One thing we often see in Red Dead Redemption 2 related discussions is people getting mobbed for daring to suggest that Rockstar might show something about the game at this year’s E3. Whenever the subject is brought up, a posse of foaming-mouthed internet smartasses jumps down the commenter’s throat saying that Rockstar never does E3.
Thing is, that ain’t true.
Sure, they usually avoid major events like E3, which is why we ourselves previously warned against getting your hopes up for something that most likely won’t happen. The chance that we’ll get new Red Dead Redemption 2 info at the Electronic Entertainment Expo this year is really slim, since it wouldn’t really fit Rockstar’s profile, but let’s all stop and remember that there has been precedent for this in the past.
Notably, Agent, the game that never was, got it’s first announcement at an E3 conference in 2009. We haven’t heard anything about it ever since, and after a whole lot of WIP assets were posted online, it’s likely the project was scrapped entirely. Now, if you’d take a single unreleased console exclusive as hardly enough evidence, we’d understand. However, there’s still the announcement of GTA 5’s Enhanced Edition at the Sony presentation during the E3 conference in the same year the game launched.
The Enhanced Edition went on to actually be released by Rockstar, so that’s pretty compelling proof that saying “Rockstar never does E3” is categorically untrue. There really is no need to mercilessly shoot down conversation about the upcoming game we’re all excited about, so let’s take a look at a few reasons why Rockstar might consider an E3 announcement.
When we get down to it, Rockstar doesn’t “need” E3. Red Dead Redemption 2 has already become something of an internet sensation, having been caught up by many prestigious non-gaming publications as well as the typical coverage from gaming sites. The announcement itself got more publicity than other games get throughout the entire stretch of time between announcement and release. Fans have been discussing the cinematic trailer that Rockstar released last year ever since.
With this kind of publicity fuelling the game’s marketing, plus the brand value of Red Dead and Rockstar, RDR2 is already going to sell extremely well on its name alone. When we get down to it, Rockstar doesn’t need E3, but it won’t be hurt by doing a presentation either. A reason why Rockstar might want to break character and appear at E3 is to tap mainstream audiences. GTA 5’s massive success can most be chalked up to the mainstream crowds, and Red Dead just doesn’t have that kind of pull outside of the gaming community.
Grand Theft Auto 5 didn’t need E3 for its initial announcement because it was popular enough without it, and then Rockstar opted for E3 with their Enhanced Edition announcement. If Red Dead Redemption 2 hopes to move the same kind of crowds – not that it likely will – it will also need the attention of the mainstream, and without the kind of brand recognition that GTA has, Rockstar would be smart to grab the opportunity that is E3.
Officially, Rockstar generally skips major gaming events because they don’t want other major announcements to steal even a bit of their thunder. They don’t just want to be the most-talked-about devs during announcement week, but the only talked-about devs. However, for the sake of giving Red Dead larger reach in the pool of casual customers, they might set aside these worries like they did with the Enhance Edition and shoot off a trailer when E3 comes.
We do know for a fact that Take-Two Interactive will be present at E3, however that more or less is a given due to 2K usually holding some kind of presentation, and many gamers are expecting a new Borderlands game to be announced soon, likely at E3. Since the guest-list only shows parent companies, Rockstar and 2K are not individually shown meaning we don’t quite know what to expect from the show.
Rockstar is known to release few details for their games leading up to launch, but when it’s starting to get close (read: a few months away) they do drop a few major bombs to build the hype, and seeing as they’ve been mum all this time, E3 actually seems like a great venue. The major competitors that we know of would be Destiny 2 and the new Call of Duty (we’re not judging quality here, but general popularity among the mainstream gamers). Both of these games are wholly different genres, Destiny 2 is working off a previous title which left many gamers bitter and the only way a CoD can recover from the blunder (financially speaking) of Infinite Warfare is to return to its WW2 roots, which a leak allegedly confirms.
Basically, the stage is set for Rockstar to ride into E3 and steal the show with a major Red Dead Redemption 2 infodump. They’ve already won the mainline and hardcore gaming communities, so this effort would clearly be aimed at the demographic that makes up the majority of GTA 5’s player base. In this sense, E3 is ripe for the conquering. Of course, all of this is conjecture until the event actually comes around. But we’d be happy if we wouldn’t need to wait until then for some more official info.