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Frustrated Red Dead Online fans get a pretty dire update from Rockstar

Red Dead fans don’t care for it at all

Red Dead Online - two cowboys, one young woman and one older man, pose for battle. The man is on horseback and the woman has a revolver at the ready. Image: Rockstar Games
Cass Marshall is a news writer focusing on gaming and culture coverage, taking a particular interest in the human stories of the wild world of online games.

GTA Online and Red Dead Online are very similar in theory. They’re both online multiplayer versions of Rockstar’s massive open worlds, set in a modern day San Andreas and the western frontier circa 1899 respectively. On Thursday, Rockstar announced future plans for both, and it’s led to a fresh wave of despair from Red Dead Online fans, who feel abandoned by the developer.

The post starts by expanding on the future plans for GTA Online, which sound intriguing. Rockstar pledges to add more gameplay updates, fix long-standing issues, and release a new update that expands upon the criminal careers of executive, biker, gunrunner, and nightclub owners. It’s also adding contact missions that let the player take the role of a IAA field operative investigating rival criminals.

The news about Red Dead Online is a little less cheery. The post reads:

Over the past few years, we have been steadily moving more development resources towards the next entry in the Grand Theft Auto series — understanding more than ever the need to exceed players’ expectations and for this next entry to be the best it can possibly be — and as a result, we are in the process of making some changes to how we support Red Dead Online.

Firstly, with both new and experienced players engaging in the wealth of activities already added to this massively rich world including Specialist Roles, story-based cooperative missions, competitive Showdown Modes, and much more, we will continue to showcase these unique additions through Red Dead Online’s monthly events as we move forward, so players of all levels can enjoy everything the vast frontier has to offer.

Alongside seasonal special events and experience improvements — plus other changes to enhance and maintain a healthy Red Dead Online environment — we plan to build upon existing modes and add new Telegram Missions this year, rather than delivering major themed content updates like in previous years, and we will continue to highlight and share the creative efforts of our Red Dead community at every opportunity via the Newswire and beyond.

Rockstar pledges to continue to support Red Dead Online by increasing rewards to certain missions, add “seasonal special events,” and add new Telegram missions. While this is certainly better than nothing, it’s a far cry from what Red Dead Online’s dedicated fans have been hoping for. In 2020, fans dressed up as clowns to protest the cadence of updates. At the start of 2022, fans pushed #SaveRedDeadOnline to the top of Twitter trending lists in an attempt to cajole a response from Rockstar. Now, players are organizing funerals for the game on Reddit and declaring the game dead.

While there’s a host of enjoyable cowboy content to enjoy in Red Dead Online, the game has fallen far behind its sister title GTA Online — and with extra resources being put towards Grand Theft Auto 6, it looks as though those hoping for a Red Dead Renaissance will be left waiting for quite some time.

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