Is a single player expansion for the open world title just a pipe dream?
Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2 is a bona fide classic in every measure of the word, but so too were its two predecessors, Red Dead Revolver and Red Dead Redemption 1. the thing that the original Red Dead Redemption had over Revolver and even Red Dead Redemption 2 was its fantastic Undead Nightmare DLC that was so good it even warranted its own standalone physical release which is something you really don’t see all that often. It offered Red Dead Redemption players a whole new reason to play and a whole new experience within the Red Dead Redemption world, similar enough of course to be called a Red Dead Redemption expansion but different enough for players of the original game to give it a shot and maybe people who didn’t even like the original game to try it as well.
While the whole “let’s take our game but add zombies in it” idea is fairly played out at this point, and it was even a little played out then, Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare did a really good job at expanding on the world in a fun way. But that of course begs the question of whether or not Rockstar will ever do a DLC like the one Red Dead Redemption got for Red Dead Redemption 2. With how many people love the expansion of Undead Nightmare, it’s a reasonable question to ask- so let’s look into it.
The immediate and most obvious thing to remember about any incoming story-based DLC for a Rockstar game is the fact that GTA Online is still alive and kicking. Even though Red Dead Redemption 2 has sold gangbusters and is extremely successful, and even has its own online mode that has a good dedicated fanbase, more DLC for Red Dead Redemption would further split up the Rockstar audience and could potentially put the large amount of people that are playing Grand Theft Auto Online and spending money on there in danger of becoming cannibalized by having too many things to play within the Rockstar family.
It might seem like a bit of a cold-hearted perspective to have but it makes sense for Rockstar to maintain their GTA Online audience as long as they possibly can. It’s nothing short of a complete cash cow for them and to be fair it’s a rather fun experience and totally justifies its place among people who play it. So with that said, any extra DLC for another Rockstar game should not be pursued lightly as it could have consequences that reverberate through other Rockstar Games like, of course, Grand Theft Auto 5. Rockstar has largely said as much last year publicly stating that they currently don’t have any plans for single player DLC for Red Dead Redemption 2, but could that change? Crazier things have happened.
Developers go back and forth on these sorts of things especially as the circumstances that created the original opinion change. If GTA Online were to suddenly start losing its luster with fans, why wouldn’t Rockstar revisit the idea of some sort of single player DLC for Red Dead Redemption 2? Given that, those who are hoping for some sort of expansion might be heartened to realize that GTA Online is not quite what it used to be just a couple short years ago. After a fairly sharp and consistent incline in concurrent players all the way from 2016, Grand Theft Auto Online has seen a bit of a drop off that’s been generally on its way down since February of this year. Things always change, and that’s not to say that won’t improve with the GTA 5 launch on next gen consoles, but at the moment a pretty clear trajectory is very visible, and it might make sense for Rockstar to respond to that drop off with something new to do. The place they could make the biggest impact of course would be a newer game Red Dead Redemption 2.
But even that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re going to do a single player expansion. A multiplayer expansion could be just as, if not more, logical for them to do at this point. Perhaps boosting the Red Dead Redemption 2 multiplayer with different modes would make more sense for them since that would fit in with their current model a little better. It’s hard to say for sure, but if anybody would be in a position to invest in something that doesn’t necessarily give a monetary return right away it would be Rockstar. There’s nothing wrong with establishing some goodwill. Sucker Punch, developer of Ghost of Tsushima, has done just that with their game, albeit with a different approach, by releasing a free multiplayer mode with their single player game that isn’t really making them any money other than possibly generating more sales for the base game by keeping it in the news. If Sucker Punch can afford to do something like that, then surely Rockstar can as well.
All of that said, with how little they seem interested in something like that it doesn’t look particularly likely at this point. In fact given the current circumstances, I’d say it’s downright unlikely that we’ll ever see Undead Nightmare 2 or anything else of that sort for Red Dead Redemption 2. Surprises certainly happen, but Rockstar doesn’t seem particularly interested in surprises right now, so I generally don’t recommend holding your breath at this point.
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