Since Red Dead Redemption 2 was first revealed many announcements, rumors and other statements related to the game and its release have made the rounds. So many in fact that it can be hard to keep track of them all.
With that in mind, here are the biggest, most important events leading up to the game’s launch. This timeline will be updated periodically to include everything pertinent to Red Dead Redemption 2’s pre-launch period.
- 1 Current State of Affairs
- 2 Timeline
- 2.1 October 20, 2016 – Red Dead Redemption 2 Officially Announced
- 2.2 December 2016 – Retailer Merch Sent Out
- 2.3 January 2017 – Retail Pre-Orders Open
- 2.4 April 2017 – Sold Out (Briefly) On Amazon
- 2.5 May 22, 2017 – Delayed To Spring 2018 Plus New Screenshots
- 2.6 September 28, 2017 – Second Trailer
- 2.7 December 15, 2017 – GTA Online Cross-Promotion
Current State of Affairs
Spring 2018 is two months away but we also know that the game won’t come out in this fiscal quarter (which runs from January 1 to March 31). That leaves April 1 as the earliest possible date that Red Dead Redemption 2 could be released.
So the time until the game’s release window opens is rapidly decreasing and the same signs we saw prior to the game’s delay are appearing now as well. However, we still know next to nothing about the game, save for the fact that it will have horses, Dutch, and a protagonist called Arthur Morgan.
This current situation reeks of another incoming delay, and our current best guess is Red Dead Redemption 2 won’t be hitting shelves until Fall 2018. We’d love nothing more than to be wrong on this count, but things aren’t looking good.
October 20, 2016 – Red Dead Redemption 2 Officially Announced
In the days leading up to October 20, 2016, Rockstar Games’ social media activity already made it clear something was happening.
They changed all their logos to black on red backgrounds, made their cover images follow the same color scheme, and then they teased a reveal for the fateful day, also following the same visual cues.
And then it came – a mostly pre-rendered trailer and a name. Red Dead Redemption 2 was coming in Fall 2017, which, at the time, didn’t seem like too long a wait.
The trailer didn’t reveal much about the game, save for showing off some nice landscapes as well as having an utterly ambiguous and ominous voice-over. No one knew anything about the game except for the fact that it was coming, but that was enough. Fans could also already pre-order the game digitally.
December 2016 – Retailer Merch Sent Out
Rockstar may have retreated into radio-silence, but some of the waves made by the announcement only hit the shore later on.
Advertising merchandise to be used in retail stores, undoubtedly sent out around the time of the announcement, started trickling in and making the rounds online in December. Cardboard cutouts and boxes with key art were included, but none held any new information regarding the game.
January 2017 – Retail Pre-Orders Open
Starting in what was supposed to be the release year of Red Dead Redemption 2, fans who didn’t jump onto the digital pre-order offer when the announcement was made could now reserve a copy at their favorite brick-and-mortar store.
Small cardboard pre-order slips, complete with the same key art we’ve been looking at since release, and a platform header, were distributed to simulate the excitement of driving home with the new game, except that drive would last for months (or so we thought).
April 2017 – Sold Out (Briefly) On Amazon
How can a game that hasn’t been released sell out?
Technically speaking, resellers buy up a specific amount of stock from the distributor, and all this means is that the number of people who pre-ordered Red Dead Redemption 2 – just for the PS4, in this case – exceeded that number. Of course, all Amazon had to do was order in more stock, and pre-orders were open again in no time.
May 22, 2017 – Delayed To Spring 2018 Plus New Screenshots
Everyone was afraid that a delay would happen at this point, and so it was disappointing (but not surprising) when the official announcement came that Red Dead Redemption 2 would not be hitting store shelves until 2018.
But hey, at least we got some screenshots, right?
September 28, 2017 – Second Trailer
After a few teases that new info would be revealed about the game, Rockstar published a new trailer which included a lot more content than the first.
We finally got answers to some of the biggest questions, like which character players will control in the game, and whether or not it would be a prequel. Those answers are Arthur Morgan and yes, respectively.
We also learned that Dutch will be present in the game, and that Morgan will be a bad guy, at least for some part of the game. More sweeping shots of the landscape, and a lot more in-game footage was shown this time around.
December 15, 2017 – GTA Online Cross-Promotion
The first direct link between Grand Theft Auto Online and Red Dead Redemption 2 appeared in the form of a minor cross-promotion, where players of the former could unlock a golden revolver weapon skin for the latter.
Players who complete a short scavenger hunt in GTA Online get a new weapon in that game, and once Red Dead Online launches, players who link their accounts will get the same weapon skin there too.