Will Red Dead Redemption 2 Reign In Grand Theft Auto 5?

Will Red Dead Redemption 2 Reign In Grand Theft Auto 5?

What does the announcement of Red Dead Redemption 2 mean for the ongoing supports of Grand Theft Auto 5? Hit the jump and find out!

It was recently revealed that Grand Theft Auto 5 has sold over 80 million copies and that Red Dead Redemption 2 has been delayed into 2018.

Ever since the announcement of the latter, fans of the former have been worried that the hyped-up Western titled would endanger the continued support of their favoured virtual world. But where do these recent events leave those worries?

You might be surprised to learn that the delay of Red Dead Redemption 2 won’t affect the situation at all. Not because it’s still a threat despite the delay, but rather simply because the game never was a threat to Grand Theft Auto 5 from the get-go.

For all the fearmongering that Red Dead Redemption 2 would spell the end of GTA Online’s stream of free DLC, as the developers shift focus to the Wild West game entirely, there was always overwhelming evidence and arguments to the contrary.

Simply put, it would be a horrible business decision.

Those who subscribe to the school of thought that Red Dead Redemption 2’s multiplayer portion, Red Dead Online, would end up “killing” GTA Online aren’t very well acquainted with how corporations work, or the current climate of the gaming industry. Grand Theft Auto 5 and GTA Online’s lasting and continuous immense success is a safeguard against this on several levels, especially thanks to the solid stream of revenue coming from microtransactions.

These days, companies are no longer satisfied with customers just buying a game. They want recurrent player spending, hence DLC and microtransactions are more common than ever. The greater the player base, the greater the potential pool of recurrent customers, thus doubling the value of a large audience. The number of sold copies doesn’t only represent how many people bought the game, but how many people might end up spending even more on it.

Fact of the matter is, for all the online hype surrounding it, Red Dead Redemption 2 could never hope to match the popularity of Grand Theft Auto 5. GTA is about as mainstream as you can get in the gaming industry, right up there with the likes of Call of Duty.

Non-gamers know what GTA is. Its brand recognition rivals everyday products like Coca-Cola and an immense amount of casual gamers will buy a console just to play GTA with their friends.

Red Dead, only when compared to GTA of course, is small time. Within the gaming community, it possesses veritable fame and prestige, has countless fans and received almost solely glowing reviews of the 2010 instalment.

Sure, while the first title from 2004, Red Dead Revolver, flew under the radar even among gamers, Redemption was often brought up even before the announcement of the upcoming sequel. However, people without a vested interest in gaming will likely have no idea what Red Dead Redemption is and why it getting a sequel is important.

The overwhelming majority of Grand Theft Auto 5 customers and active GTA Online players are casual gamers, who very likely won’t be jumping ship to Red Dead Online upon launch. Conversely, GTA Online is only ever getting more popular, and thus more profitable.

Rockstar stated on the Newswire, their dedicated site for all in-house news, that December 2016 was the busiest month in Online yet. The game sold over 5 million copies in between February and May 2017, so it’s not like age is getting the better of it. Plus, thanks to the cheat codes that Rockstar conveniently snuck into GTA 5’s story mode, players can also extract additional value and play time in single player too.

There is an immense amount of money in GTA Online. It is a steady and reliable stream of high amounts of revenue, requiring very little by way of investment. The free DLC updates that Rockstar produces likely don’t have particularly large budgets, but they bring in a ton of profit thanks to the microtransaction sales they promote.

On the flipside, Red Dead Redemption 2 will be a popular title within gaming circles, but it won’t ever become the perpetually-growing juggernaut that GTA is. So abandoning the latter altogether would be the very definition of a poor business decision.

The recent delay of Red Dead Redemption 2 is further evidence of this. At this point, no one has any reason to doubt that GTA Online is here to stay. Even when Red Dead Redemption 2 does finally launch, it won’t mean lights off in Los Santos.

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