While fans are still reeling from the news that Red Dead Redemption 2 has been delayed into 2018, publisher Take-Two Interactive is feeling the effects even more so. Shortly after Take-Two announced its highly anticipated sequel wouldn’t be making its planned fall 2017 release, the company’s stock took a substantial dive.
Earlier in the day, Take-Two’s stock was doing perfectly fine, and was even slightly up. Then the news broke of the Red Dead Redemption 2 delay, and the stock dropped by about 7 points, from 69 to 62. It’s also still trending downward as of this writing, so the stock could open even lower when trading opens Tuesday morning.
Stock drops like this are not entirely unexpected, especially for a publisher like Take-Two Interactive. Although the company has numerous products and developers under its wing, Rockstar Games is easily its most successful and profitable. For example, Rockstar's last major title, Grand Theft Auto 5, release in 2013 but continues to make the top 10 list for best selling games 4 years later.
It makes sense, then, that Take-Two investors would have concerns about 2017’s outlook. To go from a highly anticipated sequel set to release during the fiscal year to seeing that title delayed into 2018 is a huge blow to Rockstar’s, and in turn Take-Two’s, financial projections.
Obviously, a small term blow to stock numbers is worth sustaining if it means Red Dead Redemption 2 meets fans’ expectations. Delays are not always easy to swallow, but in most cases they are to the benefit of the end product. Some would argue that Mass Effect: Andromeda could have benefited from a delay, for example, and maybe the franchise would not be on hold.
To be honest, most expected Red Dead Redemption 2 would be delayed, simply because of Rockstar’s silence in the last few months. Since revealing the game with a short teaser trailer, Rockstar has had very little to say about the game. Not to mention very few Rockstar-developed products make their first release date; even Grand Theft Auto 5 went through a couple delays.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is now set to release Spring 2018.