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Red Dead Redemption 2 bug means even NPCs are leaving Red Dead Online

A Red Dead Redemption 2 bug is leaving Red Dead Online deserted of NPCs and even wildlife, as Rockstar turns away from the sandbox western to focus on GTA 6

Red Dead Redemption 2 bug is affecting Red Dead Online NPCs

A Red Dead Redemption 2 bug that empties the world of NPCs and wildlife seems to be affecting players on PC, serving as an ideal metaphor for the status of Red Dead Online, which has recently been abandoned by Rockstar so the studio can focus its resources on GTA 6.

Players have reported the bug in various Red Dead Online PC servers, sharing screenshots of deserted streets in Saint Denis, and an empty horse stables at Emerald Ranch. Players have even reported that animal spawns are not working, leaving the entire Red Dead world bereft of life save for lone, bewildered players, riding around the skeletal remnants of the once vibrant sandbox shooter.

It’s very eerie. I feel like I’m looking at the grim, inevitable future of Red Dead Redemption 2, where the only discernible life will be the ageing and stubborn players who refuse to give up the game and make way for the future. It’ll be like Tumbleweed, that little homestead in New Austin. In RDR2, it’s bustling and thriving, but by the first Red Dead Redemption its economy has been destroyed by the new railroad, and it’s turned into a ghost town. Give it a year, and that’s all there will be in Red Dead Online – a few of us committed old timers, riding around complaining that “it weren’t always like this”.

“Yesterday,” reports one player, “[I saw] a wagon going by itself with no driver, and there was no one in the streets. That was kinda spooky.” “August 1 secret update,” jokes another player. “We’ve removed NPCs to focus more on GTA 6”. “Welcome to Red DEAD Redemption,” writes a third fan. “Prepare to survive.”

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The bug certainly seems to provide an apt image of the game’s current status. As Rockstar moves onto full-time development of GTA 6, which apparently will be set in Vice City and launch around 2024, this looks like – literally looks like – the end for Red Dead Online.

If you’re still hanging onto RDR2 and trying to find all its unlockables and secrets, you might want to take a look at our guide on where to find all the legendary animals There are also some handy RDR2 PC cheats to make things easier. On the other hand, if you’re lamenting the loss of Red Dead Redemption 2 and need something to fill the gap, take a look at our list of the best sandbox games. You might also take heart in our comprehensive breakdown of GTA 6 release date rumours, news, and speculation.