Rockstar Games confirmed the roll out of an online component for Red Dead Redemption 2 known as Red Dead Online. This will start November 2018 with a public beta, but still few details have been revealed about the mode. Imran Sarwar, Director of Design at Rockstar North, and Josh Needleman, Senior Producer at Rockstar San Diego, sat down with IGN to reveal more information.
When it comes to the Red Dead Online experience, fans can expect the same settings, mechanics, and freedom as they can from the single-player campaign, but the online context will serve to create a world of its own. The team plans to take what they learned from creating Red Dead Redemption‘s multiplayer and combine it with things from Grand Theft Auto Online.
Here’s what Needleman had to say about Rockstar’s plans.
Red Dead Redemption’s multiplayer was a real leap forward for us at the time. It was the first game that hinted at the real opportunities for open world multiplayer beyond cities, where the world was open as a place to create your own freeform gameplay, while at the same time was as a sort of living lobby for other, more structured kinds of game modes. Red Dead Redemption 2 will take those ideas much further and combine that with everything we’ve learned in the years since then with our favorite elements from Grand Theft Auto Online about how to make really fun and complex competitive and cooperative experiences in open worlds, and how to introduce narrative elements into multiplayer.
But don’t expect this to be a 1:1 by any means. Needleman noted, “One of the biggest differences between GTA and Red Dead universes is that you’re often speeding through or flying over a GTA world, whereas in Red Dead Redemption the change of pace elevates the intimacy of the overall experience.”
While Red Dead Redemption 2 will release on October 26, 2018, the online beta test won’t appear until the following month. This gap was intentional. Imran Sawyer said there were two reasons for this and noted, “The first is that even though Red Dead Redemption 2 and Red Dead Online share the same gameplay mechanics and geography, we see them essentially as separate products that will grow and evolve independently of each other.” He then went on to say, “Also, as we have learned from experience when launching Online games at this scale, there are bound to be a few issues and we want to ensure that we have time to gradually roll out the game and make the experience as smooth as we possibly can for everyone.”
The pair addressed concerns regarding the future of GTA Online once Red Dead Online releases. Needleman calmed fears by assuring us that GTA Online will continue to get updates “for the foreseeable future.” But Rockstar is aware that audiences may be interested in both, so the company will “plan to stagger the updates of both games, so that players can switch between the two, but our development plans may not always allow this.”
Let us know in the comments below you want to see from Red Dead Online.