Recently, Take-Two Interactive's subsidiary, Rockstar Games, announced that Red Dead Redemption 2 was being pushed out of its fall release and into an early spring, 2018 release. Well, Take-Two explained why the delay doesn't matter all that much.
The news came about from an earnings call with investors, where Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick explained that the delay isn't that big of a deal, and that they'll still get an ample number of sales from gamers willing to pay top dollar for Red Dead Redemption 2. Gamespot managed to snag a quote from the call, where Zelnick states...
Previously it was reported that gamers were to expect Red Dead Redemption 2 to arrive at some point beyond September for the Xbox One and PS4. However, recently Rockstar announced that the game was being pushed back further into early 2018... specifically the spring of 2018.
Sites like PSU noted that Take-Two further clarified the spring release, noting that it would make their fiscal year of 2019, which doesn't begin until after April 1st, 2018. So that likely means the game will launch between April and early June.
In fact, Zelnick seems to hint at May being a possible release window for Red Dead Redemption 2, since he points out that the original game launched in May of 2010.
It wouldn't be surprising if Rockstar had the sequel launch within the same window as the first game, especially since -- as Zelnick pointed out -- launching in spring didn't hurt the sales at all for the game. It still managed to come away with plenty of GOTY awards and was -- and still is -- a strong seller for Rockstar. In fact, after Microsoft announced that the Xbox One would support the game via backwards compatibility, the physical sales of the original Red Dead Redemption shot up to the best-sellers list on Amazon last year.
Usually most big AAA publishers avoid releasing in spring or summer because they want to capitalize on the holiday sales rush, so they usually push their games into the fall.
Rockstar is one of the rare companies who can afford to launch their game at any point and still allow it to become a huge seller. In fact, GTA V is still making it onto the NPD's top 10 charts for physical sales within the U.S., and it's been four years since the game released.
Ultimately, it boils down to how well people are made aware of the game, and how good the game actually is. A solid gameplay experience with a strong marketing campaign can easily get people buying and picking up the product, even during the off season. Heck, just look at the sales of the Nintendo Switch and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild... who would have thought a spring release would allow them to top the charts a couple of months in a row?
While the delay is obviously a blow to those who were looking forward to Red Dead Redemption 2 this year, many gamers are fine with the delay if it means that Rockstar can further polish up the game.