After years of it being included as part of the purchase price of Grand Theft Auto V, GTA Online became free-to-play, allowing hackers and griefers to run rampant on the streets of Los Santos. Two years after the game’s launch, Red Dead Redemption 2‘s online component, Red Dead Online is sort of following suit on December 1, becoming a standalone game. However, it won’t be free. Users on consoles or PC will have to buy it for $4.99 USD. But you only have until February 15 when it will go up to its full price of $19.99 USD. If you decide you want the story mode as well, you’ll need to purchase it separately.
This is an obvious attempt by Rockstar to further increase Red Dead Online‘s player count. Which it doesn’t need, as well over half a million people are apparently playing it as I type this. I suppose this might get it to more than a million concurrent players which could lead to it besting Destiny 2 and Among Us. Five bucks is going to be highly attractive to a great many people. Unfortunately for those prospective players, there’s still some hacking going in that they’re likely to run into. Plus, it’s Red Dead Online. Standalone or no, there will be plenty of griefers to annoy the people who aren’t running into hackers.
Riding into the sunset
Still, this is an undoubtedly smart choice that will almost certainly generate a large amount of additional revenue for Rockstar. I’m curious to see just how much this shakes up the game and whether it be for good or ill. At any rate, the deal goes live in a week, so we don’t have long to brace for the impact. It’s not like Red Dead Online was all that quiet before anyway, what with its gigantic player base and being part of one of the best-selling games in existence.