Will Rockstar Ever Play Nice with PC Gamers?
Red Dead Redemption 2

It’s that time of year where companies are releasing all sorts of earnings reports. This means we sometimes here about plans for current and future games. One of the companies to do such a thing is Take-Two, the parent company of Rockstar Games. You know what that means; people are looking for any kind of Red Dead Redemption 2 tidbit and hoping for details on the game. Notably, whether or not it would come to the PC.

Of course, nothing definitive was said. When asked about whether or not major games would come to PCs, President Karl Slatoff said, “The great news is that the PC market is vibrant for us. It’s a great market for us. It’s a big market. It’s a core market in consumers that are highly engaged. It’s a predominantly digital market, which also removes friction in terms of ongoing engagement with a consumer. So, for us, the PC market as a company is very important and very exciting and something we focus on.” But when it came to specifically pinning down a Red Dead Redemption 2 PC release, CEO Strauss Zelnick said, “Any updates about any of our titles will come from our labels.” Such things might make people worry. They shouldn’t, though, because Rockstar would be crazy to not put Red Dead Redemption 2 on PCs. 

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With Rockstar, it seems like it is more about prudence. Let’s look at some of the company’s most recent titles. L.A. Noire is a multiplatform adventure that launched on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in May 2011, then appeared on PCs in November 2011. Bully first appeared on the PlayStation 2 in October 2006, then the Wii and Xbox 360 in March 2008, before finally landing on PCs in October 2008. Manhunt 2? It was on the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, and Wii in October 2007, but didn’t come to PCs until November 2009. Most recently, there is Grand Theft Auto V. It showed up on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in September 2013, released on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in November 2014, and only came to the PC in April 2015. Do you see a pattern?

These are all huge and important releases. They all appeared on consoles first. Then, after Rockstar Games had time to work on things, they showed up on PCs a year or so later. There’s a delay. Which isn’t a problem, seeing as how the games do get there eventually and typically end up looking and working really well when they do. There is a precedent where the company isn’t rushing things to make sure everything is out at once just for the sake of having a simultaneous release. Time is invested.

Red Dead Redemption 2

But someone may say, “The original Red Dead Redemption never came to PCs.” That is true. There’s something else to consider. These days, consoles and PCs are doing a better job of keeping up with one another and staying on similar levels. Systems have become easier to develop for over the years. Even comparing the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. The former was much more difficult to develop for. The early 2010’s were a busy time for the company too, working on GTA IV additional content, preparing for games like LA Noire, Max Payne 3, and GTA V. Now, in 2017, we know they have more time available to them. Red Dead Redemption 2 can become a priority. And who knows, maybe taking the time to push it to 2018 will also give the company a chance to see if a PC version could appear shortly after launch.

The facts all add up. Rockstar Games and Take-Two both know how important PC is as a platform. They realize the demand is there. But, the companies have never been ones to rush Rockstar ports. Things will happen in their own time. Progress is being made, and we have to trust that Red Dead Redemption 2 will hit all of the major platforms capable of playing it either in 2018 or shortly after. After all, Rockstar has always been a company that moves to its own beat and doesn't cave in to demands or peer pressure.

Jenni Lada
Jenni Lada
JMariye

Site Editor
Date: 08/07/2017

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