When Red Dead Redemption was released back on PS3 and Xbox 360 back in 2010, Rockstar Games’ Wild West cowboy sandbox cemented itself as an indubitable gem in the publisher’s roster in some gamers’ eyes, even outshining Grand Theft Auto IV which came before it and Max Payne 3 which came out later.
In fact, Red Dead Redemption greatly eclipsed the popularity of original game Red Dead Revolver as RDR’s main character John Marston navigates the changing times of North America where gunslinging, horse racing and highway robbing is being edged out in favor of a world where cars are becoming the primary method of transport.
Red Dead Redemption drew comparisons to the Grand Theft Auto series with its mischievous, sandbox gameplay, while a character who was a good guy who knew how to do (unlawfully) bad things filled in the rest. That led to the game to a whopping 13 million sales and so those who played it have been wondering; just where on Earth is Red Dead Redemption 2?
The answer to that question could very well be ‘in the works’ as Strauss Zelnick, the CEO of Take-Two (Take-Two is Rockstar’s parent company) stated during Cowen and Company’s latest investor and analyst conference that “it seems quite obvious that Red Dead is a permanent franchise” also listing off the Grand Theft Auto, Borderlands and NBA franchises as fellow other permanent residents in the Take-Two roster. However, Zelnick also described the decision process behind releasing and working on new games as “selective,” explaining that they don’t want to flood the market with a large amount of games and would rather simply entice us with a well-spaced out trickle of very good ones.
Excluding 2011’s Duke Nukem Forever, that strategy seems to have paid off, with key a example being the release of Grand Theft Auto IV in April, 2008 as April has typically never been as jam-packed a month as November in terms of video game releases and it therefore allowed the quality and word-of-mouth buzz of GTA IV to shine even brighter.
“”The risk of just [releasing more games] is that you end up just bulking up your release schedule and that isn’t really what consumers want. Consumers want better, not more. So our selective approach, which we’ve taken since ’07 I think has paid off. Now, we have gotten more by taking that approach; we’ve launched one new successful franchise every year and I would like to keep doing that particularly because I talk about permanent franchises, but not everything is going to be a permanent franchise. Some of our great franchises eventually will lose their lustre and some will hopefully be permanent.”
This isn’t the first time that the Take-Two CEO has made comments regarding his company’s plans for Red Dead Redemption 2 as he previously referred to the series’ permanence back in July, 2013 leading some to believe that a reveal was imminent. However, despite Zelnick’s comments, along with a Rockstar graphics engineer’s online CV seemingly pointing to the game’s development, concrete news about an RDR sequel has yet to come to fruition. And we all know how long Rockstar takes in between Grand Theft Auto installments.
Despite there being no official announcement regarding Red Dead 3, that doesn’t stop fans from speculating about what they could do following Red Read Redemption’s emotional conclusion or the social and economical ramifications of the move from industrial to technological times that the game’s timeline was undoubtedly hinting at. Furthermore, Rockstar themselves explain that they had quite a few ‘unused ideas’ for what the original Red Read Redemption game could have been like so hopefully with E3 coming up in just a few weeks, we’ll here more from the notoriously secretive developer and publisher then.
There is of course, a next-gen Rockstar release coming in March 2015 and that could be a new Red Dead if it’s not a next-gen/PC port of GTA V, and we’re still waiting for a PC version of Red Dead Redemption.