‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ rakes in $725M for Rockstar Games in blockbuster weekend debut

Rockstar Games has another hard-boiled hit on its hands: Old West adventure game “Red Dead Redemption 2,” which landed Friday, lassoed $725 million in sales worldwide in its first three days.

That places the massive explorable open-world game as the No. 2 game out of the gate, just behind Rockstar’s “Grand Theft Auto V,” the biggest seller of all time, which took in $1 billion in its first three days when it launched five years ago on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013.

“GTA V” has gone on to make more money than any other single game title, selling nearly 100 million copies and reaping $6 billion in revenue, according to MarketWatch.

The three-day start makes “Red Dead Redemption 2” the single-biggest opening weekend in “the history of entertainment,” Rockstar said in a press release detailing the game’s achievements. That means the three-day sales for the game, prices of which start at $59.99 (rated Mature for those 17-up), surpasses opening weekends for blockbuster movies such as “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

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“Red Dead Redemption 2” also tallied the biggest full game sales marks for one and for three days on Sony’s PlayStation Network, Rockstar said. It was also the most pre-ordered game on Sony’s online network.

Reviews for the game have rated it among the best ever. It earned a 97 on Metacritic, earning it a tie for No. 6 best ratings all-time, along with games such as “Super Mario Galaxy” and “GTA V.”  

Piper Jaffray Co. senior research analyst Michael Olson estimated Rockstar sold about 11 million copies in its first three days. That means Olson’s initial estimate of Rockstar selling 15.5 million copies of “Red Dead 2” in its fiscal year, which ends in March 2019, “appears conservative,” he said in a note to investors Tuesday.

“Clearly, with RDR2 first weekend sell-through exceeding CoD: Black Ops 4, it now appears RDR2 estimates may have been overly conservative,” Olson wrote.

Shares of Rockstar’s parent company Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) rose about 8 percent in early trading Tuesday to $120.55.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.

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