Take-Two CEO says the $50 price tag on the multiplayer-free PS4 and Switch port of Red Dead Redemption 1 is 'commercially accurate' actually

John Marston wields a revolver.
(Image credit: Rockstar)

Red Dead Redemption 1 is exchanging its dead-console shackles for a set of dying-console handcuffs on August 17, and people are understandably less than thrilled about it. In particular, they're unhappy about that $50 price tag, which might seem a little steep for a "conversion" of an old game that's coming to outdated consoles (and not PC) without features—like multiplayer—that have been present on the Xbox back-compat version for ages.

But not to worry, because Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick is emphatic that the price of the RDR port is "commercially accurate," a phrase so redolent of the boardroom that it causes physical damage to people without MBAs. In plain English, Zelnick means that the $50 price tag reflects the value of RDR 1 plus its Undead Nightmare DLC. In even plainer English than that, it means Take-Two thinks it's a price they can get people to pay.

"That's just what we believe is the commercially accurate price for it," Zelnick told IGN after yesterday's Take-Two conference after the outlet questioned the RDR1 port's pricing. Take-Two's executive vice president of finance, Hannah Sage, also jumped in to point out that the bundle includes both RDR1 and Undead Nightmare, the first game's spooky expansion campaign. Zelnick added that Undead Nightmare "was a great standalone game in its own right when it was originally released," so Take-Two reckons the new port is "a great bundle for the first time, and certainly a great value for consumers."

Well, that's all well and good, but you can currently obtain a more feature-complete version of RDR1 on the Xbox store for $30, and then load it up with all its DLC—Undead Nightmare included—for $13. That is, hang on, let me do the maths, a $43 price tag on a version of the game that comes with functioning multiplayer and a suite of Xbox Series S/X back-compat enhancements. I gotta say, that $50 tag on the upcoming Switch/PS4 version still seems awfully high to me, no matter how commercially accurate it is.

Not that any of this means much to you and me, of course. No version of Red Dead 1 is available on PC outside of emulation, a situation that looks unlikely to change anytime soon. IGN did press Zelnick on the potential for a PC release of RDR down the line, but the CEO demurred. Release announcements, he said, were up to the devs. Call me cynical, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.