Given that there are now several days in between posts on the forum nowadays, I think that it's safe to say that Red Dead Online is pretty much dead, at least with many older, veteran players.
So what happened?
The game had so much potential when I started playing in ~ March 2019 (wow, was it really that long ago?). I remember being breaking out of the wagon picking out my clothing from the very limited supply, and stealing my horse from Valentine. After popping open the treasure chest, I was off on my own for the first time. I had an interesting experience, where I was playing Online more than Story mode. I remember learning the map by farming stranger missions and the Land of Opportunities missions. Being broke and having nothing was honestly the best time that I had. Grinding for new weapons, more ammo, new horses, new saddles, clothing, pamphlets, etc. was the best time that I had in this game. It gave me something to do. It gave me a goal in the game. Nowadays, the only fun that I have in the game is if i'm playing with my buddies and we basically just screw around. The major problem with the game for me is the fact that there's nothing to grind for. There's no incentive for me to spend time doing caravan escorts, my favorite stranger missions, ever since the Trader role came out. It just was too inefficient of a moneymaking method. Before the role updates, money was handed out sparingly, by comparison, unless you could streamline your hunting and speedrun the stranger missions. At the time, I remember it being annoying that money took so long for me to amass. Hell, deleting your account and redoing all of the Land of Opportunities missions was the fastest way of getting money fast. Now the Roles put that to shame.
And there's one of the problems.
The only way to get roles is with gold (or amazon prime, I guess). For newer players, especially how gold payouts got nerfed into the ground for dailies, it's very difficult to get said roles without paying. After you get trader or collector, moneymaking becomes trivially easy. But by that point, if you've gotten all the roles "legitimately" without playing, you already have everything that you want for the most part. So why bother? Why spend all this time grinding when there is no reason for you to grind? Sure, it's fun to screw around with friends, or maybe you just like the missions, but for me, the game got old surprisingly quickly after the Roles came out. We all maxed them fairly quickly, and then it got stale. I do remember the OG legendary bounties, and how exiting it was to come back every week to see who the new dirtbag was for us to drag in.
Looking at GTAO, it's an entirely different story. There's tons and tons of content that I still haven't unlocked, and i'm almost level 100. The sheer amount more of content that GTAO has over RDO is staggering. It's not just that, there's also stuff to grind for at higher levels. Done with the regular heists? Buy a Facility! Done with the doomsday heists? Buy an arcade! Done with the Diamond casino heists? Buy a Kosatka! It's not even that the quality of the missions themselves are higher in GTAO, it's simply that there are more of them and there are more reasons to do them!
This is the biggest consequence of of RDO's biggest problem: NO UPDATES! We only got ~ 2 sizable updates per year with RDO, and everything else was a ridiculous drip-feed, where we only got some crappy new clothing and some bonuses that only benefited new players. It's really sad too, because this game could have been so much more. It could have been bursting with content and things to do, but no, Rockstar neglected it. The best example of that is the animal spawns. They left that issue unfixed for almost a year, which left most of the game nearly unplayable. Given that so many things depended on the animal spawns which were absent, it made trader difficult to do. And they still aren't really at the level they were before.
For me, the game is pretty much permanently shelved. I love the Story Mode, and I still take it out every once in a while and play it, but the Online I rarely play anymore unless I have my friends with me and we feel like screwing around in Red Dead. Maybe i'll play it again for a couple weeks every now and again when a new update comes out, but for the most part, the game is done for me.
TL;DR: The game could have been so much more, but neglect stagnated it, and that's a real shame.
What about you? Do you think the game died too?