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.