GTA 6’s Development Has Hurt Red Dead Online’s Updates

GTA 6's Development Has Hurt Red Dead Online's Updates

Rockstar has provided an unwelcome piece of news for Red Dead Online players, revealing that no “major” updates will arrive as focus shifts to GTA 6.

Rockstar Games has provided a new update on the development of Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Online, in the process revealing that no significant content updates will be coming to the latter, with the studio now dedicating much of its focus to GTA 6. After years of speculation, Rockstar officially confirmed that development on GTA 6 was moving ahead earlier in 2022. No concrete details surrounding the project have been shared by the studio so far, although it is rumored to feature Vice City as a possible location.

The multiplayer component for Red Dead Redemption 2, Red Dead Online was released in beta in 2018 and quickly set itself apart from its Grand Theft Auto sibling, GTA Online, thanks to its emphasis on slower-paced gameplay and roleplay. Although slow to begin with, Rockstar ramped up updates for Red Dead Online in 2019 and 2020, introducing Frontier Pursuits, which allowed players to take on new roles as bounty hunters, collectors, or traders. New clothing items, weapons, and horses followed, but nothing on the scale seen in GTA Online. Updates in the years following Frontier Pursuits grew less frequent and were met with a mixed response from players, eventually culminating in some Red Dead Online players dressing up as clowns in-game in protest. More recently, to mark almost a year of no updates for the game, RDO players have also made plans for in-game funerals, with many already convinced before Rockstar’s most recent post that the game was dead.

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A new post on the Rockstar Games newswire has confirmed that “no major themed content updates” will be coming to Red Dead Online, with the studio now devoting more of its attention to Grand Theft Auto 6. The post outlines that while some more content will come to RDO in the form of new Telegram Missions and changes to certain multiplayer modes, the days of major updates along the lines of Frontier Pursuits, Moonshiners, or Blood Money are at an end. Rockstar has attributed the lack of new updates for Red Dead Online to its development of the “next entry in the Grand Theft Auto series”, stating that it must “exceed players’ expectations” and “be the best it can possibly be”. Despite this, the news post also outlines that more updates will be coming to GTA Online, with Red Dead seemingly bearing the brunt of GTA 6’s development.

The next installment in Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto series is hotly anticipated, with conflicting reports over how long it has been in development. Come next year, it will have been a decade since the release of Grand Theft Auto 5, which would mark the longest gap between installments in the series yet. As Rockstar has continued to focus on GTA Online and multiple re-releases of GTA 5, some fans have taken their frustration over the lack of updates regarding GTA 6 to social media. However, with Red Dead Online now winding down, it appears as if Rockstar will continue to update GTA Online even as development on GTA 6 ramps up.

Confirmation that Red Dead Online will no longer be receiving significant updates comes at a time of great frustration for the game’s community, with the last major update, Call to Arms, having arrived in August 2021. Although it has seen several well-received updates that have encouraged players to adopt a more immersive, roleplaying style of play – at least when compared to GTA Online – the current version of the title falls short of the lofty ideas Rockstar teased in a 2019 interview with VG247, which discussed the prospect of Red Dead Online’s bounty hunters transitioning into lawmen, and traders one day being able to own property and expand their businesses. Red Dead Online in its current form is still a compelling title, but it’s suffered from a lack of support and communication from Rockstar, which, despite its success, has shown it has struggled to manage a live service. With no further updates to come, it feels like RDR2’s multiplayer is being given an unceremonious execution, rather than the slow ride into the sunset it deserved.

Next: Red Dead Online’s Biggest Failure Isn’t Just Its Lack Of Updates

Sources: Rockstar Games, VG247

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Ewan Paterson
(85 Articles Published)

Ewan is a Gaming Features Editor for Screen Rant and converses almost entirely through Simpsons quotes. Originally from Liverpool, Ewan made the move to Newcastle in 2014 to study History at Northumbria University (which he loved), and has stayed there ever since. You may have heard/seen him on YouTube a bunch, as well as on the We Love Dad Movies podcast, which he set up in 2022. His love for comic books, video games, and Dad Movies also instilled in him a passion for writing, which he’s been doing since he was about 16. Hellboy and Daredevil are his faves comic book-wise, but he’s also obsessed with the DC Animated Universe and Batman Beyond in particular. His favorite games include Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory and Red Dead Redemption 2, and he’s partial to a good online shooter as well. Ewan’s film takes are impeccable, and he will happily talk endlessly about how great John Carpenter is or how hard the soundtrack from TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A. slaps.

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