The most anticipated game of the year will be missing a major online component when it comes out in October

  • “Red Dead Redemption 2” will launch on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on October 26 – but players will have to wait November to play “Red Dead Online,” the online multiplayer component
  • “Red Dead Online” will enter public beta in November, and developer Rockstar expects it to have some growing pains early on.
  • Players will be able to explore the world of “Red Dead Online” alone or with friends. It’s expected to offer a mix of storytelling, competitive, and cooperative gameplay.
  • Rockstar plans to support “Red Dead Online” with constant updates and adjustments. Healthy ongoing support for “Grand Theft Auto Online” has helped Rockstar sell more than 100 million copies of “Grand Theft Auto V” since 2013.

Many, many gamers are eagerly awaiting the release of Rockstar Games’ “Red Dead Redemption 2” on October 26 – almost certainly the most anticipated game of the year, with the possible exception of Nintendo’s “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.”

But there’s a little bad news: the game will be without online multiplayer for at least a few days, and possibly weeks, after launch. Rockstar Games has announced that “Red Dead Online,” the action-western game’s online multiplayer mode, won’t be available until the launch of a a public beta-testing program in November.

“Red Dead Online” will be available for free to anyone who buys the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One versions of “Red Dead Redemption 2.” Players will be able to explore the open-world environment alone or with friends, and the online mode will have its own narrative storyline. According to Rockstar, “Red Dead Online” will feature both competitive and cooperative gameplay, but the company is warning fans to expect some growing pains.

“As with most online experiences of this size and scale, there will inevitably be some turbulence at launch,” a statement from Rockstar reads. “We look forward to working with our amazing and dedicated community to share ideas, help us fix teething problems and work with us to develop ‘Red Dead Online’ into something really fun and innovative.”

Rockstar certainly has practice at building mega-popular online games; its ongoing support for “Grand Theft Auto Online” has helped sell more than 100 million copies of “Grand Theft Auto V” since September 2013.

Games sales analyst Mat Piscatella told Business Insider that Since “GTA 5” went on sale in September 2013, it has appeared in the top 20 best-selling games list 57 out of 58 times, through early August 2018. The only time it failed to break the top 20 was in October 2014, when the game landed at #21.

The original “Red Dead Redemption,” released in 2010, was a popular online game in its own right – and Rockstar now has many more years of experience crafting exciting online play. If the new single-player campaign is anywhere near as impressive as the previous title, players of “Red Dead Redemption 2” will have plenty to hold them over until “Red Dead Online” is ready to launch. Still, this news will likely come as a bummer to many.