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Rockstar confirms Red Dead Online

Multiplayer experience will be launched in public beta in November, free for owners of Red Dead Redemption 2

Rockstar Games today confirmed what many already assumed: Red Dead Redemption 2's online multiplayer mode will follow the incredibly successful model established by the studio's last big open-world blockbuster, Grand Theft Auto V.

When Grand Theft Auto V debuted in 2013, customers were also given access to Grand Theft Auto Online, which launched within weeks of the main game. Both wound up being tremendously successful; GTA V has shipped almost 100 million copies, and GTA Online is only now showing signs of slowing down.

Rockstar is following a similar formula this time around, launching Red Dead Redemption on October 26 and allowing customers some time to take in the single-player component before launching Red Dead Online in public beta form sometime in November. And just as it did around GTA Online's launch, Rockstar is cautioning players to expect some rough going at first.

"As with most online experiences of this size and scale, there will inevitably be some turbulence at launch," the company said. "We look forward to working with our amazing and dedicated community to share ideas, help us fix teething problems and work with us to develop Red Dead Online into something really fun and innovative."

Rockstar has said Red Dead Online will feature narrative elements, cooperative and competitive gameplay, and constant updates. Speaking with IGN, Rockstar North director of design Imran Sarwer said the studio will continue supporting Grand Theft Auto Online, but hopes to stagger content updates between the two titles so players can go back and forth without missing too much.

"We think there will be a lot to love about Red Dead Online for fans of Grand Theft Auto Online, but we think that Red Dead Online will generate its own audience ready for something entirely new," Sarwer said. "However, exactly what form Red Dead Online will take as it finds it's feet, we are not sure ourselves, but we think really want a focus on role-playing and morality. That may all change as the game comes out, but that's the direction we are heading in now!"

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Brendan Sinclair avatar
Brendan Sinclair: Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot.
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