Red Dead Redemption 2 has shifted a remarkable 45 million units since hitting the shelves in 2018. In fact, it accounts for around two-thirds of all copies sold from the entire Red Dead Redemption franchise.
Take-Two Interactive published its most recent earnings report, which showed that 68 million units had been sold globally across the Red Dead Redemption franchise. However, some 45 million of these were linked to the latest Red Dead Redemption 2 release.
As a matter of fact, these latest figures have seen Red Dead Redemption 2 move further up the rankings of the ten best-selling video games of all time. It used to be the tenth best-seller, but the latest sales figures have seen it move up a place into ninth, ahead of Wii Fit.
Wii Fit has so far sold 43.8 million units worldwide, so Red Dead Redemption 2’s 45 million sales have seen it overtake the original headline game on the Nintendo Wii. It’s also gaining ground fast on the eight best-selling video game, Pokémon Red/Green/Blue/Yellow, which has shifted 47.5 million units globally since its release.
Of course, there are some games that are streets ahead of Red Dead Redemption 2 in the commercial stakes. Minecraft is way out in front as the best-selling game ever, with 238 million units sold worldwide. Rockstar Games’ most successful ever release, Grand Theft Auto V, remains the second best-seller with 160 million units sold. Vintage arcade title Tetris has endured impressively on this leaderboard and remains third with 100 million units sold worldwide.
What gives Red Dead Redemption 2 such longevity?
First and foremost, this video game helps to bring to life the cowboy culture. It’s a title that’s made cowboys cool again. With such an immersive, open-world game, it’s almost the perfect replication of cowboy life on the frontier. Each town you explore on foot or horseback feels like an adventure in its own right. Every area has its own unique sights and sounds, which all adds to that exploratory feeling.
Red Dead Redemption 2 also incorporates a string of mini-games in the same way as Rockstar successfully achieved in the GTA franchise. There are a quartet of games to uncover along your way – including a knife-wielding game known as Five Finger Fillet and classic saloon-based games like poker. Texas Hold’em poker dates back to the late 19th century and early 20th century and was born in these similar atmospheric, saloon environments like the ones Rockstar creates in Red Dead Redemption 2. As with most card and table games, it’s vital to immerse yourself in the multiple aspects of this historic pastime, spanning hand values, betting rounds, showdowns and more. All of which will set you off on the right footing. There’s also a dominoes mini game that you can play with other in-game characters and members of your gang at the camp. Just head over to the park in Saint Denis to find the domino tables. This simple tile-based game is another with multi-faceted game dynamics and has long been enjoyed by groups of friends and communities, especially in frontierland, although its roots date much further back than this to the Song dynasty in ancient China.
The open-world hunting features are one of the most gloriously addictive parts of this game too. In fact, some argue that the hunting system is so detailed and multi-dimensional that it could be a video game on its own. Mastering your weaponry and learning which one works best per animal is a satisfying experience and never gets old.
Like any good open-world video game, Red Dead Redemption’s durability is largely down to its authentic cast. Each character you encounter is a memorable one. Every person has their own unique personality and characteristics that leave a mark on the game. It’s a testament to Rockstar Games’ authentic script writing, giving depth to each cast member with back stories and real voices. It would have been all too easy for certain members of this impressive gang to be left by the wayside and underdeveloped but that couldn’t be further from the truth here.
Sticking with the cast theme, Rockstar really hit the jackpot with the creation of Dutch Van Der Linde, who is undoubtedly the most remarkable villain of any Rockstar Games title released. At face value, you’re encouraged to keep Dutch at arms’ length. However, as the story evolves, you’ll warm to him and, on occasion, agree with his viewpoint on life. It’s a perfect reminder that all is not what it appears on the surface.
Where Rockstar goes next with the Red Dead Redemption remains to be seen. A remastering of the original has been mooted, but one thing is for sure, this franchise will have playability for many years to come.