Red Dead Redemption 2's online mode has been branded as Red Dead Online and is a direct evolution of the first game's live multiplayer.
Today Rockstar announced Red Dead Online, which sounds like it'll be the Western version of GTA Online. The mode is described as a "new online connected experience" that will use the sequel's huge open-ended Western frontier as a playground for mischief and mayhem, similar to how GTA Online is built around Los Santos.
Red Dead Online is essentially a more robust, engaging, and updated version of Red Dead Redemption's original multiplayer action, Rockstar says. But Red Dead Online isn't just about dueling at high noon or robbing banks: it'll feature both co-op and competitive play that span various narrative plot points. Like GTA Online it will continue evolving with content updates, and will be free to anyone who owns Red Dead Redemption 2.
Which of course means microtransactions are involved in some way...but this shouldn't be a surprise.
As with GTA V, the mode won't be immediately available during Red Dead Redemption 2's launch. This makes a lot of sense given the enormous strain and effort it takes to get a new online service up and running. A public beta test is planned for November and could last for quite some time as Rockstar irons out all the problems and rough edges.
Given current fiscal guidelines, Red Dead Online should be totally live and monetizable before Take-Two's fiscal year ends on March 31, 2019.
"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," reads the announcement post. "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."
We may get more Red Dead Online details during Take-Two Interactive's shareholders meeting on Friday, September 21.
Red Dead Redemption 2 releases on October 26, 2018 on PS4 and Xbox One.