No doubt you’ve already heard that Rockstar Games have announced Red Dead Redemption 2, scheduled to release in Fall of 2017 on PS4 and Xbox One (which has already led to the creation of online petitions from PC gamers who feel wronged), and the internet is understandably hyped. It’s been 6 years since we’ve had the original Red Dead Redemption and it’ll be 7 years by the time the game actually releases (plus, 99% of all AAA titles get delays these days so who knows if it won’t fall back into 2018), that puts it into The Last Guardian territory when it comes to time spend waiting, of course Rockstar have been releasing other titles in the meantime, but for those of us who have been craving a return to Rockstar San Diego’s vision of the Old West, it’s been a long, long time coming.
Rockstar Call The Shots
Of course we all kind of knew that a new Red Dead was coming, from a Take Two boss referring to the series as a permanent franchise, a la GTA, to Kinda Funny’s Colin Moriarty claiming to have a trustworthy source telling him that RDR2 was originally going to be revealed at Sony’s E3 2016 conference, a lot of fans were waiting with bated breath this year. And then on October 16th Rockstar showed us what we already knew, they don’t need a conference, they don’t need to rely on anyone else to hype up their game, the only thing they needed was their own company logo with a damn palette swap and a single tweet, they let us do the rest, just look at the retweets.
— Rockstar Games (@RockstarGames) October 16, 2016
And THAT is the power that Rockstar Games wields, and deservedly so, only a couple other studios could maybe pull off something like that, Naughty Dog with TLoU 2 maybe and perhaps pre-Fallout 4 Bethesda (oooh controversial!). These are the guys who gave the world GTA V which broke all kinds of records and made them Scrooge McDuck levels of cash on it’s first day alone, never mind the subsequent PS4/X1 re-release, nor the subsequent PC release, and let’s not even touch on the half a BILLION dollars that GTA Online has gone on to make them just yet.
I imagine parent company Take Two made sure Mafia III was out the door before they let Rockstar reveal RDR2 but once they could, they simply hopped on twitter, gave us 3 tweets in 3 days, a short blurb on what to expect and then a ‘oh yeah, we’ll drop the trailer on Thursday’. How envious must other studios be looking at this situation play out? With 3 tweets Rockstar have generated more hype than other titles could only dream of getting and take a moment to think about all the devs out there who must now consider getting their game out of the Fall 2017 window.
Red Dead Online Vs Single Player
Now, let’s go back to that half a billion that GTA: Online generated for Rockstar and how that has undoubtedly shaped the game that we’ll be getting next year. Personally I was a big fan of RDR’s free roam mode, just dicking around with randomers, throwing knives at people’s horses and all that, I even wrote a series of articles about my griefing exploits which sadly were lost when Takuchat.com became Sidearc.com. I also really enjoyed GTA Online, especially the Heist update and all the updates they’ve released since ditching the last gen versions of that game. My point being I’m really, really interested in seeing what Red Dead Online (RDO, has a nice ring to it) can be, especially when it’s going to be built from the ground up with current gen consoles in mind, hopefully meaning less loading screens and more dynamic events that take place in the free roam lobby.
Co-op is another thing that proved successful in GTA: Online, the online heists were expertly tailored for 4 player co-op and people responded by playing them over and over again, trying out different roles and new techniques. However I’m seeing a lot of people worry about the possibility of RDO having a negative impact on single player but I don’t think that’s going to be a problem because of one simple reason…Rockstar are not stupid.
Sure they know Online can make them a whole heap of cash but that doesn’t mean they are going to ignore what made their first Red Dead so successful, the free roam was fun but that game was all about it’s single player, the story it told, the memorable characters it had and of course that ending. I believe Rockstar take great pride in their work, they’re creating art after all, and if they didn’t they wouldn’t be the kind of company that can set the internet on fire with a simple, wordless tweet.
Oh and PC gamers, don’t worry, I’m sure RDR2 will arrive on Steam at some point…or it won’t.