Red Dead Redemption 2 looks set to ride home with the title of biggest game of the year, and 20 million in sales, according to industry analysts. Developed by Rockstar Games, the action-adventure game is the third in the Red Dead saga and serves as a prequel to the 2010 original. Inspired by westerns, Red Dead Redemption 2 tells the story of Arthur Morgan, a member of the infamous Dutch Van der Linde gang. Requiring at least 60 hours to complete, and with an immense attention to detail that even includes shrinking horse testicles, it's already being hailed as the "Game of the Decade".
Rockstar has been wracked with controversy lately, following allegations of excessive work hours and general staff mistreatment. Strongly denying the accusations, the company has tried to keep attention firmly on the game. Although it was released only two days ago, their efforts appear to have paid off. Fans around the globe are already deeply immersed in the vast open-world they've created. As well as living an outlaw lifestyle, players are able to engage in everything you'd expect in the wild west, from hunting (if you can find The Trapper) and poker to robbing trains and bonding with horses.
According to predictions (via Gamingbolt), that engagement is going to translate into a level of commercial success that far exceeds previous expectations. It is currently being estimated that 8 million copies of the game will have been sold within three days. The success of the launch has already seen a boost in the stocks for Take-Two. Industry analyst Michael Pachter went a step further, offering the belief that somewhere between 17-20 million units will have sold by the end of the year. Pachter goes on to elaborate that the sales ration swings in Sony's favor, with the PS4 set to out-sell the Xbox One by around 2:1.
It remains to be seen how accurate the overall assessments will be, especially given the fact that the game won't hit independent stores until November. Given the passion that is already been demonstrated towards the game on social media, and the praise for every aspect of the game, those speculated figures seem far from outlandish. Whether Red Dead Redemption 2 ultimately reach the same lofty heights as Grand Theft Auto V, which shipped 95 million copies, only time will tell. However, this is very much a promising start.
It wasn't too long ago that gamers were swept up in the web-swinging heroics of Marvel's Spider-Man. Already, however, people appear to have firmly swapped in their masks for their frequently misplaced cowboy hats. With various gaming modes to explore, countless side missions to enjoy alongside the main story arc, and Red Dead Redemption 2 Online still on the way, fervor - and profit - is sure to continue at least right through the holiday periods.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is now available worldwide for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.