Earlier this year, reports began to emerge which suggest that Grand Theft Auto V Online has made developer Rockstar over $500 million in microtransactions alone. While that number pales in comparison to the $800 million in worldwide revenue that the game generated within 24 hours of its release, it’s a notable figure that would tempt any developer into rethinking just how value they can get out of every single high-profile release.
It’s also a figure that will almost certainly impact Red Dead Redemption 2.
This week, Rockstar set the internet ablaze when they teased the reveal of their long-awaited sequel to their 2010 wild west classic. There weren’t many details available at the time (there still aren’t), but that didn’t stop fans from dreaming of a game that would once again place them in an untamed world of cowboys and outlaws in order to re-enact their favorite cinematic moments. After all, that was the experience the first game offered, wasn’t it?
Yes it was. However, fans that found themselves dreaming of that same game again because there is now a “2” after Red Dead Redemption need to realize that the much larger and more significant number is 500 million.
On the surface, the success of GTA‘s online mode shouldn’t impact Red Dead Redemption. Whereas the nature of Grand Theft Auto had fans dreaming of an online experience for years (getting your own gang together, wrecking havoc on the city with your crew, etc.), Red Dead Redemption was a comparatively more solo experience. The game had a multiplayer mode, but it was largely ignored in favor of a story that some considered to be the greatest ever crafted for a video game.
It’s telling, then, that one of the first features Rockstar advertised for Red Dead Redemption 2 is its online multiplayer. It wasn’t anything more than a mention that the game will have online multiplayer, but it stands out when you consider that the original games multiplayer was probably its least notable aspect.
Expect that to change with Red Dead Redemption 2. While Rockstar would be foolish to do something like abandon the sequel’s single-player entirely, everything from their promotional art featuring multiple characters to their quick reference to the pending multiplayer mode does suggest that Red Dead Redemption’s post-release stage is likely to feature a far greater emphasis on multiplayer content.
You may think that there’s no way Rockstar would ever do something like fail to release a single-player add-on to Red Dead Redemption 2 similar to the original game’s Undead Nightmare expansion, but when you consider that the company has not released one piece of single-player DLC for Grand Theft Auto V despite the piles of money that same content made them for Grand Theft Auto IV, then you begin to realize that a new era of Rockstar multiplayer titles may soon be upon us.
After all, $500 million is a big number, but doubling that figure opens up an entirely different world.