Rockstar has kept us waiting when it comes to news on Red Dead Redemption 2 coming to PC. This feels familiar, after the long, year-plus wait for GTA 5. It seems extremely unlikely that the publisher will even touch upon a PC release date before the game arrives on consoles on 26 October.
With that said, below we've collected a couple of news items on the game that are of interest, plus we explore Rockstar's background of staggering ports on PC to see if we can make an informed guess on when Red Dead Redemption 2 gets here (if it ever does).
Red Dead Redemption 2 PC briefly appeared on LinkedIn
An anonymous Rockstar employee's LinkedIn profile used to list Red Dead Redemption 2 as coming to PC (via VG247), before it was changed. This is the closest thing to a smoking gun on Red Dead Redemption 2 coming to PC so far. Then again, it could just be an error.
When asked about the possibility of Red Dead Redemption 2 coming to PC last year, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick only had this to say. "Any updates about any of our titles will come from our labels."
Here's how long it usually takes Rockstar games to come to PC
- GTA 4 took about seven months to make the jump to PC.
- LA Noire took about six months to arrive on PC.
- Max Payne 3 launched just two weeks after console versions in 2012, but then it's fair to say this was historically considered a PC series.
- GTA 5 arrived 17 months after the PS3/Xbox 360 versions, and five months after the more comparable Xbox One and PS4 versions. It was originally meant to launch about three months earlier, however, in January 2015, and was originally announced alongside the 2014 console versions at E3 2014.
If we were to make an informed guess on when Red Dead Redemption 2 does come to PC, then, history tells us it'll probably be a wait of about five-to-seven months.
A decision on whether to bring Red Dead Redemption 2 to PC has probably already been made. When we spoke to Rockstar North about GTA 5's PC release back in 2015, they said they planned for it from day one. "We were always going to bring GTA 5 to PC."
Why did Red Dead Redemption never come to PC?
Red Dead Redemption never came to PC after its original release in 2010, and Rockstar answered (vaguely) as to why that was the case back in 2011. "All we can say is that whenever it is viable (technically, developmentally and business-wise) for us to release a game for PC (or any other particular platform)—we will and we usually do; unfortunately, that is just not the case 100% of the time for all platforms." That was a long time ago, though, and even at the time the company was bringing LA Noire, GTA and Max Payne 3 to PC.
You have to go back 10 years to find another major Rockstar console game that skipped PC (Midnight Club: Los Angeles).
GTA 5 sold a bucketload on PC, so it's unlikely Red Dead Redemption 2 would skip our platform
GTA 5 has sold over 90 million copies in total, which is an incredible feat. On Steam, it's sold 12,604,123 copies according to recent data released about player counts on Valve's platform. This doesn't include copies sold in physical form or through third-party resellers, however, where the game redeems through Rockstar Social Club, so the actual player count is likely to be a bit higher than that. This makes a pretty good case for Red Dead Redemption 2 to come to PC.
There is an entirely legal way to play the original Red Dead Redemption on PC
Strangely, in lieu of a proper PC release for 2010's Red Dead Redemption, you can stream it through Sony's PlayStation Now service. It's no substitute for having the game in your Steam library, of course, but it's an option if you decided not to drop several hundred pounds on a console eight years ago. It's probably Rockstar's second best game ever after GTA 5, and still holds up pretty well.