Rockstar are arguably one of the biggest and best games developers in the world. That statement is both subjective and objective, what I mean by that is they are objectively one of the biggest games developers in the world, opinions aside this cannot be disputed. Subjectively they are one of the best – that is unless you’re a PC gamer – in which case they could learn a thing or two from other developers like Bethesda or even EA.
Of course, we’re all excited – almost visibly so – about the Red Dead Redemption 2 trailer that will be released tomorrow, but PC gamers will be feeling a sense of history repeating itself.
Six years ago, one of the greatest games of the last generation was released in Red Dead Redemption. It was a tour de force of gaming brilliance – a narrative that would rival any traditional medium of media; smooth and highly polished gameplay (from my own experiences); multiplayer that kept players hooked for years without the need for more and more and more additional content to keep things fresh; DLC that stood alone as a masterpiece in the Undead Nightmare and enough in-game extras and side-quests to keep you going and keep you coming back for more. However, unlike other big 3rd party games, the PC was overlooked, shunned and neglected.
Why though? Grand Theft Auto for example started out life as solely a PC Game, not being released on the original PlayStation for almost a year after it had been causing Government level controversy (in the UK at least) whilst strutting its stuff on Desktops around the world. Not only that, the PC has been the mainstay platform for gaming for more than a quarter of a century, as consoles come and go, the PC has remained – which is just one of many reasons for its lasting popularity. It’s not just something that you find in any given office around the world, it’s not just a word processor or a number cruncher – it’s a gaming machine and will not going away any time soon. PC gamers are serious about what they do, a lot of them consider themselves a cut-above the rest by naming themselves the ‘PC Master Race’ (there are arguments for and against that) however that would most certainly be a subject for another article on another day.
The point I’m getting at though, is that the PC is as much a part of the gaming world as the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and the soon to be revealed Nintendo NX. The difference being that in 10 years when console players have moved on to their new shiny toys, PC gamers will still be on PC. I’m heavily digressing, however it is a point that needs driving home with a sledgehammer – we at RGM, and as a gaming community as a whole should not be defined by what platform we play on, but more that we share a love of the game. Unless that game is Red Dead Redemption 2, then being a PC gamer excludes you from the club.
In all honesty, it isn’t just Red Dead Redemption though, since the days of the PlayStation 2 and Original Xbox consoles, the PC has been pushed to the back of Rockstar’s queue – if it’s been in it at all. Starting with Grand Theft Auto III, the dynamics had shifted, with an initial release on the PlayStation 2 in October 2001, PC gamers had to wait until May 2002 for its release. With the same timescales just jumped forward a year for Vice City (October 2002 – PS2, May 2003 – PC). San Andreas was roughly the same with the console release in October 2004 and the PC gamers finally getting their hands on it in June 2005. The good thing there however is that at least they came out not massively long after the initial release.
The PC since then has lagged behind with Rockstar, their devotion to consoles over the apparent ‘Master Race’ is clear for all to see. I mean even Grand Theft Auto V wasn’t released on PC for over year-and-a-half after the console release on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 – but at least it was released, even if looking back now it was as a forerunner to the release on Xbox One and PlayStation 4…
That aside, Red Dead Redemption was never going to, and likely will never be, released on PC – let alone Red Dead Redemption 2 and with the announcement that it will only be released on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in Fall 2017 this has understandably left PC gamers with a familiar taste in their mouth, and it is bitter. To the point that of course a petition has been started on Change.Org already to bring Red Dead Redemption 2 to the PC and at the time of writing this article the petition already has 21,965 supporters.
Let’s take a step back though, maybe there are logical reasons for not pursuing the PC option – maybe they don’t feel the time and money that would be spent would warrant a PC release? In saying that though surely that would be a stumbling block for game franchises such as The Elder Scrolls, Battlefield or Call of Duty as well? With no major release coming from Rockstar since Grand Theft Auto V was released and with record amount of money being made by the developer from that game alone – hell from the online element of the game alone – then the thought that time and resources could be an issue seems Red Dead Redundant.
With Rockstar treating the PC like an unwanted son-in-law, who is only at the party because their daughter clearly wants to spite them is nothing new. Banning Grand Theft Auto V players for trying to use any kind of mod online? Could you see Valve doing that with Left 4 Dead 2? I bet there would only be 2 players left online if they did! The fact that they are not willing to adjust their stance on this to adapt to how a lot of PC players go about their business shows a lack of respect from a supplier to its demanding audience.
That’s not without even touching on the Steam Sale in Winter 2015, whereby Rockstar showed no real love towards the PC community by only offering Grand Theft Auto V at a reduced rate if there was a Tiger Shark cash card included, so yeah – party hats at the ready on that one!
It’s beggars belief really, with the PC being more popular than ever – and only being a growing market, Nvidia released an infographic on PC Gamers that tells its own story, far better than I could here.
It really does make you wonder what is going on at Rockstar that they would treat such a massive audience like this, and it would seem that for such a massive games developer they are awkwardly out of touch with a consumer market which could arguably be their biggest.
Will Red Dead Redemption 2 make its way to the PC eventually? Has this killed off any last flickering embers of hope for Red Dead Redemption being released on PC? Are you a PC gamer who is feeling shunned by Rockstar? Let us know in the comments below, the RGM Forums or on Twitter.