Well, it didn't.
As reported by Videogamer , Rockstar vice president Dan Houser mentioned that his company was told a western video game would be a flat-out "disaster." Yes, really.
Of course, this was before the critically acclaimed Red Dead Redemption shipped 5 million units within a few weeks of release, and well before it ended up selling 13 million copies all told. But in speaking about the upcoming Grand Theft Auto V , Houser had this to say in looking back at the development period for RDR:
"We loved Niko and felt he was a very strong lead protagonist for a game, and we were starting to get into John Marston. We were still being told a western was going to be a disaster, but we thought we were going [to] make something interesting with a strong character that you started to fall in love with."
That may sound ridiculous now but in truth, I sorta see where the "disaster" angle comes from. I mean, I was a little hesitant about the idea, too. Before RDR, there really wasn't a huge blockbuster Western-themed game, and don't forget that Rockstar was attacking that project as they attack most projects; i.e., spared no expense. Plus, we had heard a lot about a five-year design plan for the game and if you combine that with the absence of Western heavy hitters, being lukewarm about RDR almost made sense.
I don't know about the "disaster" part, though. Rockstar typically doesn't have anything to do with "disasters."
Related Game(s): Red Dead Redemption