A year has passed since Rockstar first teased Red Dead Redemption 2 by posting an image of their logo’s outline in black over a red background.
Soon, we’ll hit the first anniversary of the game’s official announcement. A year is a long time, and yet not a lot has happened in that span – at least, not much that the fans have been privy to.
Rockstar already starts from an advantageous position in these matters, as the very name of the company will make a game sell copious copies.
That said, these guys sure know how to hype things up, and prior to the actual announcement of Red Dead Redemption 2, they set the internet on fire with the most minor of things. Sure, it wasn’t a subtle way of teasing the game, but it sure was effective.
They first performed the black-on-red color change for all their logos across all social media channels, then followed it up with a black-on-red text stating the date of the announcement itself. Everyone instantly knew what was going to happen, and it was wild.
After days of winding up the fanbase, Rockstar finally dropped the bomb. While it being Red Dead Redemption 2 surprised no-one (well, maybe the choice of name was a tad surprising), it still got all the fanfare of being a huge reveal. The game was shown off with a highly scripted and partially cinematic trailer with minimal voice-over. It practically revealed zero information beyond the fact that the folks over at Rockstar’s animation department are incredibly skilled – but the fans ate it up anyways.
Theory-crafting went into overdrive with all the frame analyzing that the release of such a trailer demands. However, even the most dedicated of fans had to realize that Rockstar was very smart in creating the announcement trailer, which was evidenced by the complete and utter lack of evidence pointing to anything at all.
We had no idea where and when the game was set.
Nonetheless, the fandom was stoked and even when the fuel provided by the trailer ran out (and then, it lasted really long) the hype revitalized interest in the 2010 title, Red Dead Redemption, and discussion of that game kept things going. The game was going to be released in the Fall of 2017 anyway, so that’s not such a long wait, right?
It was kind of easy to predict, what with the complete radio silence on Rockstar’s part, not to mention their track record with delays.
Painfully close to the original release window, Rockstar finally gave life signs and officially announced what we all knew to be true but hoped wasn’t – the game wasn’t coming in 2017. The new release window was designated to be Spring 2018, and luckily this hasn’t changed since.
We’re hoping it stays that way. As a kind of consolation gift, Rockstar released the first batch of official screenshots of the game, which even included the new protagonist, though we didn’t know that at the time. After this, they retreated once more into their turtle shell of silence with a final promise of more info coming this Summer.
The Tease of the Tease
While you might not think it to be substantial enough of an event to get its own heading, this particular motion in Red Dead Redemption 2’s brief pre-release history exemplifies the whole situation around the game’s marketing mixed with the way modern marketing practices have begun to field promotion as a product of its own.
Much like how full length trailers get shortened teaser trailers, Rockstar also teased a tease. On the very final day of summer with 4 hours to spare, they announced that they will announce something in a few days.
When finally Rockstar deemed it time to throw a scrap to the hungering ravenous fans, they were quite generous with the scrap.
Almost a year after the announcement we finally know something about the game we’re so hyped about. It’s a prequel! Dutch is in it! The protagonist is a new character called Arthur Morgan! Trains! Banks! Guns! Horses!
And here we are – a year after the announcement, we’ve got two trailers, one batch of screenshots and a half-year delay. Yay?