Rockstar Games formally announced Red Dead Redemption 2 for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on October 18, 2018, with a trailer, released a few days later on October 20, 2018. Before the official announcement, the game had been rumored to be in development since at least 2015, when a former Rockstar Games employee revealed that Red Dead Redemption 2 was being worked on, and when European publisher Ubisoft included it in a list of highly anticipated upcoming titles.
The official Red Dead Redemption 2 announcement was preceded by a short, teasing campaign. On October 16th, 2016, Rockstar Games changed all of their social media and Newswire images to two red and black logos, with one of them appearing very similar to many Red Dead Redemption screenshots. The following day, October 17th, the publisher shared another image showing what appeared to be Dutch's Gang with a sunset behind. On October 18th, 2016, the game was formally announced with a Fall 2017 release window and two days later, on October 20th, the first trailer was revealed.
Months later, Rockstar Games delayed Red Dead Redemption 2 for the first time. On May 22nd, it was announced that Red Dead Redemption 2 would be delayed into Spring 2018. The publisher expressed its regret for delaying the game, affirming their belief in "delivering a game only when it is ready".
New screenshots were released on the same day. Further information on the delay came from Take-Two Interactive, Rockstar Games parent company, CEO Strauss Zelnick who, during an earnings call, stated that Red Dead Redemption 2 wasn't delayed due to any particular development issue, but just to make sure Rockstar Games and Take-Two could "deliver the most extraordinary experience that [they're] capable of providing" they are capable of providing.
On February 1st, 2018, Rockstar Games announced the game's second delay, while also providing an official release date, October 26th, 2018. The developer apologized for the new delay, saying that it hoped to have the game ready sooner, but needed extra time for polish. More screenshots were released on the same day.
Special Editions, Guide Announcements
On June 4th, 2018, Rockstar Games released new details on the Red Dead Redemption 2 special editions including digital pre-order bonuses, Collector's Box and more. Pre-order bonuses were available up until August 15th, 2018.
On July 23rd, Rockstar Games announced the Red Dead Redemption 2 The Complete Official Guide. Published by Piggyback, it will be available on October 26, 2018 in two variants (standard and collector's editions).
On August 30th, 2018, Rockstar Games unveiled the Red Dead Redemption 2 Outlaw Essentials Collection, featuring limited edition items inspired by the game such as t-shirts, a collapsible shot glass, pendleton blanket featuring the Van der Linde Gang, and a glass decoupage tray by John Derian.