If you’re hanging on to the hope that Red Dead Redemption 2 is coming to PC this year or early in 2019, please give that up. Rockstar Games is launching its Western sequel for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on October 26, but it hasn’t said anything about a version for Windows. That’s disappointing — especially after the new trailer dropped today and gave us a first look at some 4K gameplay on a PlayStation 4 Pro.
So what is going on here? Is this a repeat of the original Red Dead Redemption? That game never came to PC, and it looks like it never will. When it comes to Rockstar, the same thing could end up happening to Red Dead Redemption 2. This is a studio that doesn’t have to do anything just because it makes sense. Grand Theft Auto V is the third game to surpass 100 million copies sold in the history of this business, so this is not a company that has to answer to anyone.
What’s more likely, however, is that Rockstar is doing a repeat of Grand Theft Auto V instead. That game debuted in 2013, and as its sales numbers suggest, it has sold well ever since. In those first three years, however, Rockstar was able to give it a couple of sales boosts with new releases.
It hit Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in September 2013. A year later, in November 2014, Rockstar launched it on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Finally, it hit PC in April of 2015. Those ports obviously expose the game to new audiences, but GTAV seemed to benefit from people buying the game again on more powerful consoles, and then maybe buying it a third time to get the superior PC version that supports mods.
With Red Dead Redemption 2, Rockstar could do something similar. It’s launching on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in October, and then maybe it comes to PC late in 2019. And then, if we get new consoles in 2020 or 2021, Rockstar can potentially release an update version for those systems as well (although I expect backward compatibility might limit repeat purchases for those devices).
One last thing. If Red Dead Redemption 2 does come to PC next year, do you think it will end up on Steam? Or does Rockstar and parent company Take-Two Interactive pull a Fallout 76 and move to their own launcher where they no longer have to share revenue with Valve? My bet is that we are using the Rockstar Launcher for Red Dead on PC by the end of 2019.