Speaking with IGN, the developer said that they have taken what they have learned from GTA Online and made sure to create the best experience possible with Red Dead Online (RDO). "The first is that even though Red Dead Redemption 2 and Red Dead Online share the same gameplay mechanics and geography, we see them essentially as separate products that will grow and evolve independently of each other".
Just like the way GTA Online used GTA V as the base, Red Dead Online will be the multiplayer component of Red Dead Redemption 2. However, the mode's popularity arguably came at the cost of the single player experience: teased DLC never materialized, and numerous features GTA Online has received over time haven't been implemented into the core game.
The same release schedule will remain for Red Dead Redemption 2, with the main game arriving in October and the public beta for Red Dead Online launching in November.
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Much like GTA Online, Rockstar will be consistently releasing updates for Red Dead Online over the next few years to keep players coming back. "This should feel intimate and personal while still feeling fun and action-packed from moment to moment". This is similar to what Rockstar did with Grand Theft Auto V's online mode. In Red Dead Redempt1on, a small number of players could run around the vast countryside, starting co-op missions, taking pot shots at one another, or cautiously eyeballing each other as they passed by on quiet dusty roads. But Rockstar is aware that audiences may be interested in both, so the company will "plan to stagger the updates of both games, so that players can switch between the two, but our development plans may not always allow this". Rockstar seems keen to get it right from the start this time, admitting "we feel Grand Theft Auto Online really only found its feet creatively with Heists". That may all change as the game comes out, but that's the direction we are heading in now!
The Red Dead Online beta will be open to anyone who owns the game on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One.