And yet Take-Two Interactive stockholders don’t seem miffed.
Delays like this can be catastrophic events for publicly traded companies of any industry, which is why more often than not you get half-assed products rushed out to meet the first deadline and then fixed later on (or not). Because hitting that deadline and raking in those initial sales, before news of any problems and errors makes the rounds, is usually more important than longevity.
This same pressure to hit early sales targets obviously applies to games as well. So many times we hear of developers buckling under the influence and demands of publishers, leading to buggy, half-finished games which get extensive patches post-release to fix them up. Or, even worse, sometimes the affected game is immediately put on life support – provided pre-order and day-one revenue is enough of course. It’s a scummy practice for sure and a few AAA companies are known for pulling it quite often.
Rockstar has never been among those.
Rockstar has a well-earned reputation of almost embracing delays, and making no compromise with quality. And for us gamers, this is the better alternative.
We may have to wait, but we’re guaranteed to get a solid, stable and high-quality product. Sure, a whole ‘nother year may be hard, but it’s better than a quick disappointment.
So what is it about Rockstar that doesn’t make investors hit the panic button the second Strauss Zelnick utters the word “delay”?
Simple – they know it isn’t a major revenue headache for Take-Two. Grand Theft Auto Online, the gift that keeps on giving, is a major source of income, and Rockstar Games has a reputation to uphold of delivering quality games, which in the long run will deliver more earnings for the company.
So, as players, why should this interest you at all? Mainly, because several AAA publishers – Activision-Blizzard with Destiny 2 most recently and EA… well, with almost everything – have been known to generally rush games or fill them with nonsensical price-gouging crap precisely due to investor pressure. Investors being unhappy usually leads to a bunch of anti-consumer nonsense, and if nothing else, makes development particularly troubled.
As Take-Two’s share price dipped merely 1.5% a day after the delay’s announcement, it’s clear that its stockholders aren’t particularly worried, meaning the especially influential ones won’t start butting into development, trying to exert more control, or push for more invasive monetization to make up for the delay when the game finally gets released. While it’s already practically confirmed that Red Dead Redemption 2 will feature microtransactions, the industry has shown that there exists both better and worse ways of implementing them.
When more concrete details about the microtransactions in Red Dead Redemption 2 are revealed, we’ll definitely be covering it.