With Red Dead Redemption 2 set to release in just over a month, developer Rockstar Games has announced the game’s online multiplayer component: it’s called Red Dead Online, borrowing from its own stable. It will launch in November as a public beta and will be free for anyone who buys a copy of the base game on PS4 or Xbox One. Rockstar didn’t provide a lot of detail except this description:
“Red Dead Online is an evolution of the classic multiplayer experience in the original Red Dead Redemption, blending narrative with competitive and cooperative gameplay in fun new ways. Using the gameplay of the upcoming Red Dead Redemption 2 as a foundation, Red Dead Online will be ready to be explored alone or with friends, and will also feature constant updates and adjustments to grow and evolve this experience for all players.”
Public betas for multiplayer modes allow developers to study and work on issues that arise out of thousands – or millions, in some cases – of players being online at the same time. Rockstar said as much in its announcement: “As with most online experiences of this size and scale, there will inevitably be some turbulence at launch.”
Given GTA Online’s massive success – it has helped sell nearly 100 million copies of GTA V and close to $6 billion in revenue – it’s natural for Rockstar Games to bring that component over to its next title, hoping to emulate that.