into Red Dead Redemption 2 than with the knowledge that you completely maxed out the predecessor?

    Manically Analyze The Screenshots

    Have you put the images through retouch analyzers? Have you magnified them several times in an attempt to discern new details? Have you pored over every individual pixel in each shot? If the answer to any of those questions is “no”, then what are you waiting for? The key to the entire plot of Red Dead Redemption 2 could be hidden in those screenshots.

    What if there are secret messages? What if they need to be looked at upside down on a CRT monitor with the menu screen of Red Dead Revolver burned into the film layer while playing José González’s “Far Away” at half-speed backwards?

    On a serious note, it has been proven time and again that approaching pre-release screenshots with a meticulous eye can reveal details the developers haven’t officially let slip yet. Of course, there are tons of other people doing it, most likely better than you, and posting YouTube videos about it, so you can always just watch those instead. But nothing quite compares to making the groundbreaking discovery that, yes, Red Dead Redemption 2 will have dual wielding, yourself.

    Make Art

    Reddit user Larryblaw has already taken this piece of advice to heart and turned one of the recently revealed screenshots into a stunning acrylic painting with surprisingly little red in it. Not only is this a fantastic piece of art, but the time taken to make it is time not spent chewing your nails off while intently staring at the promotional images of Red Dead Redemption 2.

    Between the previous game, the trailer and now the screenshots, there is plenty of material to take inspiration from, and it’s not like painting is the only way to go. Carving, drawing, modelling or any other visual art form is a great way satisfy your creative urges and make the wait more bearable.

    And if you have about as much artistic talent or skill as a fish suffering from carpal tunnel’s syndrome (much like myself), you can always try your hand at pixel art.

    Write Fan Fiction

    Actually, please don’t.

    LARP

    Live action role playing is one of the best ways to get arrested without actually doing anything wrong, provided your neighbors don’t fancy a reenactment of the battle at Helm’s Deep in your back yard where your mates show off their much too realistic Uruk-Hai costumes – or in this case, cowboy bandit outfits.

    Seriously though, LARPing has become fairly widespread in most countries, and while the majority of the groups dealing with this pastime are fantasy oriented, getting together a Wild West LARP group shouldn’t be all too difficult in this age of social media connectivity. Chances are there are plenty of people in your area secretly wishing to play out their Wild West fantasies in a community that wouldn’t shun them for it.

    Discuss Theories

    Whether you engage in Red Dead Redemption 2 oriented discussion via the dedicated Subreddit or our own forums, brainstorming with fellow fans about what the game might be like is one of the best ways to get your Red Dead fix without actually playing the game.

    Of course, getting emotionally invested in really cool ideas has some drawbacks, as it might make the wait even worse, not to mention that you’ll be setting yourself up for disappointment when it turns out that the designers omitted (with good reason most likely) your big idea from the actual game.

    The amount of mystery surrounding Red Dead Redemption 2 has lead to a lively discussion about a wide range of possibilities. Which characters will return? Is it a sequel, a prequel, or both? Where will the map be located compared to the one in RDR? Will there be train robberies? Will the next-gen hardware allow for console players to experience the sight of freshly fallen rain dynamically glisten on the loins hair of the various NPCs you’ll encounter in the game world?

    Learn to ride a horse

    Seeing as equine transportation was more or less the only available method of traversing the rough terrain of the frontier back in the day, as trains only connected major settlements, characters inhabiting the Red Dead world had to learn this skill unless they wanted the coarse desert sand to chew through a pair of shoes every three months. Since you’re so hot on the topic of a Wild West game, how about you learn how to ride in real life? Of course, it’s a tad more complex than pressing 2 buttons on a controller, but it’s entirely doable. After all, at worst the horse will only trample you to death, right?

    But Really

    You could always just push Red Dead Redemption 2 to the back of your mind and follow whatever news pops up over the coming months while focusing on more important things… Actually, yeah, I’ll stop right there. Such nonsense.

Load More
Congratulations. You've reached the end of the internet.