When a big truck is bearing down on you, you either brace yourself or get out of the way. That’s what Ubisoft had to do with Red Dead Redemption 2, which had previously been set to release this fall. When Rockstar chose to delay its hotly-anticipated western, then, the company let out a collective sigh of relief.
“Clearly the fact that there is no Red Dead Redemption is a positive for our fiscal year 2018,” said Ubisoft CFO Alain Martinez during the company’s earnings call this week. “This is something we had to take into our [financial] assumptions. So the absence of that game is of course giving us a better window for the launch of some of our games.”
It’s still a business
Ubisoft says its too early to say for sure how much of an effect the delay will have on its sales, but the French publisher can’t be the only company breathing easier this fall. Publishers like EA, Bethesda, and even a juggernaut like Activision take notice when a Rockstar game is dropping. The last one that came out, Grand Theft Auto V, is the best selling full-priced game ever. The only games bigger than GTAV are Tetris, Minecraft, and Wii Sports.
As gamers, the idea that a Rockstar game was delayed is more of a presumption than it is a surprise. Game publishers, on the other hand, have to assume that Rockstar is going to deliver games when they say they are and account for that. They have to be flexible enough to shift back and forth when things change, but they can’t assume Rockstar is going to change course like we can.
With games like Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, Assassin’s Creed: Origins, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, and updates for Rainbow Six Siege and For Honor coming in the next few months, Ubisoft has a lot to be thankful for this fall now that the beast that is Rockstar is sleeping for a bit longer.