But why? Design director Imran Sarwar said in a new interview that Rockstar sees the single-player and the multiplayer elements as “separate products.” Each will “grow and evolve independently of each other,” he told IGN.
Sarwar added that Rockstar learned from previous releases that launching big online games is a tricky task. “There are bound to be a few issues and we want to ensure that we have time to gradually roll out the game and make the experience as smooth as we possibly can for everyone,” he explained. “We believe this way of rolling out will give people the best overall experiences with both single player and multiplayer.”
The launch of Red Dead Online comes in the form of a public beta, so players can expect the experience to be a work in progress. Rockstar is expecting some “turbulence” at launch, adding that the studio looks forward to working with the community to make Red Dead Online everything it can be.
Rockstar’s last big release, Grand Theft Auto V, also saw its single-player and multiplayer modes released separately. GTA Online launched about a month after GTA V came out back in 2013. It had numerous serious and significant issues, for which Rockstar apologised. GTA Online went on to become a massive hit for Rockstar, bringing in mountains of money from its microtransactions. Rockstar will be looking to replicate that success with Red Dead Online, which will also get numerous and frequent updates.
In the wake of the news about Red Dead Online launching after Red Dead Redemption 2, Take-Two’s stock dropped today, though only slightly.
Red Dead Redemption 2 launches on October 26 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Keep checking back with GameSpot for more on the ambitious open-world western.