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Red Dead Redemption 3 release date: Everything we know so far about Rockstar's next Wild West simulator

Will Georgiadis Thomas Barley
21 Aug 2019
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With the success of Red Dead Redemption 2, when can we expect to hear more about a potential sequel?

Red Dead Redemption 2 is well and truly behind us, and our sights are now set firmly on the horizon, where the shadow of Red Dead Redemption 3 looms large.

Can you blame us? Rockstar, the developers of both the Red Dead Redemption series and the Grand Theft Auto games, created a masterpiece when it released Red Dead Redemption 2 in October 2018 and people want to know when they can next return to the land of the Wild West.

Rockstar, however, is meticulous. Famously so. In other words, the company takes a very long time before announcing, let alone releasing, one of its games. If there’s one thing Rockstar fans are, though, it’s persistent to the point of irritation. Basically, we want to know more and we know you do too, so read on to find out everything we know about Red Dead Redemption 3.

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Red Dead Redemption 3: Everything we know so far

(spoiler alert: not much)

Red Dead Redemption 3 release date: When will it come out?

Once upon a time, Rockstar actually released at least a single game every year. From 1999 to 2013, the developer had a new game on store shelves every year. However, Red Dead games have a history of taking a long time to gestate. The first entry in the series, Red Dead Revolver, released way back in 2004 and the original Red Dead Redemption came out in 2010.

Taking into account that the third game released just last year, we can see the Red Dead series typically takes at least six years to release and eight at most. We might have to start preparing ourselves for a 2025 release date at the earliest.

That won’t be helped by the monolith that is the Grand Theft Auto franchise. The most recent entry, Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V), was first released in 2013 and has been printing money for Rockstar ever since. GTA V’s online mode is still played by thousands of people, people who are constantly paying for microtransactions and new DLC. The game as a whole has provided Rockstar with more than $6 billion’s worth of revenue, which could well be one of the reasons there were no new games released between 2013 and 2018.

If GTA 6 – rumoured to be Rockstar’s next game – is anywhere near as successful online, we may well see Red Dead Redemption 3 pushed back another four to five years.

Red Dead Redemption 3 trailer: When will we see the first footage?

Rockstar games have a penchant for the cinematic and the company’s trailers are no exception. They know players want to see something of their upcoming games and so they spread out their trailers sparingly for years before they’re released.

Working under the assumption that we probably won’t see a new Red Dead game until at least 2025, we can begin to create a timeline of events leading up to its release. We can do this by looking back on Red Dead Redemption 2’s very first trailer, which was uploaded two years ago in 2016. It’s not impossible that we could see the first trailer for a new Red Dead game as early as 2023, if we’re thinking optimistically.

Keep in mind, however, that Red Dead Redemption 2 also experienced multiple delays. Rockstar could decide to keep its cards close to its chest this time around, and only reveal footage when it’s absolutely sure it’ll meet the release deadline. If this is the case, first footage of the game could be shown at a later date, such as 2024 or perhaps even later.

Red Dead Redemption 3 setting: When will it be set?

If there’s one thing we expect from an adventure in the Wild West, it’s to experience, well, the Wild West and everything that comes with it, and the Red Dead games have always provided this for us. Red Dead Revolver and both of the Red Dead Redemption games took place in Western America and the Civilised East, with rickety saloons, cowboys and shootouts galore.

With the recent Red Dead Redemption games, however, Rockstar has primarily focused on a specific period of the American Old West, the end of the era. Showing how outlaws deal with becoming a dying breed, Rockstar has focused on the Van Der Linde gang and its members for the most recent entries.

Based on the timeline of both games, we know Red Dead Redemption 2 is a prequel to the original Red Dead Redemption, with both games being set in 1899 and 1911 respectively. If Rockstar continued to explore the lives of the Van Der Linde outlaws, it would only make sense for them to jump further back in time. We know that Arthur, the protagonist of the Redemption prequel, was with the gang from early childhood, joining it in 1877. That leaves a period of 22 years that could easily be explored, if Rockstar decides to take that route.

There’s also the possibility that the developer finally decides to take the GTA route with the next Red Dead game, starring an entirely new protagonist, cast of characters and setting with each new entry. Many fans feel the Van Der Linde gang has now been thoroughly explored over the course of two games, so seeing something completely new and different might be a good change of pace.

Red Dead Redemption 3 PS4: Will we see it on current-gen consoles?

We shouldn’t expect to see the next Red Dead game on current-gen consoles, because the current generation is soon coming to a close. Both Sony and Microsoft have announced they’re currently working on next-gen consoles and even Google has revealed its entry into the video-game market with the Stadia streaming device.

It’s also worth considering that the lifespan of a console generation is usually seven or eight years. Both the sixth and seventh console generations – the ones preceding our current, eighth generation – lasted around eight years each. The PS4 and Xbox One came out in 2013, so next year will mark seven years, and with multiple companies gearing up for release, 2020 could well be the year we see the ninth generation of consoles.

We don’t expect to see Red Dead Redemption 3 until roughly the mid-2020s, after the release of GTA 6, so it’s definitely likely to miss out on this generation. Rockstar could decide to cross-release the game, having it come out on both the eighth and ninth generation consoles. This is fairly common within the first few years of a new console’s release, when the player install base still hasn’t fully crossed over. We could see this happen with GTA 6, as GTA V received a similar treatment, but Red Dead Redemption 3 seems less likely.

We update this page with new information regarding Red Dead Redemption 3 as we hear it, so check back soon.

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