Red Dead Redemption 2 released last month on Xbox One and Playstation 4, with the title’s online component likely releasing fully before the end of the year.
Many have questioned if and when RDR 2 will receive a PC release and with Rockstar being very evasive concerning the question of a Windows version coming out any time soon, we have right now, very little to go on.
Many would argue that other AAA publishers can put out decent titles, loved by millions, on both console and PC in the same time frame, so why not people with the vast talent and bottomless pockets of Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive?
There are many theories as to why Rockstar might push back the PC release of their big titles, allow us to speculate together and take a stab at an estimated guess as to when Read Dead 2 will reach our rigs!
Ready when it’s ready
When a game has enough hype and customers lined up, it’s much easier for a publisher to not give a release date and instead say ‘It’ll be ready when it’s ready’, this happens much more with initial releases and not simply platform versions, however, Rockstar aren’t shy of pushing back their PC releases, some titles waiting up to 2 years from console release before seeing the light of day on PC. Below we list the release gap for all Rockstar’s major video games.
Wait and see
Smaller publishers can be known to release to one platform first and then watch sales and excitement surrounding the game before deciding to port the title to other platforms, rather than waste funds and resources on porting a game that might not end up being that popular. But this seems like an odd explanation for RDR 2’s lack of PC version, since it was obvious it would sell incredibly well as the first Redemption game was very much desired within the PC gaming community.
7 signs of aging
Games designed for console first, particularly those released in the later period of a console’s shelf life, can be known to age badly, and this is a gripe many in the PC community find frustrating, it can look aged at release on PC because the game was designed for a machine with much less impressive hardware. Current-gen consoles are already 5 years old and like with GTA V, Rockstar may be wanting to improve what they offer to PC audiences before release.
Read Dead Redemption Online
Back in the 90s, games used to be unique versions for almost every platform they released on, making the most of the hardware of each console in different ways. This is much less prominent these days, but Rockstar showed a very good example of this practice with GTA V, which was released on three platforms, generations apart with many months in between – each offering a significant upgrade in visuals and content. Rockstar could be holding off to do the same with RDR 2.
The double dip effect
This might be the most popular opinion for many, Rockstar is known to make PC one of their last platforms to deliver their games to, and many believe this is to maximise on as many sales as possible, encouraging fans to buy on the only platform now and their preferred platform later. I’ve bought multiple copies of different Rockstar games on both console and PC and very rarely double-dip on games from other publishers. I’d argue that at least 15% of the profits GTA V generated were made from customers purchasing their second and third copies, and that’s a percentage you can’t ignore!
Whichever of the above it might be, I’d be willing to bet that all are considered by Rockstar when making their decision concerning the PC release dates of their games. While it's entirely possible it will never have a birth on PC (especially considering both previous Red Dead games never did), it would be foolish for Rockstar to pass up on the opportunity for millions more people to buy into their new universe.
So with a year and a half separating GTA V’s console and PC releases, 6 months between L.A. Noire and 8 months between GTA IV, our best guess would be that RDR 2 won’t come to PC before May next year, and could be anywhere between then and November 2019.
Do you think Rockstar are planning a PC release for Red Dead Redemption 2? If so how long do you think PC gamers will have to wait and will it be worth holding out for? Let us know in the comments below!