Red Dead Redemption 2 game files reveal content that has either been cut or so far unreleased for Red Dead Online, as Rockstar appears to bid farewell to the online, multiplayer sandbox as it moves full production to GTA 6.
Red Dead Online was updated on September 6 with new telegram missions and a variety of bug fixes. This update, however – considerably less substantial than RDO’s most recent DLC pack, Blood Money, from July 2021 – also added a new in-game credits message, thanking everyone “who has helped create Red Dead Redemption 2 and Red Dead Online”. Coupled with a similar message that recently appeared on the website for GTA Online, this suggests that, as it announced in July, Rockstar is moving its full focus to production of GTA 6, with more news possibly coming soon on the GTA 6 release date.
However, a variety of files and code lines hidden in Red Dead Redemption 2 seem to reveal other content that was originally planned for Red Dead Online. YouTuber McDizzle Gaming highlights a variety of Red Dead Online assets which so far have not been released in the game proper – and given its current status are arguably unlikely to see the light of day.
Most significant of these are additional lines of dialogue for your companion, Cripps, whereby he references the player wearing a sheriff’s deputy badge. McDizzle Gaming speculates these could have appeared in relation to an additional player role — alongside bounty hunter, collector, et al — which would see the Red Dead Online player operate as a police officer. A large goods wagon is also visible in the game files, which would have appeared at the player’s base camp, again possibly hinting at an additional “merchant” role.
There are also traces of buyers or “fences” for wild horses – although wild horses can be ridden in Red Dead Online, they cannot be owned, saddled, or sold, but potentially this feature was originally planned. Harriet has an unused line of dialogue where she asks the player to catch a legendary fish, implying unique fish may have been present in the online game as well as single-player, and there is also an NPC model named after Seth Briers, the frantic, paranoid graverobber from the original Red Dead Redemption, suggesting he may have made some form of appearance in Red Dead Online.
Again, there is still the possibility that this content, along with the other material unearthed by McDizzle Gaming, could be added to Red Dead Online, though this seems like an outside possibility given the game’s current status and Rockstar’s apparent priorities.