"Red Dead [Redemption] has been in production for six years (mainly because of horrible management/lack of direction due to fear of disrespecting Rockstar NY) and it will never get the money back in sales it cost to create for those six years," claimed another source.
We asked Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter to estimate how many copies he thinks Red Dead Redemption needs to sell to make back its development costs and, more importantly for Take-Two, to be profitable. "I'd say realistically, if everybody [at Rockstar San Diego] was working on it this whole time -- so let's assume it's four years to be fair [Red Dead Revolver was released in March 2004], that's $40 million (about $10 million a year to run the studio) -- to make that back and just break even you need at least $80 million in sales; 1.75 million units. For profit: $160 million/3.5 million units."
Pachter added that "it's got a shot" and that, from what he's seen of the game, "it looks phenomenal." Our sources are less hopeful, unfortunately: "The functional team that was Midnight Club was shattered. All the people who didn't quit or get fired were thrown onto Red Dead Redemption, many of them being demoted. The completely disfunctional team that is RDR was put to top priority. The people who had floundered on that project or outright screwed it up were promoted and are now in complete control of the studio, and they're running it into the ground." We'll have to see when the game arrives in stores this April -- if it does.
We contacted Rockstar for comment on this story and have yet to hear back as of publishing.
Update: We were contacted regarding this story by one Rockstar source, who told us: "It will take