Is Epic Games Store to Blame for Red Dead Redemption 2’s Poor PC Sales?

December 24, 2019 12:47 AM UTC
On the Epic Games Store, the game only sold around 408K units in the first month. That's nothing compared to other launches.
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 is now on PC, but the first month’s sales haven’t been great for the EGS version.
  • Sales don’t seem much better on Steam either.
  • It may not be Epic Games Store’s poor reputation which has caused such a shoddy PC release.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is a pretty damn popular title. It had the second biggest launch of any entertainment product when it came out last year. Now it’s finally made its way to PC and…sales haven’t been amazing. On the Epic Games Store, the game only sold around 408K units in the first month. That’s nothing compared to other launches such as Borderlands 3, which came in at 1.78 million units in its first month.

While at first, it might seem like Epic Games Store’s bad reputation has struck again, things aren’t that cut and dry. There are several other factors which have almost certainly had an impact on RDR2’s performance on PC marketplaces.

The sales for Red Dead Redemption 2 haven’t really been that great on Steam either from what we can tell. | Source: Steam DB

Epic Games Store Is Only Part of the Reason for RDR2’s Poor Sales

Epic Games Store really isn’t all that popular. Many people do not like their aggressive business tactics and therefore end up shunning the store. This will certainly have made an impact on sales but probably not that much of an impact. Borderlands 3 was an Epic Games Store exclusive, and that sold like hotcakes. Clearly, there is something more at work here.

Firstly, there’s the simple matter of timing. RDR2 was only exclusive to the Epic Games Store for a single month. Not that long to wait, especially considering the game actually came out a year ago anyway. It’s not much of a difference for people who want a version of the game that comes with achievements and community features.

There is an even bigger factor which looms over RDR2 and its poor PC sales more so than any level of Epic Games Store exclusivity. The factor in question is just how bad it seems to be running on PC in general at the moment.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Didn’t Even Sell That Well on Steam

The best sales figures we can get for the Steam version aren’t that much better. Using Steam Spy, it’s possible to see that a very vague 200,000-500,000 people currently own RDR2. If the bottom figure is accurate, the sales are way under-performing the Epic Games Store sales. If the top figure is right, then they’re barely doing any better.

On the game’s Steam page you can see that it currently has ‘mixed’ responses from players. Digging through the reviews it becomes pretty clear that this PC port does not run properly for many people. There are complaints about glitches, errors, and being dropped from games consistently. With this much bad press floating around for the port, it’s no wonder it hasn’t sold tons.

Both Epic Games Store and Steam versions can be assumed to run in pretty much the same manner. After all, both are just the same game running on the same platform, just through different launchers. It seems pretty clear that even if the game had come straight to Steam, it wouldn’t have made that big of an impact on sales. Most of the people who wanted to play it already did, and no one else wants to play a game buggier than pre-update Skyrim.

Gerelyn Terzo edited this article for CCN.com. If you see a breach of our Code of Ethics or find a factual, spelling, or grammar error, please contact us.

Last modified: June 12, 2020 6:50 PM UTC

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William Worrall is a professional writer based out of the UK who has been writing about video and tabletop games for over a decade and has covered industry events such as EGX and UKGE. Visit his website, contact him at william.worrall@ccn.com, see his LinkedIn profile here, or check him out on Muck Rack.