Up For Debate - Red Dead Redemption 2 off to slow Steam launch, did anyone bother to wait?

Written by Jon Sutton on Sat, Dec 7, 2019 3:59 PM
System Requirements Optimum 1080p PC Build Low vs Ultra Screenshots GPU Performance Chart CPU List That Meet System Requirements GPU List That Meet System Requirements

A new Rockstar game launching on Steam is huge news. Or at least, we always thought it was. Times change though; the industry shifts. Red Dead Redemption 2 launched on Steam on Thursday, arriving not so much with a bang but with the rasping noise emitted by a cowpoke who’s spent one too many starry nights living on canned beans. 

On its first night on Steam, Red Dead Redemption 2 peaked at just under 12,000 concurrent players. Fortunately for Rockstar, this number doubled to 24,000 by Friday. Despite this, it still means that fewer people are playing Red Dead Redemption 2 on Steam right now than are playing Civilization VI, Euro Truck Simulator 2, Monster Hunter World, or even Terraria. In fact, it’s less than a quarter of the number of people who are playing Grand Theft Auto V right now, a game which is now almost five years old.

These are absolutely not the figures we expect from a flagship Rockstar release. Compare it, if you will, to GTA 5’s release. Grand Theft Auto 5 hit a peak of 364,548 concurrent players at launch. RDR2's peak player count is just 6.5% of this figure. Look at Halo: Reach, as well. Microsoft’s shooter peaked at 161,024 Steam players despite being available on Game Pass as well. Halo Reach has sold 2 million copies in a week, making it the second biggest Steam launch of the entire year. Either something’s gone very, very wrong for Rockstar here or it speaks to a number of other potential reasons.

The first and most obvious thing is that Red Dead Redemption 2 has already been out a month on PC. You could only buy it through the Rockstar Games Launcher or the Epic Games Store but you could buy it all the same.

Epic Store ‘haters’ are very vocal but there’s been a sneaking suspicion for a while now that they are a minority, and this could lend further credence to that school of thought. The vast majority of gamers don’t frequent Reddit to put developers on blast. In fact, most probably don’t discuss games online at all. They hear about the games they want, they buy them from one of the places available to them, and that’s about it. These folks probably couldn’t help but overheard the news that Red Dead Redemption 2 was coming to PC but could definitely miss the fact it would be coming to Steam a month later. Even armed with that knowledge, the simple fact is most people simply couldn’t care less that the Rockstar Games Launcher doesn’t have community features or user reviews, it’s literally nothing more than a point of sale which sits between them and playing the game they want.

That’s not the only factor at play, of course. Some will have already played Red Dead Redemption 2 on consoles. RDR2 inherently has less mass appeal than GTA 5. Plenty will have been put off by talk of Red Dead’s poor PC performance. 

Then there’s price to consider. Paying $60 for a game on day one is one thing. We all know the feeling of wanting to get in there and play at the earliest possible moment - to ride the wave of hype. The problem is, every day after launch, that $60 price tag begins to look less and less appealing. Hype subsides and sale prices begin to enter our minds. Heck, RDR2 has already been discounted by 20% on the EGS. Not only are you waiting longer to play the game through Steam, you’re also paying more.

The fact it’s got to boot through the Rockstar Games Launcher regardless of where you buy it kind of makes the original storefront moot anyway. Why wait an entire month just add another layer through which Red Dead 2 must boot? It takes a special kind of loyalty to Steam to see it through to the bitter end.

With so many factors at play it's almost impossible to determine exactly what's going on here but this certainly isn't the huge launch we've come to expect from Rockstar. Millions of copies of Red Dead Redemption 2 may have been sold through the Rockstar Launcher and EGS for all we know, or the performance reports could've scared folks off.

Based on the information we do have then, what do you think is to blame for Red Dead's slow start on Steam? And where did you end up buying your copy? Let us know below!

Where did you buy Red Dead Redemption 2?

Login or Register to join the debate

Rep
106
Offline
admin approved badge
01:06 Dec-14-2019

Ill rather get the goty edition. Sad rockstar has opted to making DLC for online and not single player DLC

1
Rep
1
Offline
22:08 Dec-12-2019

I thought I'd wait for Steam release but didn't had the patience for that, bought it on Rockstar Launcher. The game is great, I play mostly online.

0
Rep
21
Offline
19:47 Dec-12-2019

Still waiting.


Personally, RDR 2 should have just stayed on the consoles if they were going to put forth such a poor effort releasing this for PC.

0
Rep
-1
Offline
12:31 Dec-12-2019

I played on friends console a long time ago newer games more important, bring to PC same time as console is a thing for me & if already played before.

0
Rep
-1
Offline
23:40 Dec-11-2019

Im saving money for ice borne for pc and cyberpunk

0
Rep
1
Offline
01:11 Dec-13-2019

i mean cyberpunk doesnt come out until April soo

0
Rep
-4
Offline
14:32 Dec-11-2019

Launched the same day as halo

1
Rep
13
Offline
06:05 Dec-09-2019

Never gonna buy it! Never bought GTA V either.IF they put the first on PC,we will consider...

2
Rep
26
Offline
13:54 Dec-08-2019

It's a broken mess so no wonder.

6
Rep
13
Offline
15:22 Dec-12-2019

Thats not true and you know it. That is just mildly exxagerated. I havent had any issues with my game and have been playing it since launch

1
Rep
9
Offline
15:39 Dec-12-2019

So let's be very clear.. just because you have been fortunate enough to play the game without any issues, doesnt mean its false. I am having issues with it 2.

1
Rep
9
Offline
15:41 Dec-12-2019

The launcher has been giving repeated crashes and freezing unexpectedly. The end result is that they didn't do quality assurance testing on their title prior.

0
Rep
13
Offline
16:00 Dec-12-2019

Yeah, that wasnt what i meant though verry unclear and badly explained. What I meant was that the culture right know is jump on the hate train and just spread ****, this isnt the case with RDR2, there have been alot of issues.

0
Rep
24
Offline
13:30 Dec-08-2019

After GTAO, I'm going to wait for a Steam sale and then pick it up since there probably won't be any DLC as they will focus on the Online aspect of the game.

4
Rep
18
Offline
11:54 Dec-08-2019

Rockstar this time tried really hard to double dip into people's pockets. So even theit next games are a no buy for me until they release everything on all platforms simultaneously.

8
Rep
7
Offline
07:17 Dec-08-2019

I think its not because most people bought it earlier, its because people are not buying it.

9
Rep
-3
Offline
07:17 Dec-08-2019

Well it does not take a genius to realize the fact that the game has poor optimization(does not run well even on high end hardware)and had a broken launch with discounts even in the 1st month.I am not buying this game anytime soon.I would rather play it pirated first just to be sure its worth my cash.

4
Rep
105
Offline
05:57 Dec-08-2019

Waiting for a 70% discount, not worth 60 bucks for a 1 year old game, also the thechnicall issues put me off buying it.

6
Rep
8
Offline
20:53 Dec-08-2019

Knowing Rockstar you are gonna wait a long time before that discount

3
Rep
9
Offline
15:44 Dec-12-2019

Lol you're absolutley right. Rockstar games rarely lose value. They are like Apple products in that sense.

0
Rep
11
Offline
05:50 Dec-08-2019

So u want me to pay such a huge amount only for renting it, yeah right. That too for a game which is not optimized.

8
Rep
11
Offline
05:52 Dec-08-2019

I'd rather buy it from GoG or w8 some more to play Cyberpunk2077 instead.

10
Rep
34
Offline
21:15 Dec-08-2019

This one isn't rented. You buy it, you play it. It's not in a paid subscription.

1
Rep
17
Offline
admin approved badge
04:15 Dec-08-2019

There are many factors that could be why the steam launch is muted, from the reports of the myriad of issues the game of Epic and even Rockstars own store have had, the fact that its straight up broken for some people and the fact that even the base normal game is a bit pricey. People might be reasonably waiting for it to be in a playable state or just waiting for christmas, I know I am.

2
Rep
136
Offline
02:00 Dec-08-2019

I am waiting for it to go on sale, currently $90 AUD for Standard Edition and up to $140 AUD for Ultimate so it's a pricey atm. Waiting until Xmas sale (maybe -15%) or Back-to-School sale (-20%+)

0
Rep
96
Offline
admin approved badge
00:10 Dec-08-2019

After GTA5 I just don't feel like ever buying a Rockstar title again.

3
Rep
9
Offline
00:04 Dec-08-2019

I've played on my friend's PC and It's poorly optimized
I've played both Rockstar Launcher and Steam version and they both are the same too many glitches and crashes I'd rather play GTAV than RDR2

1
Rep
107
Offline
admin approved badge
21:37 Dec-07-2019

I bought it on the Rockstar launcher, pre-ordered like a day or two before for the free special edition upgrade. I wanted it anyway and was unaware of the issues. it was still playable for me and I thoroughly enjoyed the story, though it was really slow-paced, the moments of intensity really popped. 9/10 story, 8/10 mission variety, 3/10 free roam because the world's so big and there's not much to see besides woods and more woods, though the vast difference between "states" is really cool.

0
Rep
272
Offline
admin approved badge
22:18 Dec-07-2019

I've not played much of the game yet, but it does seem very slow-paced in general so far.

0
Rep
107
Offline
admin approved badge
06:38 Dec-08-2019

yeah after the tutorial (the whole winter bit) it does pick up but it's still rather slow going from place-to-place because most of the time you're wanted and can't fast travel. luckily you never have to cross the whole map, but it's way slower than RDR1, and I think that's fine for what it's going for. It doesn't start hitting you fast and hard until the last..2 acts-ish of the story.

0
Rep
154
Offline
admin approved badge
21:28 Dec-07-2019

With Halo Reach being out I'm gonna put in a couple 100s hours into it before I consider getting RDRD2.

1

Can They Run... |

| 30FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen 5 2600X 6-Core 3.6GHz Radeon RX 5600 XT Sapphire Pulse 6GB 16GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 720p
Core i3-4030U 1.9GHz Intel HD Graphics 4400 Mobile 2GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Low, 1080p
Ryzen 5 2600X 6-Core 3.6GHz Radeon RX 570 4GB 16GB
100% Yes [3 votes]
| 60FPS, Low, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz Radeon RX 570 4GB 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| High, 1080p
Ryzen R5 1600 GeForce GTX 1070 Ti MSI Gaming 8GB 16GB
Ryzen 9 5900HX 8-Core 3.3GHz GeForce RTX 3080 16GB Mobile 32GB
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 5 2600 GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB 8GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| Low, 1080p
Core i5-4570 3.2GHz Radeon HD 7970 OC Sapphire Edition 16GB
Core i5-9600K 6-Core 3.7GHz Radeon RX Vega 64 Gigabyte 8GB 16GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1440p
Ryzen 5 5600X 6-Core 3.7GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Zotac Gaming Twin Edge 8GB 16GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 2060 Super 8GB 16GB
Xeon Processor X5690 GeForce GTX 1070 Zotac AMP! Xtreme 32GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i7-870 Quad 2.93GHz GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 Edition 12GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i9-10900X 10-Core 3.7GHz GeForce RTX 2070 Super Gigabyte Gaming OC 3X 8GB 32GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i7-7700K 4-Core 4.2GHz Intel HD Graphics 630 Mobile 32GB
0% No [2 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i7-4770K 4-Core 3.5GHz GeForce RTX 2080 EVGA XC Gaming 8GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Zotac Gaming 6GB 16GB
100% Yes [4 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i5-11400H 6-Core 2.20GHz GeForce RTX 3050 Mobile 8GB
| 30FPS, 720p
Core i7-5500U 2-Core 2.4GHz GeForce 940M 2GB 8GB
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i7-3770 4-Core 3.4GHz GeForce GTX 1070 Gigabyte G1 Gaming 8GB Edition 16GB