Red Dead Redemption 2 won’t be arriving in independently owned video game stores until November. Since the game’s announcement two years ago, fans of the first Red Dead Redemption have been eagerly awaiting the prequel’s arrival. The Western action-adventure game will follow the story of Arthur Morgan, a member of the Dutch Van der Linde gang fans will remember from the first game.
Rockstar Games revealed the ability to switch between third and first-person, an exciting new option for players. Red Dead Redemption 2 will be getting its own online multiplayer as well, titled Red Dead Online. Rockstar has been busy capitalizing on the preexisting hype in preparation for the game’s release. But not all news has been good news, with Rockstar's Dan Houser speaking out about employees working 100-hour work weeks. The story raised questions about the working conditions of the team behind the game’s development. Now there’s more negative news for Rockstar with the reveal that not all stores will get the game on time.
Kotaku has reported that a number of independent stores, plus the gaming rental service GameFly, won’t be receiving their copies of the game until November. GameFly sent an email to their customers, alerting them of the news, writing:
“Our supplier has indicated that we will not receive the game prior to its release date. At this time, we do not expect to ship PS4 discs before Wednesday, November 7. We understand Red Dead Redemption 2 is a very popular game and apologize for this delay.”
Store owners aren’t sure of the reasoning behind the decision, with some reporting that distributors told them of a problem with the supply chain. Another theory among people the outlet spoke to is that Rockstar fears some of the local retailers may break the street date and the delayed release is the company’s way of controlling distribution. A few stores have said it is possible they’ll receive Xbox One copies on October 26, but those retailers appear to be in the minority, with numerous independent stores saying it’s unlikely they’ll get any copies at all.
The news has local retailers worried and understandably so. By being forced to miss out on the first week following the Red Dead Redemption 2’s release, independent stores are guaranteed to lose a lot of sales. Gamers unwilling to wait for one of the year’s most anticipated releases will likely turn to bigger retailers to purchase their copy. Smaller stores will be forced to play catch up after the initial excitement has passed. Regardless of the reasoning behind the decision, independent stores will be hurting, losing out not just in sales but in their customers’ confidence.