Red Dead Redemption 2, Six Months Later

Red Dead Redemption 2, Six Months Later

Red Dead Redemption 2 launched six months ago today. In those past six months, developer Rockstar faced criticisms over crunch, the main game released to great reviews, Red Dead Online launched and grew, and a country-trap hybrid hit song used the game in a music video. Here’s what’s happened in the last six months.

  • In the weeks before Red Dead Redemption 2’s release, Rockstar’s culture of crunch is criticised. An interview with the co-founder of Rockstar Games, Dan Houser, causes outrage after a comment implies that he and his staff are working over 100 hours a week. He later says that this was just a small group of writers and that Rockstar didn’t force anyone else to work that many hours.

  • Kotaku’s Jason Schreier releases a report days before the game’s release that reveals the crunch problems at Rockstar weren’t relegated to only a small group of writers, as Dan Houser claimed. Creating RDR2 involved many individuals and studios spread across the world, with each studio and team having their own experiences with crunch.

  • On October 26, 2018, Red Dead Redemption 2 is released for PS4 and Xbox One. Reviews are mostly positive, with many critics praising the game’s visuals and storytelling, including Kotaku. The game grosses $US725 ($1,032) million in its first weekend of sales, making it the biggest opening weekend in entertainment history.

And that’s where things are at. Red Dead Redemption 2 is a wonderful single-player game that fans are replaying and enjoying to this day, but Red Dead Online is still in a sorry state for most fans. Some players are leaving the game, and how many will come back remains to be seen.

Grand Theft Auto Online had a rough first year or so too, but eventually got better. Perhaps Red Dead Online will seem similar improvements.


  • And just as i predicted, no sign of a PC release. 🙁

    even though i tried my hardest, i just couldn’t get into the game, having the first bit of the game make you slowly trudge through deep snow imho probably wasn’t the best design choice but knowing it was Rockstar and RDR they could get away with a lot.

    • They’ll repeat the same process as GTA5.

      Remastered version for new consoles and then a PC release. People buy it twice or even three times and Rockstar laughs their way to the bank. Highly recommend you push through the slow start and give it a proper chance. Truly a once in a generation masterpiece.

      • Maybe, but i’m not optimistic about it, my guess is that next gen is still 1-2 years away and probably a little too late for a remaster that will most likely only have marginal improvements.

        Rockstar got lucky with GTA V, that it originally released at the very tail end of last gen and was released after the PS4 and Xbone had already been announced.

    • That’s what made me put down GTA 4. 10 hours in I was still being pushed from one tutorial to another. Despite all the 10/10 hype it was my first and last rockstar game.

      Edit: meant to reply to @luke

    • I think it was a good design choice given that most of the game is a slow moody trudge haha. I love it but I can understand why some people don’t.

    • It’s the same design choice as the start of Fallout 3, a way to shrink your playable world down as much as possible, confining for the purpose of revealing a much larger world when you finally step out and focusing on character building without distraction.

      Nowhere near as effective though, even on payout.
      I did spend the whole time wondering how long we were gonna be stuck there and just trying to plow through, snow pun intended

  • For me, I like the idea of the game, more than I actually like playing it. I find the balance between realism and exceptions for gameplay reasons, to be out of wack.

    The main issues for me are the terrible inventory, the fact that some of the same controls can be used for both positive and negative things, so if you get your placement wrong, you can get the exact opposite of what you want to do. Also… the combat. Eeekkk.

    But the thing that ultimately always drives me away after a few dozens hours, is the save system. For a game this big, let me save exactly where i am and exactly when I want to… just like Witcher 3. Here you cant save before a big fight, if you want to try a few ways of doing things, saves will change where you are, what you have on you, and you cant save in a missions. Truly stupid.

    So much fine work is on show but so much other stuff always gets in the way of it. For me.

  • The trolling aspects always interested me because if you spent enough time in GTAO you began to notice that things like trolling and forced player to player interaction are gameplay elements that are balanced as carefully as any other in the games.

    The kinds of motivation a troll can provide simply by having a better vehicle or weapon are undeniable and often the offending tools are only nerfed when they either become too common or ways are found to gain them too easily.
    Tanks were the first great trolling weapon and their only major use was creating chaos in freeroam.
    Even though they were massively over powered, no attempt was made to curb their use because there was no better promotion for getting a tank, it killed everything and shrugged off insane amounts of damage, only to be easily reacquired when it was finally destroyed.
    Every means of griefing the tank griefers was fixed almost instantly such as driving expensive cars in to tanks to give them bad sport marks and the ability to snipe tank drivers with the heavy rifle were quickly labeled bugs and fixed well before any attempt to fix the tanks themselves.
    It wasn’t until jets took over that tanks got an overhaul, jets only nerfed themselves when players turned their theft from the airbase in to a simple matter and used other game play mechanics to extend their flight time.
    If you requested a one on one death match after getting killed by a jet you spawned in one so players would team up for jet killing sprees, ignore requests from other players but kill their own friends when they were finally downed, creating a griefing loop.

    As for forced player to player interactions, all gameplay content has skewed away from solo play and separate mission instances from the early days and RDRO is a continuation of all the above.

    • Yeah it seems like they are just trying to make GTAO again but with a different skin and no attempt to tap into what people like about RDR2.

      • Oh without a doubt.
        GTAO had time to become the way it is, balanced over time with a steady flow of content until it was barely justifiable.
        RDRO just got the existing template transferred over with little to no thought to the difference between flying bikes with gatling guns and hats, belts and horses.
        It’s just X amount of time mitigated by Y amount of money sinks to finally buy Z.
        The complete lack of content just highlights the unfair and heavily manipulated economy pulling all the strings beneath the surface.

        I genuinely thought we would see things like horse drawn carts with mounted guns or upgradeable camp sites as the top end carrots, at least until more substantial options appeared, a slow burn increase like we saw in GTAO instead of the time spent saving for a high end appartment being the same as buying a simple gun or piece of clothing.

  • The game went from one i was most excited to play, to the cold light of reality where the gameplay looks horrible with too big an eye on ‘realism’, a poor save system, a poor fast travel system.
    It simply doesnt look fun at all.

  • I’m playing this at the moment. It’s ok but not brilliant. The world is amazing, but the stuff you do in it… Not so amazing.

    10/10 world containing a 5/10 game.

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