Will Red Dead Redemption II Come To PC?

Yup its almost here only twenty two days left and you can tell I’m excited as all I’ve written the last few weeks are RDR related articles with a few more to follow before launch day. Very, very soon and after a year long delay, PlayStation and Xbox owners will be able to finally be able to play Red Dead Redemption II. But while console owners are gearing up to play what will easily be the best game of 2018, what about PC owners?

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The first game (and I don’t mean Revolver) was never ported to the PC and this casts a little shadow of doubt over the chance of RDR II making its way to the platform too. But why didn’t RDR make it over to the PC? Well there is a rumor going around the interwebs that the game never game to PC because the coding was a mess and it was just too much trouble to port. Its a rumor that I can find no evidence about though. I’m pretty sure the messy code theory is just something some idiot said a while back and given the nature of the internets and people not bothering to check basic facts, it just spread like a bad game of Chinese whispers gotten out of hand.

I suppose there could be some truth in the code not being very easy to port to PC…but there is a major flaw with that idea. The game was designed and coded on PCs to begin with. So how could the coding for RDR be a mess and not work on PC when it was coded on a PC? The closest thing I can find that suggests there were problems with RDR is this article from 2016 that mentions problems with the development from 2006. But it never specifically mentions problems with the coding nor a PC version, just general issues with the game’s development overall and all games have troubles during the development cycle, so this is hardly news really. So we can’t really say that is proof the code was too messy to post to the PC. As I say, I chalk this one up to a rumor that spread over the interwebs and nothing more.

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So why no PC port? Well it has been confirmed by Rockstar Games’ Kris Roberts, who was one of the lead developers on RDR that they never even considered a PC port. This article right here confirms this. In the worlds of the man himself…

“I don’t think there was ever an intention to have a PC version of Red Dead Redemption”

– Kris Roberts

Could it really be that simple, that Rockstar just never even wanted to do a PC port of RDR to begin with? It does make more sense than the code not working for a game that was coded on PCs right? But I think there could be another factor and perhaps the most important one when it comes to running a successful company like Rockstar… money. See, in the same article, Kris Roberts also mentions how he was surprised that they did a PC version of Grand Theft Auto V and how that game was only originally going to be for consoles.

As we all now know, GTA V was a big seller. In fact its the most successful piece of entertainment in history. Not just game, but most profitable and successful anything. And its still making money five years after its initial release thanks to the online mode. But at the time, Rockstar didn’t know just how popular it was going to be so didn’t want to risk a PC port. It was only after the unbelievable sales that the idea to port the game to PC came about. This is a theory that can also be found with Grand Theft Auto IV. Again, GTA IV was originally a console only game, but it sold well and so was later ported to PC after strong sales. So how does all of this relate to the lack of a PC port of RDR?

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Look, I love RDR, you love RDR, a lot of people love RDR. But there is one very simple fact and that is RDR  is not as popular as GTA which is Rockstar’s flagship franchise. Again GTA IV was only ported to PC after the impressive sales on console, same with GTA V. RDR only shifted a little over 14 million units, now selling 14 million is lot, of course it is. But compared to GTA IV‘s 25 million sales from before RDR was released? Well its just not good enough.

So I think its a combination of the fact that Rockstar never really considered a RDR PC port and the fact that the game under-performed (compared to the previous sales of GTA IV that is.) that Rockstar just didn’t see the point in a PC version. You have to bear in mind that a later port means pouring money back into development, optimizing,  advertising, packaging, distribution and the like, all of which costs some serious coin. But if the sales are not good enough, then why risk it? In short, if RDR had been as popular as GTA IV and sold as many copies, then it most probably would’ve been ported to the PC. So the next time someone says that there was no PC port of RDR because the code was a mess, just call them an idiot seeing as the game was coded on a PC. Its really nothing more than a popularity/money issue.

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So to answer the question of, will Red Dead Redemption II come To PC? I guess that depends on the sales. I’m sure Rockstar’s parent company Take-Two have sales targets in mind and if RDR II meets and even beats those targets then they’ll want to make more money from their product and a PC version would be on the cards. So if you want to see RDR II on PC, you’d better get your fingers crossed that it sells… a lot. But with the RDR name just not as popular as GTA, there’s a good chance that won’t happen.

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One thought on “Will Red Dead Redemption II Come To PC?

  1. geelw

    Counterpoint (with a smile!): I think RDR II will appear on PC for a few reasons.

    1: RDR II is going to go the full on Online play route option (even more so than the first game) and as GTA V Online has been a huge success for Rockstar, they’re no doubt hoping to see similar numbers on console as well as continued demand for that PC version (which, based on the comments I’ve seen from hard core PC gamers, seems quite large among those who have powerful enough rigs to run it).

    2: NVIDIA has upcoming video cards that support ray tracing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjf-1BxpR9c and I’d get a penny RDR will come to PC with this implemented just to blow away people who can play it on those high-end rigs.

    3: I’d say sales will be fine for RDR II and then some. Unless the game somehow falls short of expectations and gets a stupidly low score (I hate aggregate sites, but they’re the way so much entertainment is judged, sadly), it’ll do well enough that if Rockstar isn’t already working on a PC version, it’ll spur them to get on it (but I’d bet another penny it’s in development as we speak).

    Granted, it’s in Rockstar’s favor to say nothing at all on what’s what because they love surprising gamers and I’d say that’s a thing they excel at in this day and age of leaks everywhere (planned and unplanned). I still recall both the GTA IV and V PC screens that popped into my inbox from Rockstar’s PR department making me wish I had something killer to run those games on, but I was happy with my console versions (and too cheap to double dip, lol). I’ve got no skin in the game if it appears, but I think it’s more a probability than a possibility.

    As for the first game ever getting a PC upgrade? Likely nope… but, here’s a thought: RDR II is the prequel to the first game, correct? I can think of one reason right there that might make it a teeny-tiny possibility in the future (say, 2-3 years down the road), but that’s REALLY stretching it as Rockstar no doubt has other projects in the works.

    I’d also guess It would need to be a completely new version and not just an upscale from the old assets, which in either case would not be quickly made or cheap to make happen. Although… given PlatinumGames’ stellar work on Bayonetta and Vanquish on PC, I’m wondering if the more easily annoyed gamers who complain about everything they don’t like would accept a polished up HD version of RDR with updated online play over a full on, more expensive total remake. Hmmmm…

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