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Why Rockstar Won't Remake Red Dead Redemption

The "Red Dead Redemption" series has seen a stunning transformation through the years, with 2018's sequel expanding on the world and the characters from the first game in surprising ways. And almost ever since "Red Read Redemption 2" was released, a vocal section of the "Red Dead" fanbase has been hoping to see a remake of the 2010 game that kicked off the open-world cowboy action series. After all, a revamp of the first game with all of the improvements from the sequel sounds like a no-brainer, right?

Fans have been unpacking rumors of a "Red Dead Redemption" remaster or remake for quite a while. Some unfounded sources have claimed that Rockstar Games has been hard at work on the project in secret, implementing tons of new mechanics and returning voice actors. And while many of those "Red Dead Redemption" remake rumors have turned out to be false, fans continue to hold out hope for a chance to revisit John Marsten's fateful adventures in HD. However, there are a number of reasons why a remake just doesn't seem likely right now.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is too new

"Red Dead Redemption 2" came out in 2018, eight years after the original game was released. While another three years might sound like a long time for fans to wait, it's almost nothing compared to the actual amount of time in between the two mainline releases in the series. When looking at Rockstar's other properties, it took 20 years for Rockstar to put out a full remaster of "Grand Theft Auto 3."

A remake probably wouldn't require the same amount of development time that a new title would need, but there are still some problems when it comes to releasing a game too quickly. For starters, a remake of the original "Red Dead Redemption" could take away from the sales of "Red Dead Redemption 2." Even after a few years, the sales for the newest game in the series are still going strong (per industry analyst Daniel Ahmad), which could be due to the fact that every copy of "Red Dead Redemption 2" comes with "Red Dead Online" as an incentive.

It would make more sense for Rockstar to release a remake once the hype for the current entry starts dwindling, but not before.

Rockstar may want to focus on Red Dead Online

"Red Dead Online" is still doing relatively well, and Rockstar may want to give the platform more support. According to Steam Charts, most months see a peak of around 6,000 players at any moment. Rockstar might decide to pour out more content and updates for the game, especially now that it's seen how wildly successful "Grand Theft Auto Online" continues to be. Considering that "Red Dead Online" is basically the cowboy version of "GTA Online," complete with group challenges and gambling mini games, it would make sense that Rockstar would treat it similarly. 

There's plenty to enjoy in "Red Dead Online," and more support would give more players incentives to check it out. With interesting characters like Madam Nazar, the story content of the multiplayer game is just as fascinating as taking on Blood Money missions.

In 2018, Rockstar Games co-founder Dan Houser told Vulture, "we want ['Red Dead Online'] to be as robust as 'Grand Theft Auto Online,'" so Rockstar may still have some work to do. Rockstar has been criticized in the past for oftentimes leaving "Red Dead Online" on the back burner (leading players to actually protest the state of the game), but "RDO" still has so much potential that the company may not want to add a different "Red Dead" project to its plate just yet — which leads to the next point.

Rockstar has a LOT on its plate

While there's no official news on a "Red Dead Redemption" remake, there's been plenty of news on other projects from Rockstar. If recent leaks are to be believed, "GTA: The Trilogy — Definitive Edition" was only the beginning of Rockstar's big plans.

Rockstar and Nintendo joined forces in November 2021 to bring some of the developer's iconic titles to the Nintendo Switch, which some sources believe could include "Red Dead Redemption." Of course, wouldn't be a remake, it would be a port of the original version of the game. Other ports reportedly in the works include "Max Payne 3" and "Midnight Club," so Rockstar could be counting on those to tide fans over before the next new "Red Dead" project.

Meanwhile, "Grand Theft Auto 6" is also somewhere in the works, and considering how long fans have been waiting for that sequel, it's likely that Rockstar would prioritize it over a "Red Dead Redemption" remake.

Red Dead Redemption is still widely available

Remakes tend to come along when the original version of a game is way in the rearview mirror. For instance, Nintendo released "Metroid: Samus Returns" into an era where the original version of "Metroid 2" has become significantly harder to track down and play. By that point, 26 years had passed between the original and "Samus Returns," and technology allowed the devs to make the new version and almost entirely new experience.

However, despite being more than a decade removed from the release of "Red Dead Redemption," and despite its status as a modern classic, the game is still pretty easy to come by. "Red Dead Redemption" is available on both last-gen and current-gen Xbox consoles, and PlayStation players can play it through the PlayStation Now subscription service. 

Since players still have access to the game through current-gen consoles, there's less of an argument to be made for crafting a new take on "Red Dead Redemption" from scratch.

Red Dead Redemption 3 should release first

Before remaking the first game, "Red Dead Redemption 3" could come out first. In fact, this is a project that fans have already been clamoring for. Some gamers have expressed their hopes for a third game that picks up after the events of the first installment, while others have argued that another prequel would make perfect sense for the series' timeline.

In Dan Houser's 2018 Vulture interview, he said that if "Red Dead Redemption 2" sold well, then the company would certainly look at making a third "Redemption" game. Considering "Red Dead Redemption 2" broke series' records, it's safe to say a third game will mostly likely be on the way — at some point. 

Although Rockstar lost Houser in 2020, his comments would seem to suggest that Rockstar would most likely prioritize "Red Dead 3" sequel over a "Red Dead Redemption" remake. And given the past release times between "Red Dead" games, "Red Dead Redemption 3" might be a long way off — putting any potential remake even further out, if it's even being planned at all.