There once was a time when microtransactions only appeared in free-to-play games, as they were how the developers of those titles recouped their development costs. But then microtransactions began slowly appearing in big budget releases over the years, with major games like Grand Theft Auto 5 and Overwatch adopting them. For better or worse, microtransactions have changed the industry, and we now know that all future games from Red Dead Redemption 2 distributor Take-Two Interactive will include them in some capacity.
Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick confirmed as much in a recent investor call. In the call, Zelnick claimed that microtransactions accounted for a whopping 42% of Take-Two’s “net bookings” in the past quarter, and so it’s no surprise that future games like Red Dead Redemption 2 will feature them.
“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.”
Zelnick’s enthusiasm for microtransactions is a sentiment that is shared by most triple-A publishers. Microtransactions have started appearing in games of all kinds, including racing titles like Forza Motorsport 7 and primarily single player experiences like Middle-earth: Shadow of War. Considering the massive success of Grand Theft Auto 5‘s microtransactions, it would make zero business sense for Take-Two to strip them out of Red Dead Redemption 2, even with the current “loot box” controversy surrounding them.
It’s always been somewhat of a given that Red Dead Redemption 2‘s online multiplayer will have microtransactions, However, Zelnick’s statement opens the door for microtransactions to creep their way into Red Dead Redemption 2‘s single player experience as well. Whether or not that comes to pass remains to be seen, but one has to imagine that the company could make an absurd amount of money by adding as many microtransactions to the game as possible.
Ultimately, we won’t have definitive details on Red Dead Redemption 2‘s microtransactions until we get closer to the game’s release date. However, what we do know is that microtransactions will be in the game, and all future Take-Two titles, if Zelnick’s statement is any indication.
Red Dead Redemption 2 launches in 2018 for PS4 and Xbox One.