Next week is a pretty momentous occasion for the game industry, as Rockstar Games will launch Red Dead Redemption 2, one of the most anticipated titles in years. However, while retailers and gamers will be able to celebrate, some stores won’t be so lucky -- namely indie stores or “mom and pop” game shops.
A report from Kotaku indicates that, based on what they were told by several independent retailers, Rockstar won’t be shipping their copies of Red Dead Redemption 2 to sell until early November.
This will lead several customers to either download the game to their consoles instead or pick them up elsewhere; and that’s something likely to hurt these shops.
“I’m telling you: Gamers don’t like to wait,” said Zach Gieg, owner of a series of Pennsylvania video game stores. “We have a very loyal customer base, per se, but I don’t think I’d want to wait for a week. It’s ridiculous. They’re gonna download it or go elsewhere and buy it at a big box retailer.”
On top of that, it doesn’t look like GameFly, the video game rental site, won’t be getting it early either. “Our supplier has indicated that we will not receive the game prior to its release date,” the company explained to Kotaku. “At this time, we do not expect to ship PS4 discs before Wednesday, November 7th. We understand Red Dead Redemption 2 is a very popular game and apologize for the delay.”
Neither Rockstar nor Take Two have commented on the matter, but it could be a matter of anti-piracy. “Mom and pop” game stores have a tendency of selling games prior to street date, and GameFly could accidentally ship games out prior to their release date, thus giving someone the opportunity to leak code online for others to copy and download.
This ties in with a theory from Video Games New York owner Daniel Mastin, who noted, “They want a distribution chain they control.”
There could also be a concern with supply issue, since the retail version of Red Dead Redemption 2 will reportedly be printed across two discs instead of the usual one.0comments
That said, some stores are confident that consumers will wait for them to sell it. For instance, Derek Holland, a game store owner in Colorado, said, “We have some pretty great customers. We’ve reached out to everybody who preordered the game and told them the deal. A lot of them have been fine waiting the extra week to support our business and help us out.”
We’ll see what kind of effect the release has when Red Dead Redemption 2 releases on October 26 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.