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"Break-Even Estimate" For Red Dead: 4 Million Copies

Obviously, Red Dead Redemption is one of the generation's best, and it comes highly recommended by most every critic on the planet.

But will that be enough for Rockstar to make money on their blockbuster title? According to Industry Gamers, the developer calls their Western epic their "most ambitious game to date" and although sales may have already climbed over 1 million, it'll need to sell more...a lot more. Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey increased his initial prediction of 2 million copies sold to 3.6 million, but even so, the project's "development expense exceeded $70 million+, suggesting 4 million unit ship break-even estimate." On the good side, Signal Hill Capital Group Todd Greenwald said RDR continues to "kill it" at retail and the game is selling "extremely well." He added:

"We believe management originally budgeted Red Dead to ship 1-2M units during the quarter, but is now seeing demand for at least 2-3M units. As a result, many retailers were quickly left out of stock, which is now driving robust re-orders. As a result, we think Take-Two could see sales of 3M units in the July quarter, and as much as 4-5M units by the end of the year. We are raising our Q3 estimates to reflect 3M units, up from 2M units."

Most analysts admit to being wrong about Red Dead Redemption; many were skeptical because Western-themed video games have historically done very little in terms of retail sales and furthermore, it's not a widely recognized series name (despite the fact that there was another "Red Dead" earlier, known as Red Dead Revolver). Still, the strength of the review score has made this one a hit...let's just hope it reaches GTA numbers for the sake of the designers.

Related Game(s): Red Dead Redemption

6/4/2010 9:20:05 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (46 posts)

Vito_Scaletta
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 9:37:19 PM
Reply

Hope they earn enough to make a sequel.

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GuernicaReborn
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 9:59:42 PM

You mean a threequel. Or trilogy. A third game.

Agree with this comment 6 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

HAMCHUNKS
Saturday, June 05, 2010 @ 3:26:34 AM

RDR is not a sequel
if memory serves me rite, R* picked up red dead revolver from a different studio already almost done and just basically helped get to a marketable product, then took their own jab at the western genre with Read Dead Redemption, don't associate RDR with red dead revolver plz its it own game in mine and many others mind

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GuernicaReborn
Saturday, June 05, 2010 @ 9:51:36 PM

If it's truly it's own game, why didn't they choose another name for it? Red Dead is now the R* western series, whether or not the storylines have anything to do with each other. If a third Red Dead comes out, it will be the third game. Not necessarily a sequel or trilogy, but a third game. Much like the Final Fantasy series.

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HAMCHUNKS
Sunday, June 06, 2010 @ 12:53:54 PM

you want to know why its not a series, cuz it was made by a different studio!!!!!!
dang man how hard is the to grasp, they got their hands on it late! the concept, art direction, major game mechanics, ect was not chosen by them

sure the name is similar, but because they had little effect on the game and got to try some things on red dead revolver is why its called a spiritual successor and not a sequel. im sure red dead revolver had some success and are looking to capitalize on some of the little kiddies who remember the game fondly LOL

Last edited by HAMCHUNKS on 6/6/2010 12:55:43 PM

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HAMCHUNKS
Sunday, June 06, 2010 @ 12:58:12 PM

also, i have never played red dead revolver but im sure it bares few similarities to the GTA series, or none compared to RDR, which one really shows R*'s handy work? dont you think if it red dead revolver was a true R* game it would have carried more experience, knowledge and style of the R* franchises?

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GuernicaReborn
Tuesday, June 08, 2010 @ 1:06:22 PM

You want to know why it is a series? because the playstation website has a forum called Red Dead Series.

You shot yourself in the foot when you said you never played the first one. They both have Dead Aim. The storylines were both written by R*. Whether you like it or not, it is a series.

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GuernicaReborn
Sunday, June 20, 2010 @ 2:39:48 AM

Dude, you are a moron. How can you make a comment about the experience, knowledge and style of Revolver if you've never played it? Do me a favor if you ever come back here. Go to youtube and look up 'Red Dead Revolver Capcom'. Look at the gameplay for that trailer, then look up gameplay for R*'s version. Two different games, and like I said, the storyline was all R*. So get a clue before post that keyboard vomit.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 9:55:54 PM
Reply

This is where analysts need to work that head in ass syndrome. The theme isn't that big of a factor when the product quality is high enough. These guys can't get much right, but they have no trouble altering figures when it suits them.

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Zorigo
Saturday, June 05, 2010 @ 8:02:36 AM

Good point, heavy rain was a stab in the dark, but the quality meant it was a good game.
Its kinda like the hype for Mirror's Edge, good game, great premise, but lacked the better features. talking of that, once i've finished infamous, i might replay mirror's edge. it did have its issues, but as a first game, it was pretty good.

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GuernicaReborn
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 10:04:11 PM
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If they do make another Red Dead, they won't have to spend as much. They have most of the formula already in place. They just need to read a bunch of L'Amour books and spin another quality western story together.

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AluShady
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 10:20:59 PM
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Word of mouth is key to success for a game like this. I saw a guy at gamestop buying a completely different game until 1 employee and 2 other customers suggested RDD and he bought that instead. But i do enjoy the game and hope they sell well.

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Lawless SXE
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 10:22:24 PM
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Oh, silly analysts, when will they learn that guesswork will get them nowhere. As for selling 4 million units, I don't doubt it can be done. Rockstar developed games have always generated enormous interest, as have great games and RDRedemption is both.

Now to sit back, and wait for the announcement of Red Dead Revelations at E3 2012. Peace.

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bOnEs
Saturday, June 05, 2010 @ 8:34:22 AM

lol, my money is on, "red dead revenge"...

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 10:23:35 PM
Reply

That's a lot of money for a western on the GTAIV engine isn't it?

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carl0975
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 10:43:45 PM

I think you might be oversimplifying it, there were some pretty major changes to the GTAIV engine, dead eye alone probably took quite a bit of coding.

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Kangasfwa
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 11:04:57 PM

The RAGE engine was actually created for RDR and used for GTAIV.

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Natalisrubbish
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 11:33:30 PM

@ Kang
Yeah I could see that being the case, RDR production started in 2005, before production of GTA IV began I believe, so that would makes sense.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, June 05, 2010 @ 3:16:30 PM

I guess my point is it makes me wonder how much of the development cost gets blamed on each game that uses the engine ya know?

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Deleted User
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 10:33:01 PM
Reply

Technically, a RDR 2 would be a sequel since RDR is only a spiritual successor to Read Dead Revolver...not a direct sequel. So let's hope they make enough for a direct sequel to RDR...at least it's successful enough critically to merit a sequel.

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GuernicaReborn
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 10:39:36 PM

I'd like to see another storyline with completely different characters and setting. The American west has so many heroes, outlaws, and settings, so why focus on one man's story when you can tell a different story with each installment? It works with Final Fantasy.

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carl0975
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 10:42:13 PM
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The free outlaws to the end dlc will most likely help sell a few more copies to those who were sitting on the fence.

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eLLeJuss
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 10:53:36 PM
Reply

4 Million to break even? They have got to be lying. I would say 2 million units to break even.

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Qubex
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 11:05:06 PM

Yes, I have to agree...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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fluffer nutter
Saturday, June 05, 2010 @ 12:37:09 AM

Don't forget all of the money that was spent on R&D, marketing through video ads and print ads, advertising, among other things. They have to put all of those variables in to figure out if the expenditures were justifiable.

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eLLeJuss
Saturday, June 05, 2010 @ 10:13:49 AM

4 Million to break even is still bull. Thats around 200,000,000 mark to split between the producers developers and all the other stuff if the price was 59.99 each unit. If it is then they were probably living the life while making the damn game. A game doesn't need a super high budget to be great. Look at our exclusives, MGS Uncharted Demon Souls LBP. Great games but all have yet to reach the 4 million mark. Rockstar is just being greedy, they probably think they should be payed $1000 bucks an hour.

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Highlander
Friday, June 04, 2010 @ 11:37:48 PM
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I said this when they announced that it cost $100million to make the game. Several people disagreed. As I said at the time, the publisher probably only ever sees about 50-70% of the sticker price (not sure of the exact numbers, but there are so many hands the game goes through) so they would need to sell about 3-4 million copies just to make back the investment.

Dammit, I need to be doing this prediction thing for a living.

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___________
Saturday, June 05, 2010 @ 2:38:00 AM
Reply

worth every penny they spent on it!
im still baffled how the aiming system just got through though, i mean it is the most important system in the game your going to be using it a hell of allot and its well to put it nicely its fu*ked!
if im traveling at speed how the ^%$# am i suppose to see a tiny red dot?
like thats not hard enough, it blends in with the background too because almost everything in RDR is red or orange so that makes it even harder to see!
like it was not hard enough already!!!
ask me to shoot a ant from space why dont ya!!!

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HAMCHUNKS
Saturday, June 05, 2010 @ 3:23:12 AM

well i have been playing non stop this game since release, and even on multiplayer i have taken off auto aim and the aiming is just fine, i have no problems with it, only its clunky controls which are ok most times.

you need glasses or to adjust your tv dude the game is fine

oh btw, the game is great! a must buy!

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Bjorn77
Saturday, June 05, 2010 @ 4:41:28 AM

The game has flaws, no doubt. The fact that I want to use Dead Eye and in stead he turns around... and I get shot.

I kidnap some lady, put her on the railroad. I turn my horse to get a better view... The lady is gone.. vanished...

I press R1 for cover and he jumps at the wrong side of the stone. I die again.

I Sneak upto a gang location, get of my horse trying to sneak, but my horse just follows me... I cannot hitch him to tree.

Is it annoying? Hell yeah! Do I hate the game? No! I love it!!

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___________
Saturday, June 05, 2010 @ 9:24:41 AM

and where did i say i hate it or its a bad game?
im just saying its frustrating having to shoot over such a large distance at speed with a reticule i cant see.
if it was bigger than it would be easier to see because it would not blend in so much.
if it was a different color to the background than it would not blend in at all!
its like doing a painting, you have the backdrop as red than have humans all painted in red too.
how the ^%$# are people suppose to see anything besides a slab of red?

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eLLeJuss
Saturday, June 05, 2010 @ 10:15:49 AM

___________ : I dont think anyone said you hated the game.

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HAMCHUNKS
Sunday, June 06, 2010 @ 12:49:37 PM

well like i said bad controls and some problems with cover and aiming, LOL how R3 turn you around OR gets you in red eye LOL just make sure you pressing L1 hahahahaha

the not being able to see the reticle is a problem i have never had.....stop fighting in escelra LOL

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ffyfe7
Saturday, June 05, 2010 @ 8:54:04 AM
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Yep RDR is awesome! Unfortunatly my PS3 died on me about 3 missions from the end so now I must start again but the thing is...is that I don't care! the game is that good and it just means that ill be bad instead of good, I mean who hasn't wanted to shoot everyone at the poker table to get your money back after a bad game...I know I have!

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Darwin1967
Saturday, June 05, 2010 @ 9:18:07 AM

LOL!! I so know what you mean...so I did that last night just to see what would happen.

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Darwin1967
Saturday, June 05, 2010 @ 9:17:37 AM
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I would expect to see sales jump, especially once people see the 'free' DLC appear on the PSN (and Live) June 22. I LOVE the fact that they are releasing free DLC for what is fast becoming my favorite game!!

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firesoul453
Saturday, June 05, 2010 @ 11:02:48 AM
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Its not exclusive... I'm buying it used...

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Superman915
Saturday, June 05, 2010 @ 11:48:41 AM

you know something... I respect that. thumbs up for you.

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Caanimal
Saturday, June 05, 2010 @ 5:56:43 PM
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Wait a moment, they have sell 4 MILLION copies just to break even?!!?!? Something isn't adding up, they have sold about 1 million copies so far, if you just go by the US Dollar that should be about $60 million, leaving them 10ish million more to break even... I think they are exagerating a bit... Oh well, what ever their math it's a great game and I'm more then happy I bought it, I'm sure they will make their money back and then some, as long as not to many buy it "used"...

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PHOENIXZERO
Saturday, June 05, 2010 @ 6:52:31 PM
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They're not seeing the full $59.99, obviously you have to take off what retailers get. The game was in production for a good five years, that's a lot of time to spend working on a game. There are many factors that need to be taken into account before a profit is made. I could certainly see the total project cost and other factors meaning they need to sell that many just to break even. I think Rockstar or someone associated with Rockstar said awhile back that Rockstar had no expectations at this point of making profit from the game but Rockstar SD wanting to prove they could make a AAA quality game.

After five years (the first few of which this project was in total shambles) I'm sure they spent A LOT of money on things that ended up not working out.

Video games started to rival Hollywood in budgets last generation without even having to pay actors/actresses huge salaries, it's no surprise they would continue to do so during this one and it's only going to get higher.

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RebelJD
Saturday, June 05, 2010 @ 9:08:00 PM
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Ouch.

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CharlesD
Sunday, June 06, 2010 @ 1:28:05 AM
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I very well could be getting my calculations wrong, but it would seem that they would have already profited from the current sales.

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Knightedrik
Sunday, June 06, 2010 @ 7:25:32 AM
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"The project's development expense exceeded $70 million+, suggesting 4 million unit ship break-even estimate."

That's ok Rockstar, I'm sure you'll hit that mark before this game wins Game of the Year, if not.. you most definately will after.

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A2K78
Monday, June 07, 2010 @ 2:16:04 AM
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fact: only small handful of games these day are really profitable, that compared to last gen where 500k sold was considered a profitable title.

For record, technically Uncharted 2 is an unprofitable title in real world numbers, but given the fact Sony have money to throw around the 2 million sold is obviously satisfactory to them

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A2K78
Monday, June 07, 2010 @ 2:16:07 AM
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fact: only small handful of games these day are really profitable, that compared to last gen where 500k sold was considered a profitable title.

For record, technically Uncharted 2 is an unprofitable title in real world numbers, but given the fact Sony have money to throw around the 2 million sold is obviously satisfactory to them

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firesoul453
Monday, June 07, 2010 @ 9:46:11 AM

Sony actually made millions from that game. (Though not all direct profit)

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