After 8 long years, Rockstar Games made their fans’ dreams come true by finally releasing one of the most anticipated games of 2018: Red Dead Redemption 2 on PlayStation 4 and XBox One. Within the first 3 days (October 26 – 28), the game grossed $725 million in retail sales, racked up 1942 videos, and hit 9.6 million views on YouTube — becoming the biggest entertainment launch of 2018.
We did a data dive into how the game is performing on YouTube for the past 15 days, and compared it to how 5 other action-adventure games and Fortnite (because of its astonishing popularity, and it’s Fortnite) progressed in the first month since launch. We then did a similar analysis on 3 titles that also made it as Metacritic’s best video games for 2018.. thus far. Interestingly, our findings suggest that Red Dead Redemption 2 could be paving its way to surpass the popularity of God of War on YouTube.
The data is brought to you by Matchmade – every few minutes, we analyze all gaming-related channels and videos on YouTube. That’s over 3M channels, 300M videos, and over 20 000 games.
Data disclaimer: The viewership data we provide is based on the latest view count of videos that could have accumulated at any given point.
Red Dead Redemption 2 vs Other Action-Adventure Games + Fortnite
We started our analysis by comparing the performance of Red Dead Redemption 2 to other popular action-adventure titles and Fortnite: Fallout 4, Grand Theft Auto V, God of War, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and the original Red Dead Redemption. According to the data on the Matchmade platform, Grand Theft Auto V, God of War, and Fallout 4 are taking the lead on YouTube by gaining the following number of videos and viewership during their first 30 days:
- 1) Grand Theft Auto V: 13 930 videos and 2.8 billion views
- 2) Fallout 4: 12 477 videos and 1 billion views
- 3) God of War: 6 266 videos and 685 million views
Red Dead Redemption 2 is ranked fourth in these graphs as there were already 5260 videos published and 272 million views about it on YouTube in just 15 days. More importantly, the data available tells us that this game even exceeds Fortnite’s performance in its first month since launch as Fortnite only gained 981 videos and 100 million YouTube views then (but grew astronomically shortly after). It also shows that the number of Grand Theft Auto V-related videos on YouTube is three times greater than the number of YouTube videos on Red Dead Redemption 2. As for viewership, the graphs indicate that Grand Theft Auto V has 10 times more views on YouTube than RDR2.
Red Dead Redemption 2 vs Other 2018 Highly Scored Games on Metacritic
As Red Dead Redemption 2 PlayStation 4 and XBox One both received a score of 97% and are ranked as number 1 + 2 on Metacritic, we continued our analysis by looking at the performance of 3 titles that are also listed as Metacritic’s best video games for 2018: 3) God of War (94%), 4) Celeste (94%), and 5) Undertale (93%).
For these graphs, Red Dead Redemption 2 is ranked second with God of War in the lead. They both reached the number of YouTube videos and viewership listed below:
- 1) God of War (30 days since launch): 6266 videos and 685 million views
- 2) Red Dead Redemption 2 (15 days since launch): 5260 videos and 272 million views
Based on the data above, Red Dead Redemption 2 is only halfway through its 30 days, and is 1000 YouTube videos and 4 million views away from catching up to God of War. With more than 2 weeks left, it’s possible that the game will surpass this mythology-based action-adventure game on YouTube.
So, why do we speculate that this is possible?
- It is a project by Rockstar Games AND a sequel to the immensely popular 2010 Red Dead Redemption.
- It is cinematic (even has a Tarantino’s Hateful 8 atmosphere), and most importantly, the title is in AAA quality. As we’ve mentioned previously, there are many games on YouTube that are very popular (Granny, Baldi’s Basics in Education and Learning, and Minecraft) but don’t have great quality graphics. However, it is also common for many AAA-quality games (God of War, Fortnite, and SCUM) to have super high viewerships, and we have little doubt that Red Dead Redemption 2 becomes and remains one of them.
- Rockstar Games officially announced that Red Dead Redemption 2 will be released, and even published its first trailer back in 2016 — which was most likely when the hype for the title started. According to the data on the Matchmade platform, there were already 821 videos published and 43 million views on YouTube about RDR2 on the first day of launch. It is only fair to speculate that the game’s popularity will continue to soar as Rockstar Games is revealing the release date for the game’s multiplayer component, Red Dead Online, at the end of the month.
- Diversity in play: the game can be played from two perspectives (third and first-person), and in both single as well as multiplayer modes. Aside from making the game more interactive (than it already is) and the viewership more entertaining, these features will strengthen the game’s long-term appeal (something that most single-player only games lack) on YouTube.
- It does take a while to get into gameplay, which increases demand for written guides, videos, and advice on how to progress in the game.
- It is accessible across multiple platforms: Playstation 4, Xbox One, and, as previously mentioned, PC soon.
However, one could argue that it remains to be seen if Red Dead Redemption 2 retains this much interest later on as many other story-driven games (e.g. God of War and Grand Theft Auto V) tend to decline 1 – 3 months after its launch. What do you think?
Let us know by tweeting or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org to join the discussion, or even sign up to our biweekly newsletter to stay up-to-date. In the meantime, take a look at some of the funny RDR2 videos we’ve found on YouTube: