Red Dead Online players hoping for some new Halloween treats this year were left disappointed when Rockstar announced the return of the same recycled content from previous years.
For the third year in a row, Red Dead Online’s Halloween event will include the Halloween Pass 2, a pass that allows players to unlock thematic cosmetic items through leveling up over 15 tiers. The pass, which costs Gold Bars or around $10 worth of premium currency, contains items like bloody clothing, scary masks, and spooky lanterns.
While the pass will be free for players who already bought it previously, many fans were frustrated to see the exact same content reappearing instead of something new. This repetitive approach stands in stark contrast to the ever-evolving seasonal events in Rockstar’s flagship title Grand Theft Auto Online.
Lack of Communication Fuels Player Frustrations
One of the main grievances voiced by the Red Dead Online community is the lack of communication from Rockstar about plans for future content. Players are often left guessing if new updates will ever come, and the silence only adds to the feelings of neglect.
Many are calling for more transparency around what the developers are working on and the status of long-requested features. Even just acknowledging community desires would go a long way to easing tensions.
Red Dead Online Posses Protest Lack of New Content
In summer 2020, groups of players dressed as clowns in-game to creatively protest the lack of new content from Rockstar. While initially humorous, this action highlighted real community frustrations stemming from reused content and unfulfilled promises.
Alongside the returning Halloween Pass this year, Rockstar also announced the return of special Halloween-themed events like Fear of the Dark and Dead of Night. While these limited-time activities provide Halloween atmosphere, players who participated previously will again find nothing new.
Eager fans who have stuck with Red Dead Online despite its stagnancy were hopeful this Halloween could bring some exciting surprises. According to a poll on a popular Red Dead Online fan site, over 80% of players predicted brand new content.
This optimism stemmed from a long-awaited update over the summer, which introduced special missions from prominent characters. However, this turned out to be a false dawn for consistent updates.
Is Rockstar Abandoning Red Dead Online?
For players, actions speak louder than words when it comes to Rockstar’s level of commitment to the future of Red Dead Online. The lack of meaningful content has led many to feel the game is being abandoned.
Social media channels and forums are now rife with complaints about repetitive offerings. Fans argue that with Red Dead Redemption 2 being one of the best-selling games of all time, Rockstar should invest more resources into the online component.
Some point to the thriving GTA Online as an example of what is possible when long-term engagement is made a priority. Even just remastering old content from Red Dead Redemption 1 could reinvigorate the player base, but so far no announcements have materialized.
Disappointment Over Red Dead Redemption Remaster
The recent re-release of the original Red Dead Redemption game has also stoked frustrations. Despite community hopes of a full remaster for PC and modern consoles, the game received only a basic port lacking the enhancements expected from a current-gen re-release.
For Red Dead players, this seemed reflective of Rockstar’s wider indifferent attitude and lack of innovation.
A Make or Break Moment for Red Dead Online
With player frustration reaching a boiling point, Rockstar faces a make or break moment for the future of Red Dead Online. The game has enormous potential if meaningful new content is added, but risks losing its remaining loyal players if it continues relying on recycled seasonal events.
Some are holding out hope that Rockstar has big updates secretly in the works. However, trust between the developers and the community has become strained. Only concrete actions will rebuild that relationship.
If nothing changes by this time next year, posses of disappointed cowpokes may trade their lassos for pitchforks. Rockstar needs to treat Red Dead Online to some new treats, or risk player outrage turning truly ugly.