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‘Red Dead Online’ Beta Begins Rollout on Tuesday

The beta for the online portion of “Red Dead Redemption 2” goes live in waves this week with those who purchased the Ultimate version of the game gaining access Tuesday, anyone who played on Nov. 26 gains access on Wednesday, anyone who played between Oct. 26 and Oct. 29 gets in on Thursday and everyone else by Friday.

The beta, which is free for those who own the game, first goes live at 8:30 a.m. ET and is designed to be the beginning of “Red Dead Online,” meaning that it won’t run for a limited time and that developers hope to allow players to keep their progress in the game as they continue to improve and iterate on it. No word on when it will shift from an open beta to the final version.

“The launch of the Red Dead Online Beta is the first step in what will be a continually expanding and dynamic world, and the beta period will allow us to deal with the inevitable turbulence of launching any online experience of this size and scale,” according to Rockstar Games. ”

During this process, we will be looking to our dedicated and amazing community to help us report and fix problems, share ideas, and assist in shaping the future of the full Online experience. As with all of our releases, we will strive to make the launch of Red Dead Online the best it can possibly be, and we ask that the community share that spirit with us over the next weeks and months.”

Popular on Variety

Red Dead Online” is an “evolution” of the original “Red Dead Redemption’s” multiplayer mode, which will combine narrative elements with both cooperative and competitive gameplay options. “Red Dead Online” will continue to receive updates throughout its life cycle as it relies on the base “Red Dead Redemption 2” to exist as its foundation.

“Red Dead Online” will feature an open world that is home to all of the animals of the single-player game. It will include support for hunting, fishing, treasuring hunting, posses, camps and a variety of competitive modes. While the game won’t have the complex, threaded single-player storyline of “Red Dead Redemption 2,” it will feature a sort of narrative tied to cooperative play for the online game’s posses.

“With the gameplay of ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ as its foundation, ‘Red Dead Online’ transforms the vast and deeply detailed landscapes, cities, towns and habitats of ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ into a new, living online world ready to be shared by multiple players,” according to Rockstar Games. “Create and customize your character, tailor your abilities to suit your play style and head out into a new frontier full of things to experience.

“Explore this huge world solo or with friends. Form or join a Posse to ride with up to seven players; gather around the fire at your Camp; head out hunting or fishing; visit bustling towns; battle enemy gangs and attack their hideouts; hunt for treasure; take on missions and interact with familiar characters from across the five states; or fight against other outlaws in both spontaneous skirmishes and pitched set-piece battles; compete with other players or whole Posses in open world challenges and much more.”

Rockstar says it will have more details on Tuesday about the modes and gameplay of the title.

Earlier this month, Take-Two head Strauss Zelnick noted that the beta for “Red Dead Online” was on track to release “toward the end of the month.”

While “Red Dead Redemption 2,” which launched in October during the company’s third quarter, had game sales that Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick told Variety were “nothing short of miraculous,” he declined to compare the game with “Grand Theft Auto V” which continues to sell five years after release.

Despite the success of Rockstar’s open-world games, Zelnick said he doesn’t see the company changing how any of its other studios function or design games.“It’s business as usual,” he said. “We have 11 franchises that have sold more than five million units and more than 55 franchises that have sold more than two million units. What we would like to do in any given year is bring frontline titles that reflect our current franchises to market.”

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