Today, during a Take-Two earnings call, the publisher’s CEO, Strauss Zelnick, responded to the $50 price tag attached to the upcoming PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch ports of beloved cowboy adventure Red Dead Redemption. According to him, that’s the right price. And he had no additional news for PC players hoping to play the classic game on their preferred platform.
On August 7, following endless rumors online, Rockstar announced new PS4 and Switch conversions of the original Red Dead Redemption. The PS4 version will also be playable on PS5 and, alongside the Switch port, will launch on August 17. Fans weren’t happy though, as the ports appear to be just that, rather than a more ambitious remake or remaster. Sure, it’s nice that a beloved game like RDR will now be available on more platforms, but the $50 price tag, along with news that these new versions wouldn’t include multiplayer or any enhanced visual options, led to plenty of people online being (rightfully) disappointed. And now, the day after announcing the news, Rockstar parent company Take-Two Interactive held an earnings call in which its CEO seemed impassive to the fan disappointment and backlash.
As reported by IGN, after the earnings call, Zelnick was asked why the publisher had picked such a high price point for the relatively barebones ports, especially as the 2010 Xbox 360 version is cheaper and has been out for years via backward compatibility.
“That’s just what we believe is the commercially accurate price for it,” Zelnick said.
Take-Two’s EVP of finance, Hannah Sage, mentioned that the newly revealed releases aren’t just the original Red Dead Redemption, but also include the DLC expansion, Undead Nightmare. When Zelnick was asked if the expansion being included was the reason for the $50 price tag, he didn’t give a straight answer.
“[Red Dead Redemption] was a great standalone game in its own right when it was originally released, so we feel like it’s a great bundle for the first time, and certainly a great value for consumers,” the CEO replied.
The original Xbox 360 Red Dead Redemption is currently $30 on the Xbox store and Undead Nightmare is $10. That adds up to $40, less than the $50 price tag of the upcoming, plain-jane ports. (And keep in mind that many players already bought the Xbox 360 version back in the day, so won’t have to rebuy the game to enjoy it via Xbox Series X/S backward compatibility.)
Take-Two dodges questions about Red Dead Redemption coming to PC
When Kotaku asked for a follow-up statement via email, a Take-Two representative declined to comment further on the game or Zelnick’s answer. Take-Two also ignored questions about the existing backward-compatible Xbox 360 version.
Continuing the trend of ignoring or dodging questions, during the post-call meeting, Zelnick was asked by IGN about a possible PC port of RDR, and answered vaguely, telling the outlet he leaves those announcements for studios to make.
“It depends on the vision that the creative teams have for a title,” said Zelncik. “And in the absence of having a powerful vision—for something that we would do with a title—we might bring it [back out] in its original form. We’ve done that. And in certain instances we might remaster or remake, so it really depends on the title and how the label feels about it, the platform, and what we think the opportunity is for consumers.”
I didn’t spot an answer in that mess of vague words and sentences. Perhaps, after Red Dead Redemption re-releases on PS4 and Switch on August 17, we can get a PC version, or at least a better answer as to why there might never be one.