Red Dead Redemption prequel outsells 2010 game within eight days
The maker of Red Dead Redemption 2 has said the record-setting game racked up more global sales in its first eight days than its predecessor managed in eight years.
Rockstar, the Edinburgh-based, USowned firm which is also behind the Grand Theft Auto mega-franchise, said it “sold in” 17m copies of the American frontier game to retail outlets in its first 13 days on the market. The “sold in” tally is the number of copies of the £50 game have been ordered and shipped to retailers, not its consumer sales figures.
However, the game has proved red hot with fans. It clocked up $725m (£558m) in sales on its opening weekend, making it the second biggest launch of any entertainment product and few of the 17m shipped are likely to be left on shelves.
This means that in less than two weeks the title, which has received outstanding reviews and numerous “perfect” scores from games critics, has effectively outsold the estimated 15m lifetime sales of the original Red Dead Redemption, released in 2010.
The only title to enjoy a bigger launch is Grand Theft Auto V, which made $1bn in its first three days, and has gone on to sell over 100m copies.
“The original game was well received but because of the [Western] setting it didn’t at that time stoke the embers of excitement from traditional Rockstar fans more used to Grand Theft Auto,” said Piers Harding-Rolls, head of games research at IHS Markit.
“With Red Dead Redemption 2 the wait has been so long and the critical reception so good the huge Grand Theft user base has proved ready to try out a new Rockstar product.”
Sales of the game have outstripped analysts’ expectations and Take-Two Interactive, the parent company of Rockstar, raised its full-year revenue and profit forecast as a result.
“Red Dead Redemption 2 sold in more units in its first eight days than the original blockbuster Red Dead Redemption sold in its first eight years and, as of today, the title has sold in over 17m units worldwide,” Strauss Zelnick, founder and chief executive of Take-Two, told investors at the company’s quarterly financial update.
In the UK the gaming business is the largest in the entertainment sector. Sales of games software alone, both digital and boxed games, rose 8.3% last year to a new high of £3.56bn.
By comparison, box office revenues from UK cinemas hit £1.4bn last year. The UK music industry made £1.2bn from the sale of CDs, streaming subscriptions and vinyl records. And total revenues from digital video – which includes services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, Apple’s iTunes and Sky’s on-demand store – as well as sales and rental of DVDs reached £3.35bn.
“Games have the ability to outperform some of the biggest movies and music album sales,” said Harding-Rolls.