Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2 is scheduled to hit the PS4 and Xbox One on October 26, which is just two days away from the time of this post’s writing. Based on the popularity of the franchise and Rockstar’s pedigree, I’m predicting that the game’s release will cause a noticeable drop in the player base for five recently released AAA video games. I’m not saying the loss of active players will turn these five games into virtual ghost towns with tumbleweeds blowing through their servers, but I do expect the amount of concurrent players will drop noticeably. If you begin to struggle to get your gaming buddies together for a session, or can’t find anyone to talk about something cool you did while gaming with one of 2018’s hottest releases, then there’s a good chance you’ll be feeling the effect of Red Dead Redemption 2’s release.
The five games below are the ones that I feel will be most impacted by the release of Red Dead Redemption 2. They’ve all released within the past two months, and all of them have been very popular with gamers. With that being said, I do believe all of them will experience a drop-off in active players beginning on October 26, and some may never fully recover their numbers due to Red Dead Redemption 2’s release, as well as natural gamer fatigue that games experience after the allure of their launch wears off.
I’ll be ranking the list in order based on which games I feel will lose the most player base to Red Dead Redemption 2, so number five will be the least affected, while number one will be the most affected.
5. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is the newest title to be featured on this list, which is part of the reason why it is in the number five position. The game is still new enough that players who have been addicted to it may not be ready to kick their habit quite yet. The fact that this game is multiplayer-mode-centric, also bodes well for its player base not being too effected by the release of Red Dead Redemption 2. Gamers are eating up Battle Royale games these days, and Black Ops 4’s version of it has been praised as being one of the best, so there’s a great chance that multiplayer-focused gamers will stick with their bread and butter in favor of going for a more single-player focused experience.
4. Forza Horizon 4
This game, like Black Ops 4, more than likely won’t suffer too much at the hands of Red Dead Redemption 2 thanks to the fact that its genre is so much different. A racing game, and a third-person action title are polar opposites of each other in terms of the experiences they can offer, so the type of gamer who would have went out and picked up Forza Horizon 4 during its launch, may not be too concerned about playing the next Red Dead. Racing is such a unique genre that fans of it may not care for other genres at all, which is highly unlikely, but still a possibility considering how much different the genre is from others. Forza Horizon 4 has nearly limitless gameplay options too, since it doesn’t really have a defined campaign, so die hards and completionists could very well still be dedicated to the 100% complete cause.
3. Marvel’s Spider-Man
The PS4 exclusive Spider-Man just got new DLC this week, which should help to keep its hardcore base of players engaged with it, but due to the fact that it’s been out for a while, and that it is a single-player focused game like Red Dead Redemption 2, I do anticipate players putting it down to play Rockstar’s latest game. They’re just too similar in terms of genre, so the same type of gamer who was rabid to play Spider-Man, probably feels exactly the same way about the Red Dead sequel. Plus, like I hinted earlier, many gamers have already played through Spider-Man by this point in the AAA fall release rush, so they’re itching for a new adventure anyway. The fact that new DLC just released is the only reason why this game is one spot higher than my number two choice.
2. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
AC Odyssey is a massive game that has almost too much content to explore, so if you’ve been slow with your progress, or somehow powered through all it has to offer in just a few weeks, you’ll probably be feeling pressure to put it down for a bit when Read Dead Redemption 2 releases. This game, like Spider-Man, is somewhat similar in terms of genre to Red Dead 2, so players who went for Odyssey, are probably also very interested in what Rockstar’s new western has to offer. Unlike Spider-Man though, there is no brand new DLC content to try and convince existing Odyssey players to stick around during Red Dead 2’s launch. I could see the grind of this excellent AC game also causing players to jump ship early to start their Red Dead 2 adventure, because it can take upwards of 45-50 hours to really get into the meat of Odyssey, so certain players may be willing to try something new even though they haven’t completed the campaign.
1. Destiny 2: Forsaken
Bungie’s latest flavor of Destiny 2 is an easy choice for being number one on this list, namely because it’s the oldest AAA fall 2018 release, so naturally, its player base has already been waning due to the draw of other massive releases that followed it. Destiny, regardless of which flavor you’re playing, also goes through natural fatigue after each new expansion, so while the hardcore players will stick with the grind regardless of which AAA games are coming out, most players come in for the new content, eat it up for a few weeks, and then move on to the next big release. I fully expect Destiny 2: Forsaken’s player base to take a major hit on October 26, and it probably will remain low until the next expansion comes out.
While these five games won’t just disappear from the gaming sphere after Red Dead Redemption 2’s release, I do believe they’ll all suffer a noticeable drop in their active player bases do to it. Some will fair better than others, and a few may become ghost towns for a few weeks, but that’s just the power of a Rockstar Games new release, so by no means is it a knock on the games themselves, because they’re all awesome in their own right.
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