Red Dead Redemption 2’s publisher does not want to take success for granted.
The one amusing side effect we have seen of Red Dead Redemption 2‘s release date having been locked down for this October is everyone else scrambling around. Most games have decided to just move their launches into next year, with February especially becoming a hotbed of new game releases. Annual mainstays like Call of Duty have moved into an October release date as well.
Everyone seems to be worried about the monster in the room, and with good reason- GTA5 was Rockstar’s last major release, and it is the highest selling game of all time. However, it seems like even Rockstar’s parent company Take-Two isn’t taking this Holiday season for granted. Speaking to GamesIndustry, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said that the Holiday season is crowded, full of great game launches- and that Rockstar does not want to proclaim victory before it actually has won.
“We’re running scared too,” Zelnick said. “I think a healthy degree of paranoia and insecurity about releases is probably a good thing. I’m fond of saying that arrogance is the enemy of continued success. We don’t believe in our success until we deliver it. We never claim victory until it’s occurred. We have very powerful, smart, capable competitors bringing great products to market and we need to win – that means we have to work harder than the next guy.”
“I don’t think this is a numbers exercise around attach rates,” he continued. “I think this is a question of how phenomenal is the product, and does it capture people’s attention and imagination? The answer is clearly it’s going to do well, but it’s very difficult to say how well. It’s going to be a big success, but it’s a question of how big?”
Zelnick also added that the company doesn’t expect Red Dead Redemption 2 to do as well as GTA5– which, of course, is understood, given that GTA5 is the most successful anything of all time.
“It’s hard to expect anything to perform as well as the most profitable entertainment product of all time,” Zelnick observed. “I don’t think that’s a realistic expectation. Our hope, and also belief, is that Red Dead Redemption 2 will be an extraordinary creative product and that it will do incredibly well. Beyond that I can’t say – I don’t think anyone can say. We have to release it and see what consumers think.”
It’s nice to see this kind of humility from a publisher that, if you think about it, has every reason to be arrogant and take its success for granted. While Red Dead Redemption 2 will undoubtedly be the biggest game of the Holiday season, there still are enough other big releases- Spider-Man, Pokemon, Super Smash Bros.- that it should be a healthy time for the industry all around.