Normally when we’re talking about someone peaking, there’s a veiled suggestion that they’re on an inevitable downslide. When it comes to Rockstar Games, though, it’s nothing of the sort. They just happened to climb the highest peak in history and it seems like there aren’t any mountains left for the studio to climb.
Cowen & Company analyst Doug Creutz says that even if Red Dead Redemption 2 sells like gangbusters (and it will), it’ll never reach the heights of Grand Theft Auto V.
“That’s not to say Rockstar won’t have other big hits – it may – but another GTAV isn’t likely,” Creutz told Marketwatch. “Michael Jackson had a lot of hit albums, but he only had one Thriller.”
It’s been estimated recently that GTAV might be the most successful piece of entertainment media of all time. With over 90 million copies sold, the game’s haul is in the neighborhood of $6 billion.
Creutz says accurately that GTAV is a ‘wild outlier,’ with only a few exceptions like Mario Brothers being in the same neighborhood, and then only if you count all the Mario games. The game initially launched in 2014, but it was still in the top ten best-selling games in 2017.
Grand Theft Auto VI will happen. Just like Skyrim will get a sequel, so will GTA. It’s a matter of time for both. But because those games continue to sell so well so long after their initial releases, the companies have the luxury of taking their time. They don’t have to update their games annually or bi-annually like Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed.
It seems like the question is less about whether you bought GTAV and more about how many times you bought. Could GTAVI beat GTAV? It’s possible, but it’s tough to climb this high over and over, and Rockstar might have to resign itself to cruising along on games that are merely ‘hugely successful’ instead of entertainment-industry-dominatingly successful.
Rockstar has its next chance at success this fall when Red Dead Redemption 2 hits PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on October 26.