There's no doubt that Red Dead Redemption 2 is set to be a huge, with the NPD predicting that it will be the biggest game of 2018. However, in an earnings call yesterday, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick promised that Red Dead Redemption 2 wouldn't just be the game of the year, but would shape the games industry for years to come.
October this year is packed with big releases, including Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, and Battlefield V. It's a highly-competitive release window, and some analysts believe that Black Ops 4 will emerge victorious, but it seems that most expect Rockstar's upcoming western will ultimately outsell the competition.
During the earnings call, Zelnick was quick to acknowledge Red Dead Redemption 2's massive sales potential, stating that the game is "poised to be another massive entertainment event" for the company. Such claims are no doubt backed up by some lofty pre-order numbers, since plenty of alluring bonuses have been announced for those who buy the game in advance.
More bold are the predictions Zelnick made about the cultural impact of the upcoming game. Red Dead Redemption 2, claimed Zelnick, aims to "redefine our industry" and "capture audiences around the world". The Take-Two CEO also pointed out that this would be Rockstar's first game developed primarily for the current console generation, which serves as a striking reminder of just how well GTA V continues to sell despite originally being developed for the PS3 and Xbox 360.
Rockstar Games and Take-Two have been infamously tight-lipped about specific details regarding Red Dead Redemption 2, so it's hard to pin-point which features of the game Zelnick thinks will have such a lasting impact on the industry. The strong suggestion of innovation does seem to indicate that the game's multiplayer will differ significantly from GTA Online, perhaps improving on what is already considered to be a compelling multiplayer experience.
As a final point, it's worth noting the context in which the boasts were made; earnings calls are specifically designed to generate a positive public opinion about a company's financial stability in coming months. Of course, that isn't to say that Zelnick's ambitious projections won't come true, but it certainly provides a motive to ever so slightly exaggerate just how groundbreaking Red Dead Redemption 2 will be.
Red Dead Redemption 2 releases October 26, 2018 for PS4 and Xbox One.