Red Dead funerals pay respectful tribute to Rockstar's Western opus, except for the one that got blown up

A man crying at a grave in Red Dead Online.
(Image credit: Rockstar / Rockstar Guides)

Last week Rockstar announced that cars have replaced horses, and with more resources being moved to the next GTA game it's not going to make any more substantial updates for Red Dead Online. The game's community has long bemoaned that the updates RDO received weren't great anyway, and have held various amusing protests about the perceived lack of support for the title, so the news was not perhaps the greatest of surprises.

It did, however, coincide with a loosely organised attempt to hold an in-game funeral for RDO, with community members intending to return to the game en masse on July 13 and pay tribute. Rockstar's news came a couple of days after this funeral was announced, and so it gathered momentum among the game's community in the aftermath.

Before we get onto cooing at the virtual Wild West pictures though, not all Red Dead players are especially fond of this idea. It's true for example that a 'funeral' suggests this is a dead game or even that it's closing down soon, neither of which is true: Rockstar is going to continue to support RDO, just not in a big way, and there's no suggestion that the game is going to be mothballed yet.

So there is a sense in which this funeral is slightly hyperbolic melancholy. To argue for the other side, though, RDO players arguably have a right to feel short-changed, when you consider how GTAO has been supported. Yes the latter is operating on a different scale, but it also never felt like Rockstar was behind RDO in the same way.

But that's academic now, and all that's left are the last rites (for a game that will remain playable for years to come).

Which they did, producing some pretty spectacular sights: let's not forget that Red Dead Redemption 2 is still one of the most lavish visual experiences out there. This tribute is among the most ingenious, though does come with a rather melodramatic lash-out at Rockstar.

There were of course collective gun-firing salutes:

And a host of folk shared their own funeral screens on social media:

And even a few modders got in on the action:

Most of this funeral stuff was quite nice really, though some fringe elements of the community have veered slightly into the unhinged at Rockstar winding down support. Beans have been a RDO community meme for a while, largely because at RDO's launch a can of beans cost more than a gold ring, so of course now some fans want to post lots of baked beans to Rockstar HQ, and are encouraging others to do the same. Look: don't do this. You'll just make some receptionist's day lousy, and Sam Houser will never see the beans.

In the sake of balance, some of the community just enjoy gently mocking the weeping and wailing.

I'm also going to include a note from a funeral disliker, Wolfgar26, who amused me with the following words addressed to 'The posse that was at the 'funeral' in Valentine today':

"To someone (me) that doesn't give a crap about this funeral bs, it was indeed a warm welcome. Not for me tho.

"Me, who just wanted to get a bounty, and was welcomed with you threatening to kill me if I don't leave the server that was 'reserved for the funeral', and shooting my horse because you got no answer, I hope you enjoyed that well-placed dynamite you took to your asses.

"It was indeed a beautiful funeral, not for the game tho."

Really can be the Wild West out there.

Header image credit: Rockstar Guides.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."