What GTA Online May Tell Us About Red Dead Redemption 2

Matt Bertz

Several months removed from a short teaser trailer and a concise statement from Rockstar saying Red Dead Redemption 2 is “an epic tale of life in America’s unforgiving heartland,” we still have no concrete details about the game other than the fragments we salvaged from the early footage. As we wait for Rockstar to share more about its highly anticipated sequel, we can’t help but wonder what lessons the company learned from the hugely successful Grand Theft Auto Online that could be applied to the “brand new online multiplayer experience” coming in the developer’s return to the Wild West.   We should preface this thought exercise by saying two things.

First, Rockstar isn’t a developer content to rest on its laurels. As its crown jewel franchise, Grand Theft Auto, has demonstrated in the 16 years since its inception, Rockstar tirelessly strives to redefine the open-world experience. The series has grown from a top-down perspective with text dialogue and arcade shooting sounds to a sprawling masterpiece of modern 3D game design featuring Hollywood quality voice acting, an amazing curated soundtrack, strong shooting and driving mechanics, a living open world, and the most ambitious and successful take on open-world multiplayer ever seen.

Spending the last several years building out GTA Online has proven wise, as the mode has already generated more than $500 million in revenue and it keeps growing. This past December was the mode’s busiest month yet. We hardly expect Red Dead Redemption 2 to simply take the foundation of Grand Theft Auto Online and retrofit it into a Western setting, but it provides a good starting point.

  Second, the potential game features outlined below are pure speculation from a Rockstar fan whose imagination is running wild with possibilities. I have no insider information about what features are coming to Red Dead Redemption 2. Rather, I’ve taken what we know about the basic structure of Grand Theft Auto Online to hypothesize how the various parts would work as jumping off point for Rockstar’s next leap forward.

  (Please visit the site to view this media) WESTWARD EXPANSION Grand Theft Auto Online is undoubtedly the best online offering Rockstar has ever designed, but you can see traces of its foundation in the original Red Dead…

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