This year began with reports of trouble at Rockstar San Diego, developer of Red Dead Redemption. Accusations of harsh conditions by a person claiming to be an overworked employee's spouse led to further accusations that the open-world Western's development was in trouble. Rockstar Games denied both claims and asserted in January that Red Dead Redemption would ship on April 27 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Unfortunately, Rockstar's claims were premature. As part of its quarterly earnings report today, Rockstar parent company Take-Two Interactive announced that Red Dead Redemption has been slightly delayed. The game will now mosey into North American stores on May 18 and on May 21 in other territories.
Speaking to analysts after the report, Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick said that the delay was because May provided a better release window and would allow Take-Two more time to market the game. He also said that economic conditions "are on the upswing" and that "coming out of an economic downturn is a good time to release a Western."
Also pushed back is Mafia II, which had been scheduled for release sometime during the first half of the calendar year. The game is now due during Take-Two's fourth fiscal quarter, which runs from August to October.
It will be a busy three months for the publisher, which also plans to release L.A. Noire, Max Payne 3, and Sid Meier's Civilization V during the period. So busy, in fact, that Take-Two president and CEO Ben Feder is already laying the foundation for more delays. This afternoon, he stated that the company's fiscal outlook allows for "one of those games being pushed into the next fiscal year."
Mafia II has been in development since at least 2007 at 2K Czech (nee Illusion Softworks) in Prague for the PC, PS3, and 360. Like its predecessor, it is an open-world game set in the 1940s and 1950s in a fictional US city beset by organized crime--of which the player is (naturally) a part.