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Philosopher's Game and the Armchair Seer


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Finally, it has come to this. Its time to come out of the closet. This is difficult to admit, but bare with me, for this will probably happen to you as well. There are lots of you in the same situation right now, you, me, we are all blessed with a curse. My blessing is I am a retired adult in good health, my curse, and hopefully yours as well, is unscheduled time.


I am a retired adult who plays RDR2 Online. There I said it, it feels much better now that is out in the open. Whew. My family has known that I play the game but the neighbours and the folks at the Legion, at church have only heard rumours spread in the parking lot or the check out counter at Costco. (“Did you hear? He plays RDR2 Online and he's retired!! It's shocking and no good can come of it!”)


One of the signs of addiction is the tolerance to higher levels of substance abuse that produce a lower high in return. Its an endless cycle, you need to smoke two rocks to give you the same high one rock gave you last week. It's vicious, it's hell, it's never ends.


Which brings us to RDR2 “Beta” Online and current state of online gaming. My online gaming habit started in the last century, in the early nineties. I have played all the standards, Battlefield, COD, Medal of Honour, Close Combat, Day of Defeat, Counter-strike, Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon all on the PC or PSN.


They all have the same problem, griefers, campers, tk's who intentionally disrupt the session you are in simply because they can. No online game is without them. No online game has ever been able to eliminate such behavior. We all have horror stories of favorite games ruined and abandoned to the griefers. The online games that survive find a balance, the average player can manage their contact with griefers and still enjoy the game. Very few games manage to do that.


RDR2 Online, the Beta, has not reached that balance yet and based on my past gaming experience, it probably won't. The award and bonus system in RDR2 rewards griefers. Hogtie and drag your enemy 100ft you get rewarded, shoot them in the head with a arrow you get rewarded, screw up their mission, you get rewarded, no I think RDR2 is fatally flawed because of this.


So here are my predictions for RDR2 Online:


  1. The Beta phase will continue for another couple of months.

  2. There will continue to be updates and attempts to rectify the griefer's behavior.

  3. There will be free stuff from Rockstar in order to hold non-griefers brand loyalty

  4. Rockstar will NOT achieve the required revenue streams for this product that large corporations demand

  5. Rockstar will eventually call it quits and abandon the project to the trolls because they are working on RDR3 VR for the PS5.  ;))

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I think they will stick with this game for a good 5 years. I can't see them working on the next big project for another year at least. I heard it was another Bully game as well. Not sure if that is true or not. 

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Congratulations on the retirement,  It is honestly what I am striving for.

I'm and older dude who enjoys the subject of game theory, monetization, and have an analyst and Project Management background.  So I’m admittedly **** retentive/detailed orientated and think about this stuff too much.  My short answer (which isn't even that short)...

They're most likely working on GTA6 VR for PS5 is probably the best answer

  • Griefers really don't bother me too much.  Since the update blue dots really mind their own and most red dots are either hiding from the bounty hunters, fighting their posse or busy selling stuff in town.  I haven't been shot in days.  It's either feud or Parley afterward anyway.
  • Last few years all AAA games to me seem to be put the game out and build onto as you go, sort everything is in beta.  I think if it isn't successful they just limit future expenditures and "milk what they can out of it" for as long as you can.
  • They all seem to give "free stuff", it's sort like  "In the casino, the cardinal rule is to keep them playing and to keep them coming back."  It's perceived value since it really has no value except what the user puts on it.
  • I don't think they will shut this down for a while as R*/take two really doesn't have allot in the pipeline right now, and I see the foundation for huge updates.  Also as above they'll just let the core players play for as long as they're is interest.
    • Amarillo has that plaque and the prison island is out their with a ton of ships
  • I do think the younger crowd will get bored and move onto the next big thing. 
  • RDR2 also seems to be pretty popular worldwide even though China isn't really an open market yet.  If they could open the China market it's a whole new ballgame.
Edited by Dissention
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5 hours ago, Redstaski said:

Rockstar will eventually call it quits and abandon the project to the trolls because they are working on RDR3 VR for the PS5.  ;))

I highly doubt this will be in the works anytime soon if ever. I can't see them jumping down the VR rabbit hole just yet. I think we will see Bully as mentioned above as well as another GTA before we see another RDR if we even do.

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I’m not sure about the details, but I agree with your point about revenue...if R*’s bottom line doesn’t increase and the game continues to undersell to older games like GTA V, I could see them abandoning it by summer 2020. It really depends on the sales vs the budget to make the game and the initial timeline R* execs set to make the money back. They probably have set decision points scheduled in order to review sales and determine if the “juice is worth the squeeze.” Or maybe not? I may be totally wrong on how their company works.

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13 hours ago, #SadCowboy said:

I highly doubt this will be in the works anytime soon if ever. I can't see them jumping down the VR rabbit hole just yet. I think we will see Bully as mentioned above as well as another GTA before we see another RDR if we even do.

They're just dreaming for a RDR playable game on the PS :P *cough*shoulda bought an xbox*cough*

We won't see another GTA in the near future, maybe not ever.  Agreed we'll probably see Bully remastered before anything else from Rockstar.

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Great comments, they all seem to reinforce my belief that games are primarily driven by consumer market forces. Unless game developers find a way to monetize their product, there is no point.  With RDR2 Online, I believe those forces will determine it's continued existence.   I also believe that the online version has a shelf life of about one year, this time next year only the die hard fans will be playing it online.

Take Two Interactive is a holding company that owns Rockstar Games, these types of organizations viewed their subsidiaries as revenue streams. Not meeting your projected earnings? Your product gets regulated to the abandonware dust heap. Take Two has done this before with other games. So there is pressure on Rockstar to produce and the metric Take Two will probably use is Grand Theft Auto. If RDR2 doesn't live up GTA V revenue stream then bug/glitches/griefing will get short shrift. More than likely, Rockstar will declare the online problems solved and move on to the next project whether or not the users agree. Going by the hints in the game menus, it looks like to me that there will be a large update at the end of the "BETA" phase and at that point only bugs and glitches will receive attention.

The share price of Take Take Interactive is under pressure, some financial analyst predict lower profits because of stagnate product lines and what some are calling the "Fortnight Effect".  The paradigm has shifted, free games, i.e. Fortnight, and games for your phone are where the money seems to be heading. Take Two doesn't want to be holding an empty bag, they will probably put pressure on Rockstar to wrap things up with RDR2.

RDR2 has been in the pipeline for a number of years and I am not sure why, the original release, I think, was suppose to happen in 2017. That to me is a warning sign, any company that has delays getting product to the market has internal problems. The game design of RDR2 , to me, shows little difference from the design of GTA V.  The PvP mini games are straight out of  GTA V, there are barbershops just like GTA V, there are clothing stores just like GTA V, there are just different shades of lipstick on the cute little pig that is RDR2.  All they have done, to my mind, is put Los Santos in a time machine and gone back to the nineteenth century.

Porting GTA V back several generations to create RDR 2, is, in itself, not necessarily a bad thing. Why re-invent wheel, right?  The problem with it, to me, is that in GTA V Online there are no good guys or white hats, everyone is a threat whereas in RDR 2 Online there are white hats or good guys, not everyone is a threat. RDR 2 rewards both types of behavior, your character is free to follow a path of their own choosing. Rewarding dishounourable acts is a sure recipe for griefers and trolls to flourish.

Once, if ever, the "Beta" test is finished there will be the thorny issue of character progress. Players who spend several months developing  the online persona will not take kindly to having their account wiped to accommodate the official launch. So, far Rockstar has said they won't do this, but why would a new player, after the official launch, want to take on a horde online of advanced players armed to the teeth with money and guns?

Lastly, yeah, I still play online RDR2 online and will probably do so till the bitter end.

Red Dead Redemption 2_20190227162631.jpg

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I don't mind having to pay yearly to support a game. I would much rather they say "Hey, the game is $60 up front and each year following will be $20 to play online but you will get additional guns, attire, and all these other features" instead of lying about it and making the game kind of force out hands so to speak to buy things.

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