This is the darkest timeline.
Rockstar Games have been known for their quality, compelling single player campaigns that create infinitely detailed worlds for players to lose themselves in for dozens of hours. Nonetheless, Rockstar’s biggest success to date has been GTA Online, the free to play, microtransaction funded online component of GTA5, that has become the enduring reason for the game’s continued success.
And even as the rhetoric around microtransactions continues to get toxic, it sounds like the upcoming Red Dead Redemption 2 will probably have them. Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said in a recent financial call that the company earned 42% of its revenues thanks to microtransactions last quarter- so this is something they are looking at going forward.
“We aim to have recurrent consumer spending opportunities for every title that we put out at this company. It may not always be an online model, it probably won’t always be a virtual currency model, but there will be some ability to engage in an ongoing basis with our titles after release across the board.”
The good news is that, the way it is worded, it could just as meaningfully apply to single player expansions and DLC well after the game’s release, much like what GTA4 and Red Dead Redemption got- but considering the relative, sustained success of GTA Online compared to those, I am not sure I want to be that optimistic about this, either. Red Dead Redemption 2 will launch on PS4 and Xbox One next year.