Red Dead Online, the multiplayer accompaniment to Rockstar Games’ old west masterpiece Red Dead Redemption 2, is set to launch this week. By Friday 30 November, anyone who has bought a copy of Red Dead Redemption 2 will be able to access it. Initially it will be a beta test, and will be developed and expanded gradually over the coming months as players test out the limits of the virtual frontier.
Starting tomorrow, 27 November, at 8.30am EST (1.30pm UK time), Rockstar Games will start inviting players into the beta, beginning with those who bought the most expensive Ultimate edition of Red Dead Redemption 2. On Wednesday 28 November, everyone who played the game on its launch day will join them. Players who bought it in its first week will be invited in on Thursday 29 November, and the beta will be open to everyone from Friday 30 November.
Red Dead Online opens up the game’s hyper-detailed version of turn-of-the-century America to multiple players, who can ride together in their own gang of seven and go hunting, fishing and outlaw-hunting together. Players can also challenge others to shootouts, riding into other players’ hideouts with a posse, and compete in open-world challenges. Characters from the single-player game will return, but instead of playing as gruff Red Dead Redemption 2 protagonist Arthur Morgan, players will create their own character to explore the game’s five microcosmic states.
Released last month, Red Dead Redemption 2 sold 17m copies in its first two weeks, making £556m in the opening weekend alone. It earned a five-star review in the Guardian. Grand Theft Auto Online, Rockstar’s multiplayer version of its most successful game series, attracted over 30m players in its first year. Rockstar and its parent company Take-Two will be hoping for similar success from Red Dead Online.