*This article will also include some of my own opinions and thoughts on what is happening with Red Dead Online.*
This may be a rant… but you’d think a game developer would focus on their newest game, right? Well, not if you are Rockstar games which continues to milk Grant Theft Auto Online (released in 2013), while leaving Red Dead Online (released in 2018) unattended.
I know most online components of games have rocky launches but the writing is clearly on the wall. In the last six months, GTA V received two big updates while Red Dead only saw minor content updates.
With the latest news wire post, fans decided that this was enough and have put their foot down. So, the hashtag #savereddeadonline was born and is trending on Twitter and Instagram.
After getting minor bonuses and discounts on items for Christmas, fans were expecting some news on upcoming content for the game, which is being starved of content right now. But instead they got a slap in the face when, yet again, for January, players got bonuses on missions of a storyline that has been complete for two years now.
All the while, GTA ended the year with a huge update. Fans started the hashtag and are spamming the Feedback page with ideas for content and ways to fix the game, which hasn’t been updated in months. Showing the the community is loyal and strong.
Everyone knows this. The issue is Take Two Interactive. Their CEO, Strauss Zelnick even admits he doesn’t play video games. In some interviews, he has referenced how he isn’t a creative type and so he doesn’t give feedback. However, it really seems like Take Two Interactive is telling Rockstar where to focus their attention.
Rumours are swirling amongst the community that a very small team is working on Red Dead Online right now as resources are being pulled to GTA. That sounds more like a business decision than a creative one. Why people who don’t play video games like to invest in video game companies is beyond me. And everyone knows how investors are. “It’s my money and you will do with it what I tell you.”
Personally, I hate it. It’s why I’m going indie with publishing my book. I wouldn’t want some creatively bankrupt person telling me, a creative person, where and how to use my skills and put a damper on my creativity.
Now I’m not saying investors are telling their devs what to make. Rather I am echoing what the entire community suspects, which is that the investors are telling the devs where to focus their attention. Red Dead Online is not as much of a money maker as GTA but there are many fans who feel more passionate about it than GTA.
It’s infuriating to think that people who don’t resonate with that passion are the ones controlling what is happening or rather – not happening with it. I really think investors should take a complete hands off approach. You invested in a company because you trust them, right?
They may not be interested in the creative process but they sure seem to be guiding it… maybe this whole investors vs devs thing would make a good topic for another time, but for now that is my thoughts on the issue with Red Dead Online.
I love this game. I love its world. I love the graphics and the gameplay mechanics. I love playing it with my friends. While GTA is the fast paced game for the kids, at this point, Red Dead Online is the slower paced chilled game for the grown ups.
Though I feel this pit in my heart whenever I play it because while I’m roaming around, I see how much potential this game has and it just isn’t being utilised. Parts of the map feel empty and need care.
The main story of the online mode is incomplete and has been dangling off a cliff hanger for two years. The game is in dire need of new content and roles. But it feels like Rockstar has abandoned it whether they are being forced to do so by investors or they have run out of ideas. (My bet is the former rather than the latter.) It saddens me to see it in this state.
There is so much they could do.
Players have been posting ideas ranging from a Ranching Role, a Cattle Rustler/Horse Thief role and a Lawman Role which Rockstar mentioned ages ago but nothing came of it. There were even files and audio banks from a Red Dead 1 character named Seth who was a grave robber and these leaked files pointed to a potential grave robber role but those files are just sitting there.
Fans are adamant not to let this game go. So, they are being vocal and fighting hard. Whether Rockstar listens or are allowed to listen will be another story. But one thing is for sure, Red Dead Online is dying in its current state and is in dire need of content. Hell, even if that content comes in the form of the Blackjack tables being active at least it’s something, right?
What are your thoughts on investors having such major sway in a development company’s on-goings?