Despite a rocky few weeks in the public eye leading up to release, Rockstar Games’ epic Western Red Dead Redemption 2 has launched out of the gate with a record-breaking showing. Following on from the monumental success of their previous title Grand Theft Auto V (the game that made a cool billion in three days), RDR2 has reportedly blown past the 700 million dollar mark after the same amount of time on the market.
A prequel to the critically acclaimed Red Dead Redemption, the sequel follows the unlawful adventures of the Van der Linde gang as they struggle against encroaching civilization into their wild west. Full of an overwhelmingly beautiful natural vista, tense gunfights and a story that touches on the complexities, and sins, of men, RDR2 is the kind of release an entire industry pays attention to.
While exact unit sales figures are yet to be released, and the final number reported on today is sure to include console bundle sales also, this kind of financial success is a huge achievement and a relief to anyone keenly watching to see how Rockstar would follow up on their previous success. In a statement released earlier today, the developers proudly announced the ‘biggest entertainment opening weekend of all time’ with sales that are second only to GTAV‘s which launched on a Tuesday, thus leaving the specifically ‘weekend’ title for its little brother game.
These sales aren’t exactly surprising given the prestige of the brand – PlayStation alone was reporting record-breaking pre-orders through their online store – but given the recent controversies regarding worker overtime and excessive work practices, the massive launch is undoubtedly welcomed by investors and management. Rockstar employees reported receiving generous bonuses after the launch of GTAV so for now, we can only hope that those who dedicated a sizeable chunk of their lives to the development of RDR2 may receive the same.
With almost entirely glowing reviews across the board and the obvious endorsement of the general public, RDR2 is set to be a strong contender for game of the year awards. Beyond that, such strong sales indicate a large install base for the upcoming Red Dead Redemption 2 Online, which is set for network tests next month, and given the unprecedented success of GTA Online, it looks as though Rockstar have once again taken an industry by storm. Whether or not the online component of RDR2 will go on to achieve the same levels of player retention that GTA did remains to be seen but a company which has spent the last half a decade learning how to keep players entertained online isn’t going to relinquish its grip on the market if it can help it.
The game has unsurprisingly been the talk of the proverbial town around the Ground Punch group chats, with copious amounts of GIF sharing and wild stories from the American countryside. A game of this scope begs to be reviewed thoroughly so we are taking our time to ensure we see it all but keep an eye out for more Red Dead Redemption 2 content from us in the future.