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Red Dead Redemption 3: Release date speculation and everything we know so far

Red Dead Redemption 3 is the follow-up to one of the best video games ever made. We break down the projected release date and everything else we know so far.

Red Dead Redemption 3 (aka Red Dead 3 or  RDR3) has big shoes to fill, as they say. As the follow-up to one of the most acclaimed video games in history, it isn’t exaggeration to state that Rockstar Games have their work cut out for them. Luckily for them, they aren’t under any specific time pressure.

There is currently no official Red Dead Redemption 3 release date, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. Rockstar Games are famous for taking their time when it comes to their flagship titles; it could be said that their past successes have afforded them this luxury more than any other game studio.

red dead nap
Image: Red Dead Redemption 2 / Rockstar Games

However, just because we don’t have an official statement doesn’t mean we have nothing to go on. There’s an old saying that where there’s smoke there’s fire, and where there’s fire there is probably a cowboy with some mighty fine loot to steal. By reading between the lines, one can actually deduce quite a bit.

With that in mind, we thought we’d apply our keen eyes to the horizon and see what we can make out regarding Red Dead Redemption 3. And while we’ll do our best to be factual, it’s worth reiterating the majority of this article is speculative rather than definitive.

Red Dead Redemption 3 release date

The first game in the Western-themed franchise came out in May 2010, with Red Dead Redemption 2 arriving in 2018. This means, if my working is correct, that it took Rockstar Games over 8 years to deliver the anticipated follow-up.

In between these two games was, of course, Grand Theft Auto 5 which came out in 2013. Going off past behaviour, it would appear Rockstar Games generally deliver a AAA title every 3-4 years; meaning Red Dead Redemption 3 or GTA 6 could be expected as early as 2023…except, oh fuck. GTA Online.

While Rockstar once focused exclusively on expansive single-player games, they have since dipped their toes into the cash pool of multi-player online games with GTA Online. And they appear to like it. They also appear to like remastering their older games.

Therefore, it stands to reason that new Rockstar AAA titles will be further apart than before. And then, there is also the small matter of GTA 6.

Essentially, I wouldn’t expect Red Dead Redemption 3 before 2026 if GTA 6 releases in 2023, and later still if that game suffers any kind of delay.

Characters

Considering what Rockstar did with Red Dead Redemption 2, it wouldn’t be surprising if they try and keep a connection with the past games’ characters and plot. While we know the fates of John Marston and Arthur Morgan, there is one main character with his future still ahead of him: Jack Marston.

This would be an exciting return to the world we’ve grown attached too, while giving the developers the chance to delve into a historical period of the Wild West they’ve yet to explore.

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Image: Red Dead Redemption / Rockstar Games

Another possibility is to go with an entirely new Red Dead Redemption 3 character, just peppering in established characters from the earlier instalments. If the team decide to go down this path, it would be really awesome to see a female character in the lead role.

Stories like True Grit demonstrate that women can be fantastic protagonists in Westerns, and it would give Rockstar a chance to silence the critics that have accused them of chauvinism in the past (they’ve never had a playable female character in any of their games).

Update: If rumours are to be believed, GTA 6 is set to feature a female player character. This demonstrates Rockstar might be interested in exploring a playable female character for Red Dead 3. However, like GTA 5, they might decide to have the new game feature multiple playable characters, to appeal to as wide a variety of gamers as possible.

Location

There have been some speculative pieces written that suggest Red Dead Redemption 3 could be set, at least partially, in Europe. This would allow Rockstar to explore the immigrant plight in a similar way that they did in Grand Theft Auto 4.

There’s obvious merit to this idea from a narrative perspective, but the workload associated with creating part of Europe to then just completely move the game to the USA could be characterised as self-defeating.

It’s also worth considering whether fans of the series, rightly or wrongly, want to play as a European in a series that has so far been decidedly American. Personally, I’d love to see it, I just don’t think it’s going to happen.

Red Dead Redemption 3 will probably take place in a fictionalised version of the USA, much like the first two games. This creative decision allowed the developers to pick and choose their favourite elements of the Wild West mythos, without being tied to history or one specific geographic location. And my money is on them going this route again.

Red Dead Redemption 3 rumours

We still have a long wait ahead of us for Red Dead Redemption 3. As more Red Dead Redemption 3 rumours and news come to our attention we will update this page – so be sure to check back in!

While there is currently no Red Dead Redemption 3 release date, that doesn’t stop you from making the best damn RDR2 speedrun in history while you wait!