Last week, Rockstar Games delayed Red Dead Redemption 2 for the second time, pushing the much-anticipated western to October 2018. Take-Two, the parent company of Rockstar Games, today held its first earnings call since that announcement. CEO Strauss Zelnick commented on the delay, reiterating what Rockstar said–that it needed more time to polish the game–adding some further words of his own on the news. Perhaps most notably, Zelnick said he is “confident” that the game won’t be delayed again.
“The entire focus of this organisation is on delivering the highest quality entertainment experiences of any kind,” Zelnick said. “More often than not, we feel proud that we’re able to do that. All of our labels are focused on releasing a title when they reach that apex of effort and perfection. And in this instance, Rockstar Games felt more polish was required, and naturally we are in favour of that decision [to delay Red Dead Redemption 2]. The date of October 26 is set, and I am confident that will be the release date. We are incredibly excited about it.”
Red Dead Redemption 2 was previously scheduled for a springtime release. Regarding its new date, Zelnick said Take-Two as a company has experience releasing games throughout the year. The holiday season, however, can be advantageous, Zelnick said, as consumers tend to spend more during that time of the year. And while Red Dead Redemption 2 will go up against new instalments in the Battlefield and Call of Duty franchises, there is less competition than there was a decade ago, Zelnick observed.
“We release titles all over the calendar. Heading into the holiday season can be a particularly powerful time and I’d observe that while there are some competitive releases, it’s a lot more of an open field today then it was 10 years ago,” he said. “There’s plenty of opportunity to go around So we’re really excited about [Red Dead Redemption 2] and the timing related to the launch.”
Finally, Zelnick discussed Rockstar’s ambition to never rest on its laurels but instead continually push forward with new and innovative ideas. Rockstar stands alone in this regard, Zelnick argued.
“[Rockstar Games] never ever rests on the past and is utterly focused on innovation and breaking barriers, with an eye towards an amazing entertainment experience,” he said. “It’s easy for me to say those words [but] exceedingly hard to do. And I would argue impossible for others to replicate [what Rockstar Games does]. What we mostly feel around here is a sense of enormous gratitude to our colleagues at Rockstar Games…”
Zelnick went on to say that Take-Two, as a company, is not driven by financial considerations as its main focus.
“A genuine, not financially driven commitment to quality comes first,” Zelnick said. “Thankfully, we run what we believe is a highly rational, exceedingly disciplined business environment, which gives people who are creative a very safe place to do their very best work.”
In other news, Take-Two’s newest earnings report showed that GTA Online continues to make lots and lots of money from microtransactions. We also learned that GTA V has now shipped an astonishing 90 million copies.