Fans of Red Dead Online are fed up with Rockstar’s recent indifference, and they’ve been venting their frustrations on social media sites like Twitter and Reddit with the hashtag #SaveRedDeadOnline.
The hashtag began after Rockstar announced on January 6 that new content for Red Dead Online was coming… but most of those using the hashtag would probably disagree with the term content.
The update’s main feature is that it raises the rewards for a variety of existing Red Dead Online activities for a limited time, making it simpler to gain gold, experience, equipment, and other currency. It’s all about improving what’s already there, rather than creating anything new.
In an online game, an announcement of increased in-game awards would ordinarily be cause for joy, but a variety of other circumstances have turned it into a community stumbling block. For starters, the most recent actual content update for Red Dead Online was on July 13, 2021, and it wasn’t warmly welcomed owing to its focus on the quality of life changes and new missions rather than anything substantive or transformative. Before that, Red Dead Online received upgrades every six to seven months, which was already a dissatisfying cadence for the game’s gamers.
In a vacuum, twice-yearly regular material for an online game would sound very wonderful. Along with the slow, thin stream of updates, there’s another key aspect that has Red Dead Online fans heated up: the game’s comparison to GTA Online.
Red Dead Online was originally planned to follow in the footsteps of GTA Online as a persistent, online world for Red Dead Redemption 2 gamers to sink their teeth into for hundreds of hours over years of updates when it first launched in 2019. Following the popularity of GTA Online, it appeared like Red Dead Online would follow suit as a cowboy-themed version of Rockstar’s big, ongoing cash cow. However, in the years since, the disparities in support have grown even more pronounced.
GTA Online, like Red Dead Online, receives substantial content upgrades every six months or so, however its updates are far larger and more well-received than Red Deads. In December, it received one of those massive updates, dubbed The Contract, which included an entirely new adventure in addition to the usual slew of new weapons, vehicles, and missions. These big improvements are also proving to be financially beneficial. The Diamond Casino update, for example, helped GTA Online generate its greatest holiday earnings yet towards the end of 2020.
It’s worth noting that GTA Online is almost nine years old, but Red Dead Online is only three years old. GTA Online received anything from five to eight significant updates each year while it was that age (depending on how you classify a “major” update).
Taking a look at the #SaveRedDeadOnline hashtag, which has been trending for days, reveals a lot of mixed emotions. The initial outrage at the absence of important improvements in the January 6 post, as well as reflection on how pointless it is to acquire more XP and gold when there’s nothing new to spend it on, are both presents.
Particular types of content, such as adequate player housing, a DLC set in Mexico, more story, and even specific bug fixes, have been requested. Of course, there is plenty of memes and mockery directed at GTA Online, but there’s also some support from GTA Online players who understand that their cowboy friends are getting the short end of the stick.
Many of the tweets appear to be concerned that without substantial updates, Red Dead Online will die a premature death, which Rockstar may be supported by its silence. While substantive new updates are ultimately what they desire, the great majority of users tweeting #SaveRedDeadOnline appear to be asking for proof that Rockstar and publisher Take-Two hasn’t already breached the promise of a continuing Wild West environment in the style of GTA Online.