When you have one of the most anticipated games of the year coming up you're going to garner a lot of interest from gamers, and amid all the anticipation there can also be worry.
Over and over again, fans find ways to draw comparisons between Red Dead Redemption 2 and Grand Theft Auto 5 even though the two are fundamentally different on multiple levels.
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And yet, due to these comparisons, Rockstar and Take-Two have had to reaffirm their dedication to single player experiences, explain that expecting Red Dead Redemption 2 to match GTA 5's sales is unrealistic, and now, tell us that monetizing every aspect of their upcoming title isn't at the top of their to-do list.
GTA 5's multiplayer mode, GTA Online, allows players to purchase in-game currency with real money. There aren't any lootboxes, no RNG, no way to get an unfair advantage with purchases inaccessible to other non-spending players - you can only buy currency. This is hardly the most nefarious monetization scheme in the gaming industry, and Shark Cards have helped fund years and years of free DLC.
However, if some elements of the community are to be believed, the aforementioned also means that Red Dead Online is guaranteed to be a microtransaction-laden purchase-fest which you can only enjoy if you pump endless amounts of cash into the game.
This assumption is flawed from the very beginning, but nonetheless its spread across the fanbase to the point of becoming a widely held concern.
In fact, the concern has became so prevalent that Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick touched upon the topic in a recent interview with GamerDaily.biz. Zelnick was speaking about Take-Two's goal of keeping Red Dead Redemption 2 players engaged after release.
What we haven't talked about is any path to monetization because it's just not our primary concern. Our primary concern is keeping consumers engaged.
It's true that no official word of what any of the game's monetization models, if any, will look or work like - but then again there has been very little official word about anything at all. While a recent surge in official info seemed substantial compared to the utter drought that preceded it, broken only by occasion announcements of delays, we still don't know a whole lot about the game, or at least less than we'd like.
In every interview he's given, Zelnick always highlights that instead of thinking strictly in terms of "what will sell well?" the company focuses on making the best games they can, banking on the quality of their work making it sell, not a slavish adherence to trends.
He maintains that their mission with Red Dead Redemption 2 is ultimately to create the best Western the industry has ever seen and they're well on track to accomplish that.
Red Dead Redemption 2 remains one of the most anticipated games of the year and will be released on the 26th of October.