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'Red Dead Online' beta test launches on November 27th

It's rolling out gradually to avoid repeating early 'GTA Online' troubles.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
November 26, 2018
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You're about to learn how well Red Dead Redemption 2 works as a multiplayer game -- as hinted back in September, Rockstar Games is launching the beta for Red Dead Online this week. Just when you can play will depend on how eager an RDR2 player you are, mind you. Anyone who bought the Ultimate Edition will get first crack on November 27th. After that, it depends on when you've played. People who've played RDR2 on November 26th will get to try Online as of the 28th, while those who played on the game's launch weekend (October 26th through 29th) can take their turn on the 29th. Everyone else will have to wait until November 30th.

The gradual rollout is likely a bid to prevent a repeat of the problems that plagued GTA Online when it launched in 2013. Many first-day players either couldn't connect, couldn't finish the tutorial or even lost their characters. Rockstar went so far as to temporarily disable real-money purchases until it sorted things out. GTA Online went on to become a financial success, but not before Rockstar compensated gamers with virtual cash for their troubles.

If everything does go smoothly, Red Dead Online could be promising. While it unsurprisingly won't have the deep storyline of the solo experience, it promises to make up for that through team dynamics. You can form a posse that can take on missions, fight rival gangs or simply explore the world of the core game, including hunting and fishing. It's certain to be a cash cow for Rockstar (expect lots of items to buy), but it could also keep you playing RDR2 well after Arthur's story has come to a close.

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